After last week’s heavy rain, conditions have improved but salmon numbers are still off. The water came up significantly but has also come down since and clarity has improved making it almost ideal conditions especially with bright skies. Today’s wind out of the north should help push fish closer to river mouths and get fish sniffing around looking for their native river and eventually head upstream. If anything it has been close to a month since we have had good north or north-west winds to get fish staged close which is why last week’s rain didn’t influence an abundant number of fish to migrate upstream. With today’s wind and rain it is starting to feel like fall and fall fishing.
There are some King/Chinook salmon in the Betsie and Manistee rivers but they have been hard to target as they have been on the move. Most years they stage very well but his year for some reason they haven’t been. There hasn’t been a predominate fly pattern that has been working better than another so mix it up and hold on tight when you do hook-up as they are still fresh and strong.
The trout fishing has been off a little on the upper Manistee thanks to the high volume of water. This can be a great time for the streamer angler as water temps continue to dip and the days get shorter. When the water is stained and the angling pressure is light some of those ornery browns slip out of their cover and can eat big.