Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Rain's Came and the Steelhead Continue to Trickle In...Dry Fly Trout TK's 4/18/12 Fishing Report

Steelhead and Trout Limbo/Combo

We finally received some rain, but with the ground so dry, most of it went there rather than into our rivers having little impact on river levels and the much anticipated re-start of the Spring Steelhead run.
Some fresh  fish continue to trickle in on the Manistee, but not as many as there typically is for this time of year. Look for the fish to be on the spawning gravel with a number of dark, males accompanying the female doing her thing. With the clear water conditions, be prepared to be stealthy and go light with line and flies – the males are becoming cranky and are taking leeches and fry patterns pretty good as they are fending for their territory.  Other flies that have been working include small (#10 and 12) and realistic egg patterns, caddis and stones – not much new here. Targeting drop-back steelhead remains decent as the fish are putting their feed bag back on after a few weeks of not eating as they head back to the lake.

The trout fishing below Tippy dam is picking up for those targeting the dark water with nymphs where as streamer anglers  working the cover are finding some better fish – mostly when the sun isn’t high and bright. The trout have been planted below the dam so you might have to increase your streamer size a bit to keep the stockers off your line to help with their survival and success rate. Look for conditions to improve as warmer weather sets in with warmer water and more aquatic life making for a good combo approach – steelhead in the morning and trout in the afternoon.. With the stocked fish in the river, consider fishing a big fly pattern like the Fin Clip to emulate the “natural” food source of some really big trout – it’s not a numbers thing, but the fish you get tend to be big.

Trout fishing on the Upper Manistee is pretty good for those who hit the right day – that’s when it’s warm enough for bugs to emerge or when the shade offers ideal streamer fishing as the water is still quite clear. Hendricksons have been emerging in the afternoons on the warmer days and the fish are starting to expect them. Be sure to have some stone flies and BWO in your box, too.

Good Luck!

- Book a Trip for the Upcoming Fishing Seasons -

April: Steelhead and Trout fishing on the Manistee River
April-May: Trout – Streamers & Dry Flies. Hendricksons & Early Bug Hatches on the Upper Manistee
June: Trout -Big Dry Flies – Drakes, Isonychias and The Hex.
Booking for all 2012 Seasons – Some Fall Dates Remain Open

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