February 17, 2011
Put down the ski poles and grab a fly rod - this week’s sample of Spring weather makes for some comfortable fishing and should improve the catching with a little more water flowing down the river.
The significant snowpack in Northwest Michigan has been greatly reduced and much of the moisture has gone into the ground. Still, some water has entered the rivers giving it a slight increase in flow removing the ice along banks and at the river mouths which should bring some new steelhead into the system while redistributing the ones already in the river. The Manistee continues to have fish in it as does the Boardman for those fishing in town and this weather should bring some much needed fish into the Betsie River.
With the melting comes some much needed stain into the river. Water clarity is decent, not crystal clear, and the best presentations are drag free and the first ones made through the runs and holes. Keep in mind that while it has been warmer, the cool ice and snow melt keeps the river temperatures in the low 30’s. As the sun is out, look for fish sunning themselves in some pretty shallow, sandy water but they can be spooked easily so stealth goes a long ways. Brighter color eggs and dark nymphs like black stone flies and steelhead buggers are a good bet right now and if it is bright out, try the same eggs and nymphs but in smaller sizes along with pheasant tails, alevins and hex nymphs.
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