**** UPDATE – 4/18/17 *****
Due to significant rains over the past weekend, local rivers are running high with limited visibility. Use caution when wading or operating boats. You can gather more information on Michigan river flows/levels at the USGS Site.
With warmer temperatures around, it has felt more like the beginning of May as the grass turns greener, leaves on the tress pop out, turkeys gobble and the steelhead starting to dwindle.
The water temps are around 50 degrees which has pretty much encouraged all the early running fish to get their spawning activities behind them and return to the lake. At least the lucky ones. More fish continue to come into the Betsie and Manistee rivers but it’s like hitting a moving target with their migration as they are not sticking around long.
The Betsie has its fair share of suckers in it which is a sign that the river has seen its peak of steelhead, but there should still be fishable number of steelhead for another week or two – timing as it relates to rainfall is crucial.
The Manistee, too, is starting to see some suckers come into the system and are mixed in with the walleye. Like the Betsie, there should still be fishable numbers of fish coming and going through the river for a few more weeks with timing to rainfall and cloudy days vs. sunny days being the biggest factor leading to success. Water levels are ideal and there is a slight stain to it which has made smaller egg patterns more effective over the large, bold ones. Effective nymphs include fry, caddis, and small stone flies.
One benefit of the warmer water is the trout fishing has started a little sooner than normal. A few Hendricksons and stoneflies have been on the upper Manistee bringing a few fish to the surface. When there isn’t an emergence, cover the water with streamers to take advantage of less pressured fish wanting to eat big after a long winter. Look for the combination of streamer and dry fly fishing to be strong for the next six weeks.
May Fishing – Trout, late steelhead, hatches, streamer fishing, bluegill on lakes – don’t overlook fishing in May.
Trout – The hatches of late May lead into June making for some of the year’s best dry fly fishing – don’t miss out.
2017 Fishing – Plan your year around your fishing – get your dates on the calendar, life will fit in around it.