There is no doubt that winter’s here and so are some record low temperatures making fly fishing on local rivers pretty much non-existent. Shelf ice is pretty prominent on the river’s edges and some slower portions are covered with ice, limiting access should you decide to venture out when cabin fever gets you to that point. The snow pack along the river isn’t too bad as snowfall has been a little light this winter which should help keep the spring run-off within reason. If you do head out when temps bump up a bit keep an extra change of clothes in the car, avoid walking on the shelf ice along the edge and simply use caution.
As far as the fish, look for steelhead to be in the slow moving, deep holes and don’t expect much of a fight once hooked with water temps barely above freezing. Areas with numerous springs are a good place to target as the warmer ground water seeping in often holds fish. Fish realistic flies with lots of motion like hex nymphs and preferably under an indicator for your best drag-free presentation. With fall salmon’s progeny developing, now is a good time to fish an alevin pattern for both steelhead and trout. With increasingly warmer late winter days not that far away, look for stonefly nymph action to increase and more fish to shuffle around as the days get longer and more fish get that spring urge to begin their upstream migration – it’s not that far away.
Spring Steelhead – It’s not too far away! From mid-March through April. Dates available.
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.