There are good numbers of fish in local rivers and more on the way. On the Manistee water temps are getting close to the number that gets them on the gravel to do their thing. Fish are staging near and around gravel and the catch is a mixed bag of fresh chrome and some fish that have been in the river for a bit – all have been fighting hard. The lower sections of river has fresh fish moving throughout much of the system and it looks like it might be a nice, long spring steelhead season – something we haven’t had for years. The ice on the dam impoundments above Tippy is 99% gone and should help warm up the water a bit in the weeks to come. While the water is up a little bit, it only has a slight stain for this time of year. As such, it has us using lighter tippets than we normally use this time of year -but it’s what’s necessary to get the hook-ups especially on those sunny days. The Betsie River has had some good days as of late, but much of it is timing. The Boardman in town has been yielding some fish too – both fresh and colored up fish. The bit of rain that is falling outside should bring some more fish into all of the local rivers for us to play with later this week.
Flies have been mixed – everything from large, gaudy egg patterns to small Oregon Cheese eggs. Fishing fry patterns and hexes too and on the warmer and/or sunny days small black stones have been getting their fair share of fish.
Trout fishing continues to be hit and miss – mostly depending on the day. A few stone flies have been popping off, but no surface activity from the trout, yet. Opener is within sight! Streamers fished low and slow continue to be your best approach at finding fish. Try fishing a medium sized streamer with some lead eyes or a cone on a floating line while wading and targeting tail outs – fish it with a down and across swing with some wiggle/jigging action. Overcast days are best – especially after a sunny morning to warm the water up a bit.
Keep us in mind for your equipment and guiding needs this spring.
The Northern Angler