Finally - a little break in the winter weather that seems to have been here forever!
Sunshine and warm winds have taken a good chunk of the snow around Northern Michigan and bled it into our local rivers. There is a noticeable bump in water flows but conditions are still more than adequate for fishing. In fact, most of the shelf ice has broken free and ended up downstream with this latest increase in water flow.
With higher temps forecast for the next couple of days, look to get out and take advantage of the warmer air and possibly a fish or two that might have moved around in the river. All local rivers have a mix of fish – fall fish to fairly fresh, dime bright steelhead. The other day the river produced a nice river brown that couldn’t let a caddis pupa drift by proving that trout still like to eat this time of year too.
For those looking to fish for either trout or steelhead, this week’s break in the weather should be ideal during late mornings and afternoons once temps rise above freezing. The upper-sections of the Manistee fished with nymphs and streamers in the deeper, darker water should be your best bet. Below Tippy dam anglers have a chance at trout but with steelhead being the primary target. The Boardman has some fish in as well as the Betsie. Another decent option for winter trout fishing would be the AuSable.
Looking ahead, this recent thaw should help make for a manageable spring thaw and run. Of course we are not done with winter yet but I can only imagine how ugly the spring run-off would have been if all of the snow we have had since Nov. 16th was still on the ground.
Good luck out there!