February 18, River Report-Winter Steelhead Time
On milder days we have been getting out this winter and the river has provided a much needed breath of fresh air and certainly has been helping to stave off a serious case of cabin fever. The fishing has been refreshingly stable and this is such a peaceful time to be out on the river with the snow surrounding the river banks and the water a perfect color of winter green. I have mentioned in articles how the Manistee changes color with the season and it is true that the Manistee has gone from the dark, steel gray in late November to the late winter green.
Egg patterns, bigger clown colored eggs, bright green beads in larger sizes have been working consistently and don’t be afraid to mix up your colors and throw some pink in the mix. Chartreuse yarn mixes are great in this water color too. Time to start fishing more hex nymphs and the salmon smolt will be on the menu before too long. I have not seen a ton of stoneflies moving around on the snow, but the next warmup should start to trigger those spring menu item out of the river bottom and woody debris. Reports from the other area rivers seem to indicate that we have winter fish in the Boardman, Pere Marquette, Bear Creek, Muskegon and the Betsie. Get out and fish on the warm days if you are able! If you are looking for spring dates, now is the time to get on the calendar! Call the shop at 231-933-4730.
Last night there was a zoom call meeting for the Inland Fishing Guides and it has really been refreshing to find programs within the state that river guides can voice our concerns and be able to work more closely with the DNR in various departments. Michigan Guides do have to be licensed and we should work with the DNR to report catch rates, stream and launch conditions and other observations that might be constructive towards making each resource more viable and productive. Any stakeholder for a given resource should have a voice and take an active roll if so desired. If you are interested in participating in a program that we are doing as guides for steelhead catch rates, check out Great Lakes Anglers Diary. If you sign up you are able to record your catch and more importantly take part in their survey on what you look for when it comes to catch limits, size limits and much more. We appreciate the efforts of Ed McCoy with Mangled Fly for getting the Michigan River Guides Association back up and running, so this too will be beneficial in having a professional and united voice when it comes to regulations and resource management. Many positive things were discussed in the meeting last night and it really does feel good to know we can make a difference in our resources and regulations.
I know everyone is getting antsy for spring! Every week we have been tying different patterns on our youtube channel and Matt has been putting up some awesome videos, be sure to check them out! This is a cool one on tying the Patriot Fly If you don’t fish a Patriot for trout, you are missing out on a Michigan staple. It works everywhere there are trout as a great attractor pattern. Thanks for supporting The Northern Angler Fly Shop!
Upcoming Events: We are presenting the F3T at the City Opera House on Saturday March 5, and will have booth space and great gear at the Michigan Fly Fishing Club Show March 12 and 13 in Warren, MI. We hope to see you soon!