February 6, 2011
Dog Days of Winter
Just like summer, winter usually has a spell which keeps people hanging out inside and not spending too much time outdoors which is kind of what we have had here in Northern Michigan since my last report.
The snow continues to pile up (which is good, we need water in the aquafir) and temperatures fluctuate, but mostly below the freezing mark. Still, some intrepid anglers are making their way out for some steelhead fishing to cure cabin fever and possibly catch fish. The Manistee and Boardman have some fish in them – commensurate with the time of year, and it’s the slow, drag-free drift that is rewarded with small nymphs and egg patterns being most effective with the water being so cold and clear. The Betsie has been fickle this winter but has provided a few steelhead.
Little warm-ups like yesterday can get a few fish to move around through the system and a little sunshine can draw the fish hiding in the wood out into runs and tail-outs where you can effectively present flies to them. If no sun, look for the slow moving deep holes to be your best bet holding fish. As the days get longer, look for a more fish to enter the rivers.
Not into winter fishing? It’s a great time to fill your fly box by tying your own flies. Let’s hope the Ground Hog was right and we get an early spring – just not as early as last years.