Fishing Report 3/24/22

Wow, we've gotten a lot of rain in the past few days! Even though many of our rivers are now running high and dirty, most of us are pretty happy to see the rain this week as our rivers were running low heading into the spring season.

The Big Manistee

The Big Manistee below Tippy is running high but still has great color with temps hovering around 37-39 degrees. We have some cold temperatures returning for the next 5 days and then after that, things start to look more like spring. There seems to be a decent number of fish around and the bite has been inconsistent, but as fresh fish show up they seem to turn on.  The fish are in the holes and runs. 

The Upper Manistee

Although many die-hard streamer anglers have been hitting the water lately, the early season streamer bite has been inconsistent at best. Water temps are still hovering in the high 30s keeping things from kicking into gear. If you do find a fish or two, they're likely to be dandy. With this high water you don't always have to go huge but you'll definitely want flies that offer a stark contrast so fish can easily find them. My first choice would be black followed by yellow but look to go natural as the water levels drop back into shape!

The Betsie

Spring steelhead fishing is starting to kick into gear on our smaller rivers too! Last week, water was low and clear with just a few fish around. With all this rain we had over the past handful of days, water levels have come up quite high and visibility is currently low. Once these flows start to drop, fishing should improve greatly for wade and boat anglers. We have found lots of success lately with 8mm & 10mm beads, yarn eggs and even black stones. If you’re going to run beads, we’ve really grown to like the selections from Bloop Beads. Right now our we’re running introvert, skeins world, rope-a-dope and shreddar depending on river and light conditions. Don’t look past bright greens and yellows on cloudy days. Fishing soft seams right now is a great bet with this faster moving water. These fish aren’t going to stay in the faster current and wear themselves out unless they’re on the move. The afternoon bite on days with good cloud cover has been good too so don’t head home too soon.
If you want to get out on some of our smaller tributaries, you can book Jake Nutter by calling the shop!

The Pere Marquette

Like most of our rivers, the PM is up and running dirty but that doesn't mean there are not fish to be caught. Fresh steelhead are moving in daily to join the fish that have wintered over. As the water temps continue to creep up, expect to see these fish transitioning from slow winter holes towards gravel. Egg patterns have been primary but don't forget to pack caddis and stones. You can expect to find some trout mixed in with the steelhead this time of year. They love eggs just as much as the steelhead but don't be afraid to experiment with some different nymph patterns.