Some spring-like temperatures are having anglers feeling good about April and spring Steelhead fly fishing. Rivers are running high but are still fishable. We have been lucky considering the amount of snow we received over winter and the slow rate in which it has been thawing. Most of us certainly hope that remains the case as the white stuff turns to water. For those of you down or out of state, there are still areas in the woods with over 2 feet of dense snow.
Water temps are hovering around the 40 degree mark on the Manistee below Tippy Dam. Just a few fish are on spawning gravel with majority of the fish staged in the transitional and holding water near gravel. As fish migrate up river they move through the deeper holes and sometimes take a rest before moving on making them a good place to target also. Majority of the fish being caught have been winter fish but a few fresh chromers have slipped in the past few days with more to come as the water warms, the days get longer and the water continues to flow. Yes, finally Spring.
With the water stained – it has gone from the green tinge to more brown the past few days – bigger fly patterns have seemed to do better: large egg patterns, bright caddis, black stone flies and fry. Other flies have taken some fish too, but the above have been the most consistent.