It looks like spring and with it comes some of the year’s best trout fishing. Currently the Upper Manistee is giving us a decent Hendrickson hatch most afternoons and sometimes unto the evenings. The spinner falls haven’t been too heavy with the cool evenings – look for a warm cloudy day for heavier bugs. Also hatching are some black caddis and the last of the little black stones. Blue Wing Olives continue to be out there, but are more noticeable on the cloudy, rainy days. Look for the Hendricksons to really start up this week on the Boardman.
Water conditions are pretty good – they are up a little but have fallen nicely since last week’s rain – they are about normal for this time of year. Clarity is good, but it’s not too clear making ideal fishing conditions. Streamer fishing has been good lately but with no particular pattern or color working more than another; each day the trout have a different appetite so be sure to not only mix up your fly patterns, but also your presentation.
Steelhead fishing continues on the Manistee and the other local rivers. Some more fresh fish came in with last week’s rain, but they are coming in, doing their deal and heading back to the big water. Fish are on and around gravel and the larger holes are holding some drop-back fish looking to eat and gain energy before their journey back downstream. This is a great time of year to fish below Tippy Dam for steelhead and trout – streamers can bring some great trout to the net as they are looking to continue eating after their steady diet of eggs the past 6 weeks; drop backs have been known to eat a streamer too.
Pike fishing on local lakes and ponds has paid off as well as those looking for some pre-spawn, catch and release bass. Look for shallower, darker bottom lakes to be your best bet. The bluegill have been very active in the shallows of a local pond near you. Look for some carp to start venturing into the shallows in the late afternoons of multiple sunny days in a row. It’s such a great time of the year to fish – so many choices and almost not enough time.