Another nice week of weather made for some good fishing, but marginal catching. Some days the steelhead and salmon played along nicely, other days they were simply not playing.
The Manistee has salmon in it and they are mostly on spawning gravel near Tippy Dam. There seems to have been a lull in the run as far as fresh fish moving up through the system but after an inch of rain today we are hopeful that some fish in the lake pointed themselves upstream along with some additional steelhead. Numbers of both species are less than normal for this time of year as water temps at the lake are still too warm to have fish concentrated and looking to move upstream. A lack of northerly winds on the lake the past two months – I believe – is largely behind the run being stalled. Some more seasonal weather is in the forecast which should help things get closer to normal.
The Betsie also has salmon in it and are mostly on gravel although being a smaller river it is easier to see some fish moving through the system and easier to target them. After the rain look for the water level to be up a little along with a little more of the “Betsie Stain” to add some color to it. I suspect the run on the Betsie will continue through much of October. Please keep in mind that the Betsie is a natural reproducing river and catch and release is important to a long-term and sustainable fishery.
With October comes the end of trout season on a number of rivers and sections there within. The upper Manistee and lower Manistee remain open and the fall colors have been great on the upper. With the rain today and the cooler weather, look for the streamer fishing to improve as fish are in their pre-spawn mood. Most of the Boardman is closed -check the DNR’s regulations on the other rivers for what remains open.