PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT
11 year old Jacob with his first steelhead, way to go buddy!
Steelhead Season 2018/2019 is in the books and we’re headed straight into trout season! The next few months will hold some exciting times in pursuit of our resident browns and rainbows from streamers to nymphs to dries. Right now the river is a little low in the upper stretches and could use some rain for color which would hopefully stimulate the streamer fishing.
Despite the water dropping and clearing, the trout have been feeding and willing to chase a stripped streamer, even in the high sun. Smaller yellow and white flies were key and fish up to the high teen’s would come out of the wood and undercuts to take a look. Many fish are still feeding behind the few remaining spawning steelhead and in the dark pockets downstream of recently active spawning areas. Micro eggs, pheasant tails, hare’s ears, bead headed soft hackles fished under an indicator or Euro-nymphed. I’ve personally never tried the whole Euro thing but the guys who do it catch fish and the guys who are really good at it catch lots of fish and nice ones to boot.
A few balck stones, hendricksons and BWO’s have been hatching under the right conditions and hopefully we will have more consistent conditions to prompt bigger and better hatches coming down the line. Sulphurs should be going mid-late May, followed by gray drakes in late May, topped off by the mighty hex hatch in June. Throw in some olive stones, black quills and pteronarcys (salmonflies) and you will be prepared for whatever evening hatch is coming off.
The amount of salmon fry is still strong so fishing small minnow patterns along the undercuts near slow water or eddies will be a good tactic to entice a hungry brown. What many people mistake for a trout eating a dry is actually a “fry crash” when a trout slashes at a group of these tasty morsels making a splash that is very similar to a stonefly take (splashy, aggressive rise). If the water rises and gains color, go to a sink tip/full sinking line and larger streamers and pound the banks. If the water stays low/clear, nymphing will be the better route.
One last big thank you to all of our spring steelhead clients! We look forward to seeing you again this summer for trout. Have fun and enjoy spring in Michigan!
Kyle Hartman – Guide
Pere Marquette River Lodge
231 745 3972
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