It’s the middle of October – fall colors are at peak but the salmon are past peak. The salmon are dwindling in numbers on local rivers like the Manistee and Betsie; it doesn’t appear that another push is coming. Sure, some may continue to trickle in but look for a lot of empty gravel and some carcasses wrapped around logs – it’s pretty much over. What they did leave behind are lots of eggs that are drifting downstream and the steelhead have been taking advantage of.
Steelhead numbers are also down so far this fall making it tougher than normal. But ever optimistic is the steelhead angler and with our recent downpour of rain this week (I may have burned out my bildge pump this month) more fish should start to migrate upstream. Water levels are up a bit and slightly stained on the Betsie and Manistee while the lower Manistee is stained pretty good with various tributaries contributing their silt and tannins.
Egg patterns in natural and pale colors have been working – golden, sockeye, apricot, grapefruit and Oregon Cheese have been working. The nymph bite hasn’t been too strong but as the egg drop diminishes, look for that to change. More on egg patterns- click here.