October 1, 2010
In my opinion there are two months to live in Northern Michigan as an angler – June and October. They both provide a number of angling opportunities, it’s a good time to get out while the weather is nice and the fishing can be great.
Last week’s rain brought more fish into both the Betsie and Manistee Rivers. The Betsie’s fish moved right on up through the system and fishing has been spotty since these are migratory fish. The Manistee had fish move up to the dam and have them sparsely spread throughout the system. More female salmon are hitting the gravel throughout doing their gravel dance and the males are around looking to accompany them. Look for fish holding in the darker water near the gravel staging along with a few steelhead looking to eat some eggs. More water is needed to continue the flow of fish into the river systems as the run has been spread out and probably will go on for a while – time will tell. Nothing new on flies: leeches, egg sucking leeches, hexes, caddis, sparrows and eggs in a multitude of colors. You will find water levels and clarity ideal with a little stain and at normal levels.
Trout fishing on most rivers throughout the state has come to an end with the passing of September. There are still a number of rivers and sections thereof that remain open. This can be a great time to have the river all to yourself with some decent action. The dry fly bite has been light lately, but still, terrestrials are bringing up fish with bigger, rubber legged flies being ideal to differentiate them from all of the leaves and pine needles being blown into the river. Streamer fishing on the cloudy days will find pre-spawn browns looking to eat and it appears that most of the brookies are done with the chore – then again, I’m not a biologist, just an observer. It was a fun trout season and I’m already looking forward to fishing the now closed sections again in the spring.
Good luck and get out and fish.