Two hard frosts in the past week have made me think a little harder about whats to come. It's time for us to get snowstakes in, snowblowers prepared, and steelhead fishing on our smaller Northern Michigan rivers. This cool down has slowed fishing on the Big Manistee that was excellent the previous week. We're hoping that potential rains this weekend will bring in more fish and get things back on track. Most guides have focused their efforts below High Bridge while salmon finish up their efforts up high below Tippy Dam.
On The Boardman River in Traverse City the weir has been removed increasing territory for both fish and anglers. Salmon continue to dominate catches as we wait for the numbers of steelhead to arrive. The occasional Lake Trout is another reason to get down there and fish a run or two. Remember that with the removal of Sabin Dam upstream the fish ladder has been shut down and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. If you haven't read up on whats happening currently and what's to come for the Boardman, check out the Fish Pass Project.
Some of our other small rivers to the west of town are are also awaiting rain and steelhead. If you have time to stop and check out the Bestie and Platte Rivers let us know how its fishing!
Egg patterns and beads are still the thing to have in your bag, maybe switch things up with a steelhead bugger or stonefly. We've been looking for aggressive fish on the swing too but takers have been elusive. Egg sucking patterns with copper, black, and purple always seem to be a good confidence pattern though I wouldn't shy away from olive while the water is low.
It's streamer time on our trout rivers but be sure to watch out for redds and spawning fish! Water is low and clear currently so it may be wise to downsize both your tippet and fly size. Please treat your fish well during spawning season and check out the video below on spotting redds in the river.