There hasn’t been much of a change in fishing the past week – one day we do good, then it is tough again for a few. The bottom line – in my opinion – is that fishing has been inconsistent and tougher than it should be for this time of year and basically has been all fall. The number of Steelhead in the rivers seems to be pretty stable with a few fresh fish trickling into the Manistee but less fish than what should be in the rivers. Water temps remain in the 40’s so when hooked-up you know it as they are still sassy and are a handful to land. Reports on the other rivers in the region including the Betsie seem to be about the same.
The weather forecast is calling for cooler weather and a little of the white stuff which should contribute to lower water temps which ultimately should start getting those fish to move from the shallow water to the slower, deeper water – at least in theory. My advice would be to cover as much water as possible fishing a combo of an egg and a nymph. Then again I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what the fish really want and where.
The streamer bite on the trout rivers has improved as the browns are done spawning and looking to eat before winter sets in. Rather than cast the really big articulated patterns, consider casting some mid-sized patterns (3-5 inches long) like the Autumn Offender or Brook Trout on smaller sink-tips as the fish seem to be out of the deep holes with the lack of pressure and their desire to eat.