It had been over 3 weeks since we received any rain before Mother Nature shed some water on us earlier this week and a good deal last night. While we could still use a bit more, it was enough to get some more fish headed up stream. Looking forward, the cooler weather and additional rainfall will not only make it feel like fall, but make it fish like fall too.
The Betsie has had a trickle of fresh fish moving through it, but with the recent rain even more fish are making their way upstream. When fish are on the move, look for funnels or slots in the river to get your fly to them. With the sun coming out look for the fish to back off into holding water to rest before continuing on with their journey. The numbers of fish on gravel are increasing and fish are staging near and around the gravel in the darker water. Eggs and nymphs combos with sparrows, hex, pheasant tails and stones bringing fish to the net.
The Manistee, too, received a bump in the water levels and fish numbers, but with the river being as large as it is more rain is needed to really get fish headed up stream. Look for fish numbers to build and the water to cool slightly. With the forecast rain, we could have one very condensed, but heavy run of salmon on the river this year. With the salmon come those egg loving steelhead too. These silver bullets are fall’s finest. Check out this article to learn more about steelhead and using egg flies to catch them.
The Platte River has still not received a significant number of fish, but look for things to change. Being a short river, look for things to change overnight with the right conditions. The Boardman’s weir is down and fish can be found below it for those looking for a rod bend close to town. Bay temps are still a little warm and with a big shift in wind and resulting water temperature – look for more fish at the river mouths and rivers of the Platte and Boardman.
The 2009 trout season on most rivers/sections closes at the end of the month giving you a few more chances to get out and fish in solitude. With the warmer weather the terrestrial bite has remained stronger than normal for this time of year. The Brook Trout know what time of year it is too and are all colored up for their spawning ritual. Not much surface activity/hatches on the Boardman or Upper Manistee Rivers right now but have a nice assortment of dries with general patters, terrestrials, and attractors. With more rain comes a little stain, so start thinking about streamer fishing as the brown trout are starting to get aggressive with their pre-spawn bite. Check your regulations for which rivers and sections remain open – the Upper Manistee above CCC Bridge remains open all year.