It’s officially “Fall”, but it sure feels like summer with the past three weeks being unseasonably warm making things feel more like August rather than the end of September. As a result the migratory salmon fishing on Lake Michigan’s rivers is off. The lack of cool weather and north/northwest winds are keeping the water at the river mouths too warm and therefore not concentrating the fish in ideal numbers to encourage a trip upstream. There are some fish in the Betsie and Manistee rivers, but they are scattered and simply not in the density/numbers we are used to for this time of year. Look for this year’s migration of salmon to be prolonged well into October with steelhead mixed in. Until then, fish the water thoroughly for those few fish around.
With the weather being nicer than normal, water conditions are still ideal for some dry fly fishing on the upper Manistee and Boardman rivers. The terrestrial bite is still going and some mid-sized streamers fishing on floating lines are providing some action. Look for the dries with rubber legs twitched near and in the wood to get some of those vibrant colored brookies to play as well as the occasional nice brown trout. Keep in mind regular trout season ends Sept. 30th on certain rivers and sections of rivers – consult the MI-DNR regulations to determine what closes and what remains open.