April 3, 2012
Now that April has arrived, I kind of feel like a fool - have the bulk of the steelhead come or are there more to come? Never accused of being overly optimistic, I am however thinking there are more fish to come.
Water levels are getting low and clarity is good with a slight stain. Temps remain right around 50 degrees so the lack of 80-degree days lately is helping to keep the water temp in this range. There still hasn't been a surge of suckers or walleye in the Manistee River which serve as a gauge of where the steelhead run is at. Reports from the Betsie River is similar to the Manistee - that is, there are fish around, but they are skittish and some days fishing is better than others. Like last week's report, what we need is a surge of water to bring more steelhead upstream and the weatherman isn't predicting that to happen. He's been wrong in the past.
Those looking to score fish are finding that sticking with the game plan, covering water and changing up flies is having success. Many of the fish are on gravel beds with the dark water near it (pockets and holes) holding fish - effective flies include a variety of smaller egg patterns in realistic colorations, stones, caddis and fry patterns. Drop back fish headed back the lake are in seams and runs primarily eating bigger nymphs like hex and buggers.