Winter continues on, but after a long season – it doesn’t seem to be so bad. Temperatures both air and water are still approaching rock bottom but the snow accumulation has slowed down. The forecast isn’t really calling for a “warm-up” anytime soon, but should we get a little bump in water temp to activate the fish you should be out there. No one particular area river is a better choice than another as the Betsie, Manistee and Boardman Rivers all have some fish in them.
Look for the slower deeper water to be your best bet for laid-up fish that might take a well presented fly. Water levels are decent and the clarity real good. This is the time of year that anglers can get away using a little lighter tippet as the fish don’t fight nearly as hard and sometimes it’s that thin line that seals the deal on the bite. Best bet on flies would be some of the standards…. hexes, large black stones, caddis and eggs. Anglers looking to swing a fly will find leeches and sculpin/goby patterns to work, but always mix up size, color and flash to try to determine a preference.
This is a good time of year to get out for a few hours and get some aqua therapy. You should have the place to yourself. If not, tie flies, read a book or watch a DVD on the sport.
The new store location is up and running. We are 90% complete and are happy with the increased floor space, parking and class room. Those looking to learn to tie a few new bugs should check out our Saturday 10-noon classes featuring specific themes – we still have openings.