This week brought some much needed rain to the area's rivers, and the water levels from the recent rains and the swamps breaking loose and bringing up the water levels have changed our conditions from low and clear to high and off color. Temperatures ranging from 14 degrees one morning to low 70’s on Wednesday afternoon. This was the first time this spring we have heard the “Spring Peepers,” just in time for Easter!
The Big Manistee still continues to exhibit a trickle of fish, maybe a bit of a spike, but none of the guides really saw the numbers show up like they should have given the water temperatures finally breaking the 40 degree mark. Everyone had to work really hard this week to find fish and the water levels can make it difficult to land them. There are some fish around, but seem to be scattered throughout the upper part of the river below Tippy dam. The water is out of the banks downriver below Bear Creek, so it will take some time to clear up down river, leaving all the action up top. Hopefully, we will see a push of fish to occupy the seemingly empty runs and holes. There are some fish hitting gravel, and it seems like most of the winter fish have spawned and safely made their way back to the Lake.The Manistee typically sees a few waves of fish before the Muskegon, but this year it seems as the Muskegon has quite a few more fish, but experiencing really high water levels. Time will tell what the next couple of weeks will produce on the Manistee, I have to believe there are more fish coming, based on history and knowing we can have good numbers through the end of April and even into May during certain years.
The Betsie River had a push of fish late last weekend and early this week and this river has peaked and now it is time to hunt for drop backs and late running fish. There were reports from our staff of fish jumping the lamprey weir on Sunday with regularity.