After two days of rain and warmer temps it looks like Northern Michigan will return to a more typical winter weather pattern. Motivated anglers are still making their way to the rivers and enjoying time on the water alone.
Steelhead remain in our river systems though we seem to have less fish than years past. Don't panic, this spring should bring in all the fish that chose to stay in the lake this fall. Most anglers that have found success have reigned in their expectations and gone out looking for a single player on these cold days. Single bead or egg presentations are still popular in our low clear winter waters, nymphs are also a great choice this time of year. Try a stonefly, caddis, or hex nymph drifted low and slow and be prepared to lose a few flies getting in tight to the wood where these fish like to hold. If you're still motivated to swing flies, don't be discouraged, you can still find an occasional player but know that you'll have to work harder for them in these conditions.
Trout have to eat in the winter too though most anglers have hung up their gear waiting for warmer days. Although some anglers love to throw nymphs, streamer junkies are still out looking for post spawn browns. Occasional success has been found as presentations have shifted to jig style flies on inside bends. Again, adjusting your expectations is the first thing necessary for a "successful" day on the water. Sometimes it's just good to beat back some of the cabin fever and see a stretch of water you've never experienced in the winter. Some of our favorite patterns this time of year include: KG's Peanut Envy, Complex Twist Bugger, Cheech Leech, Maddin's Circus Peanut, and KG's Barely Legal.