The spring steelhead fishing is firing on all cylinders at the moment! This week the weather has played a big role with winds and a return to winter-like conditions. The Manistee is still in great shape, with the green spring color from Tippy down to Bear Creek and below Bear Creek the river has a great deal of color but still producing fresh fish. Water temps are holding pretty steady this week 38-39 degrees and the flows are shooting up with the precipitation we had last night, but should remain in good shape.
The spring fishing has been really good the past 12 days and it did slow down with the cold temps the past few days. Bright colored yarn and beads have been working along with salmon fry patterns, buggers and caddis. Stoneflies have been hatching most days around 2-3 pm and those nymphs have been fishing well too. Chartreuse, Steelhead Orange, with hot colors mixed in have been productive and I would look for that to continue.
Fish are currently holding in most water types. Winter holes, fast runs below gravel and pinch points. It appears that we have some big fish in the system. I had a client land one of the top 5 steelhead of my guiding career this week and I saw a photo of a 24 lb fish from the Grand. It is good to see those older fish returning to spawn again. We had a mixed bag of hatchery and wild fish this past week.
Looks like the next couple of weeks should really be solid fishing for steelhead. The extended forecast shows a slow return to spring in the next 7 days as temps hit more of a normal range for early April.