Sunday, May 10, 2015

Trout Fishing and Spring Just Starting

It’s really feeling like spring around northwest Michigan – warm temps, blue skies and green showing up fast on both the ground and on trees.  The transition from steelhead fishing to trout fishing has been kind of stuck with neither fishing extremely well right now but one gets the sense that it’s going to change in the blink of an eye.
With the lack of rain, no fresh steelhead have moved into the river. Anglers fishing the Betsie and Manistee will find a few spawning fish but they are well aware of angler’s intent and disperse with some fishing pressure. The dark water (holes and slots) around the gravel are offering better angling for both steelhead and trout right now and most drop-back fish have done just that – made it back to the lake after spawning. The long-term forecast is calling for rain over the weekend and into next week which should bring up any remaining fish, but expect them to come and go as water temps are warm and is running clear.
The warm rain would be a good thing for the trout rivers as well. Most of the trout water – the Boardman, Upper Manistee, AuSable are also running clear – especially for this time of year. With water temps in the mid to upper 50s look for Hendricksons to be emerging in better numbers rather than the trickle of bugs which has been more common. “Henies” love warm overcast days so if you can pick your day accordingly, do so. A few black stoneflies and even a black caddis or two have been around so have some of those patterns with you as well.
Until the dry fly fishing gets going, cover some water with streamers – this is the ideal time to cover lots of water for that really big brown trout. With what seems like everyone fishing the biggest, double and triple articulated and over-accessorized streamer patterns right now, consider down-sizing things a bit and fish something a little more natural. Like usual, though, mix it up to see what might be working better that day.
The coldwater found in local lakes has kept the bluegill/panfish in the depths but this too should change overnight as fish move into fly-friendly shallow water and provide some great fishing for big gills over the next month.
Good luck,
Trout Season – Streamer & Dry Fly fishing is ideal throughout May on the Upper Manistee & AuSable Rivers.
September Salmon – Dates are limited for fishing the Betsie River in early Sept. and later on the Manistee.
2015 Fishing – It isn’t too early to get your fishing trips planned for the year. Booking all species/seasons.

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