Sorry for the long delay in reports…not much to discuss that was really news worthy.  But March is here and spring steelheading has kicked off on the Pere Marquette River for another season.  The weather has been pretty unpleasant, but things are looking better after the next couple days.  We have experienced unseasonably low temps with lots of snow packed in the woods for a big spring run-off event.  Personally, I hope we have a nice slow & steady warm up….but only time will tell?

The shop is ready to burst at the seams with new inventory and even more being delivered daily.  We will be updating our spring hours this week…stay tuned for more details.  Our guides schedules are filling up for March, but there is still some prime dates available.  Please call the shop to book a guided trip or Lodging at our Motel…231-745-3529.  Here are my personal open dates for Guide trips – March 8 & 10 April 7, 9, 12, 15, 16 & 19 – 30…subject to change; first come first serve.

The river is currently low and clear in the upper sections.  Still some ice in the lower stretches, but hopefully that will be opened up in a week or so?  Be extremely careful launching/retrieving boats and just getting in/out of the river when wading.  There is a very thick layer of ice on the rivers edge.  The days are getting longer and the sun load will begin to warm the water each day.  Hexes, stones, green caddis and PM blondes are productive at this time of year….plus, brighter colored eggs like steelhead orange, chartreuse nukes, clowns and estaz nuke eggs.  As soon as the water warms into the upper 30’s, look for some winter fish to start spawning and new spring fish to start trickling into the system.  There are good numbers of fish around right now, but cold clear water is challenging.

I have been extremely busy tying flies, preparing gear for the guide season, placing orders for the shop; so I am ready to spend some quality time on the river.  Spring is always a very special time of the year.  It’s the beginning of a new season…the fishing season!!!  The next ten months will keep us searching, looking, learning for our next tug.  I am looking forward to making some new memories, catching up with clients in the boat, reliving fish from the past and meeting each new day.  Every days float is a new adventure…You never fish the same river twice and ever bend, run and riffle has many stories!  I am ready to explore the events of the future and see what the river will provide in 2019.  “I got a feeling!!!!!”


The river has many caretakers and protectors.  A couple well known conservation groups in the area will need some help funding a project in the next year…The Pere Marquette Watershed Council and The Pere Marquette Trout Unlimited Chapter are in the process of a large bank stabilization project to protect the river from a potential train derailment.  It has taken years of planning, engineering studies, collaborating agreeable solutions from all involved parties and we think we are almost there!  The site is in the upper fly water.  The project will soon begin the permitting process; which will get the ball rolling to have official approval.  However, we will be having some fundraising events, so please stay tuned and spread the word.  Here is a link to a recent news story from 9 & 10 News  Please contact the PMWC if you would like to help in any way…thank you!!!

Look for new updates much more frequently throughout the season.  See you out there, good luck & have fun!!!

John Karakashian