It has been a very interesting couple weeks. Thank you for keeping me busy and out on the river. As soon as the water level was getting to the perfect level and color, Mother Nature parked a cold front on us (and most of the country). Anyways, the cold weather and snow dropped the water temps which adds to the challenge of steelhead fishing! There are fish throughout the system. Covering water and fishing a little slower will pay-off. The fish will acclimate to the temps, and once the weather starts to warm up…LOOK OUT!!!
Current shop hours are 7am to 5pm seven days a week…feel free to call for current conditions and/or make a reservation. My current open dates are November 16 – 22, 26 December 3 – 5. First come, first serve; however, we still have plenty of availability between Steve, John Robinson, Donnie and Kam…our expanded guide staff will cater to ever need and technique requested. Plus, Kam is happy to do trips on the Muskegon and Grand. Give us a call 231-745-3529.
The nymph bite is gaining some strength, but egg patterns will always catch fish. Hexes, olive damsels, stones and sparrow nymphs have all hooked some fish recently. Cream clowns, standard clowns, estaz nukes and chartreuse nukes have been on my rods daily. Keep changing it up and don’t be afraid of running different fly combinations through productive pools/runs. Even though it is still November; fish like it’s December (cold water).
The streamer game is always a good option in cold water. Sometimes a big flashy object gets them moving (or crackbaits and spinners for that matter). Whether your stripping streamers (slow and low) or swinging on a switch rod…work slow and methodical. Stripping streamers can be a challenge in cold air temps (ice in the guides), however swinging is great in the cold since wet line is never in the guides. Sometimes these fish strike because they are mad…bright/flashy streamers get in their heads. Give it a try sometime!
The weather has many anglers packing it up until spring, but it is an awesome time to be on the river. The old saying is true…”there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear”. Gear up and enjoy the challenges/rewards of steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette River. Weather you want to fly fish or toss some lures around; we would love to take you down the river and share our passion with you. We have heaters in the boats and we do offer 1/2 days if you prefer a shorter float…give us a call.
The extended forecast looks more promising after this weekend, but regardless I will be out as much as possible. Embrace the conditions and get outside! January and February are not far off. The next warm up (forecasted for next week) will fire things back up big time!
Good luck and be safe!