It’s October which undeniably means fall is here with cooler mornings and often sunny afternoons – it’s a great time to be on the water.
Those looking to fish salmon are still finding fish moving through river systems. The nice weather of September disrupted the flow of fresh fish but with some recent north winds and some rain some fresh fish have moved into local rivers.
The Betsie still has king/Chinook salmon in it and some fresh ones migrating up but the peak and bulk of the fish have moved through. Look for the river to receive spurts of fish throughout the month with most of the fish either intent on reaching spawning gravel or actively on spawning gravel. The Platte River continues to experience near record number of Cohos and that is likely to continue for a little longer.
The Manistee has salmon spread throughout it with more Cohos than Kings. Water levels are a little lower than ideal and clarity is making for some tougher conditions when the sun is out. Majority of the fish are on spawning gravel and the nearby holding water just below Tippy dam.
Trout fishing has been tough on the Upper Manistee river with the clear water. Brook trout tend to be a little more active than the browns but each day is different and sometimes only browns want to play the game. If you head to the river be prepared to fish a number of ways – terrestrials on top (ants, beetles and attractors (Skunks)) with the occasional BWO to match the hatch, and mid-sized to small streamers fished below the surface. When the winds drop lots of tree detritus on the surface go with something subsurface that might stick out and get noticed. It’s still pre-spawn mode with the browns while the brookies are bold and bright in color and doing some spawning. Just a reminder, many of the trout streams and rivers are closed to fishing beginning Sept. 30th – check the DNR regulations for what water remains open (much of the Manistee and AuSable).
Salmon/Steelhead Combo – Early October offers a chance at both species on the Manistee.
Fall Steelhead – October, November and into December, these fish will bend your rod like no other – experience it.
Trout/Steelhead – The lower Manistee offers some great streamer fishing for trout in late Fall as another option.