Fishing pretty much has remained the same – it’s been inconsistent. One day we find a bunch of fish, the next – a few, then fewer and back to a bunch again – you just don’t know. On both the Manistee and Betsie the steelhead have been coming and going pretty quickly. A few drop backs have been caught as the females head back to the lake after their deed is complete and those same, big, deep holes that have been holding them have also been holding some fresh fish waiting to hit the gravel. Fish are spawning on both river systems but not in the numbers we are used to.
Because of the lack or run-off this winter and little rain, look for more fish to show up through mid-May – especially after ideal conditions in which rain fall is key. I guess you could say the “run” has been spread out over a long period of time. Good flies recently have been clown rag eggs, mottled orange variation eggs, green caddis, steelhead buggers, and small black stones.
It’s finally here! This Saturday marks the annual Trout (Pike, Muskie, pre-Season Bass, too) season on rivers. Much of the water that we guide on is open all year round, but this date is significant to the small stream angler or those that follow tradition. The Upper Manistee and Boardman river levels are higher from summer levels but is lower than normal for this time of year. Some black stones have been on the water but good dry fly fishing is looking to begin closer and into May with sustained warmer temps – I saw snow today and more is in the forecast tomorrow – this tends to fluctuate water temperatures, bug emergences and the trout’s demeanor.Streamer fishing is a great approach right now with medium speed retrieves and flies with lots of action.