This is the weather we’ve been waiting for – Spring is breaking. We’ve moved the clocks and the kids will steal a week away from school. There’s a change settling into Northern Michigan.
Spring creep is kindly welcomed. Temperatures move from twenties to thirties and thirties move to forties and each marker sheds a layer until we acclimate to a higher tier. But those first forties – oh they are freeing and that fledgling fifty mark is tee-shirt weather.
Though it’s still snowy and icy, it is time to get thinking about leaving the hard water behind and finding a place astream.
Steelhead fishing is beginning to gain steam and, while trout fishing is still mired in wintertime tactics, run-off is beginning to add to the river flow. Conditions and angling approaches can change daily.
The birds of prey are still to our South and angling pressure has been light. So, wade softly and seek trout in the center river seams. Keep a sharp eye while wading upstream and you may be able to sneak within feet of trout languishing on the sand and substrate changes. If you cast carefully and lay your line far out to a side and drop you nymph softly, you may be able to see the trout snap your bait.
After you’ve had your fill of wandering headlong into the currents, simply take a seat on a log and knot on a streamer for the fishing back downstream. I love streamer fishing in the Spring. I actually prefer wading with weighted flies tied with undulating natural materials like turkey marabou and chicken schlappen feathers. Those streamers create their own movement while allowing the fly to stay in the strike zone longer.
Boat fishing is a different matter. Sink-tip lines make more sense while moving with the current and profiling the water. Larger, articulated flies are favorites here. Be sure to carry flies in the four to eight inch range crafted in different colors and with different weights. Black and olive are king but copper is a sneaky switch.
This will be the story, in some variation, until the dry flies emerge sometime in April.
Really try to find the River—you’ll have it largely to yourself.
And when you’re done, swing the Fly Shop. It’s Cabin Fever time. We’ll host a post fishing get together each Saturday in March. There will be beverages and some snacks and some fly tying and some war stories. But mostly, there will be people that love the same stuff you do. It should be a fairly low key and we’ll run Saturday sales throughout the month.
There’s a new Season percolating and I’ve never been more ready.
Truly hope to see you soon,