January 13, 2011
Winter is here and the little warm up around New Years mixed up the water a bit and redistributed steelhead already in the river systems and brought a few new fish in. Still, it’s winter fishing where a good first presentation is going to be key getting a fish to eat with the clear water. Look for fish in soft, deep pools and tails-outs near structure (wood). Should the sun make an appearance, I have seen fish turn into sun bathers, dropping out of holes and into sandy tail-outs taking advantage of the solar heat but overcast and gray tends to be the predominate pattern for the next couple of months – be ready to fish skinny water should the ball of fire make an appearance.
The Manistee and Betsie are among the rivers with some fish in it and urban anglers have been finding fish in the Boardman downtown – regardless of which river you fish the trick is to cover some water and do it with good drifts. Floats and idicator rigs not only help to suspend flies above structure while giving you a drag-free drift, they also let you present a fly well downstream while not lettting your presence be known. Nothing new on patterns: small natural looking eggs, medium sized clown eggs in pale shades, aelvins, hex nymphs with lots of movement and bigger nymphs/streamers that offer a good size profile which might provide enough encouragement for a fish to break away from their sheltering wood and eat.