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Anther quick one before the weekend. It “looks like” today and tomorrow are a little on the chilly side yet, but that hasn’t stopped some of the more serious anglers from catching (Or at least hooking and fighting! ;^) fish here recently and, after that, it’s looking like full on spring!!
We have some great guide dates available throughout the season for one or several of us and I am personally looking to fill a bunch of days between now and March 11th as I type this. (Look at the calendar below, call the shop, grab a day and lets go!! Tuesday is out, I gotta MRI) I was completely booked from March 12th thru Mid April, but some unavoidable circumstances forced some long time regulars to cancel out for this spring here recently and I now have the prime dates of March 31st/April 1st, April 10th and April 12,13 & 14 open to first call first serve!
On my trip with Rob the other day we hooked, fought and even landed a couple of fish from dark water and saw some bright new spring fish in the process, but we also saw a lot of fish that were reproducing once again.
We brought our fish to hand from the dark water sight unseen, but yes, there are and have been some anglers already who appear to be primarily actively targeting these fall and winter fish that are spawning. It’s a little early on in the season “in my book” to spend much if any time at all on that, but that’s a personal decision that you make for yourself or you and your guide make together.
Anyway, I refuse to be a complete hypocrite on the subject. I’ve certainly been known to take a few shots in passing with clients to see if there’s a hungry player among ’em (You should really know within a few shots if they’re moving to eat it or moving to get away from it!) and as the season progresses with less options available we tend to do so more often. Then there are those that once spotted, of course go with the good ‘ole “I’m just targeting those trout behind and around ’em bro!” maybe so, maybe not; just try not to judge that smile too harshly when they “accidently” hook a Steelhead in the process… ;^)
One thing to keep in mind while angling in the Pere Marquette, and a lot of people already know this whether they admit it or not, is that you are often times targeting actively spawning fish even in those deep dark “pools and runs” that you can’t see the bottom of. I’d say at least a good third if not half of our “dark water” spots we target Salmon and Steelhead in do have deep water redds in them that get well used by our migratory friends.
These are actually some of my favorite places to fish as they can and will hold a combination of both new fish, spawning fish and drop back fish, but the angler is never really sure which it is they’re after and, as a bonus, without the “visual” element present the tendency of some people to get “jumpy” seems to be much more avoidable.
Anyway, I digress, we probably saw somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty or so active redds in all during our full day float (Not that many really considering all the water we saw in light traffic.) with most spooking rather quickly into the cover nearby as we passed and the concentrations of fish/redds were in “the usual” predictable spots that already have some of the usual predictable boats launching quite early to get to them first… ;^)
The great news is that my own social media news feeds have been filling in nicely here lately with more and more bright new arrivals! Those fishing further down are hitting more of them of course, but it appears that they are scattering themselves thru the mid river more so now as well and some that are showing up top.
I’m not seeing any rain events in the near future to bring in a major push all at once, but that’s probably a good thing for a steady flow that everyone can enjoy. There is a decent amount of snow and ice pack at this point and I expect these days that are coming up in the 40s will melt enough to keep the water up a bit and conducive to fish movement. The water up high here is at “normal” levels, but further down is a little above just like we love it!
The egg bite is still on as one would imagine and it should stay that way as usual, but in all honesty I’ve caught all my trout recently on smaller nymphs and most of the Steelhead we’ve hooked have been the same. Black stones, hexes, sparrows, hares ears and even sac fry have all been productive.
I don’t have much more for you right now, but rest assured I’ll be out quite frequently now with or without guide trips and I will do my best to keep you up to date. Below here is some PMTU and Spring PM River Cleanup information for those interested…
As some of you already know and most of you don’t, I recently got roped into (Kidding, I actually accepted the invitation) a seat on the board of the Pere Marquette River Chapter of TU.
We have just completed a couple of erosion projects that you can read about in this link here (along with much more information and news) and we have a couple more in the pipeline now as well as some exciting opportunities for you to help out in your waders to be announced soon.
On top of all of that the two new water monitoring stations will very soon be converted to Fahrenheit and feet/inches! As soon as that is completed I will post permanent links or even embed them visibly here to the BBT site in addition to the USGS site in Custer as a more accurate reflection of the conditions up here. These stations are currently located just above M-37 and near Bowman’s bridge and there are tentative plans to add a couple more depending on the performance of those already installed…
Also, It has come to our attention that you should check your chapter if you are a current TU member and “think” that you have switched over to the PM Chapter. (This did not work as planned with many.) New members can just sign up as a PMTU member!
The annual banquet and fund raiser is right around the corner as well and on that note… Any and all donations for auction or raffle will be much appreciated!!! The date this year will be May 2nd and if you need another reason to come up for a conservation cause, BBT will be having the Spring River Cleanup on the same day with the banquet afterwards rather than the barn party. Come on up and do some good twice over!!! Hope to see you all there…
If you’re looking for a really great, possibly once in a lifetime deal, I have one for you and, I am looking for a few anglers to guide myself these weeks! We are offering 3 anglers for the price of 2 the weeks of July 18th to 25th July 25th to August 1st and August 1st to the 8th! (This works out to be about 2,664.00 per person for the entire week rather than the standard weekly rate of 3,995.00)
Here’s a short video some cubs playing at the mouth of Margot just because!
Contact me direct or leave a message for me with Karen at the shop if interested in this 2 for 3 deal, but don’t forget, BBT’s exclusive deal kicks in the very next week! (August 8th to the 15th when eggs could start flowing and the Silvers are showing!) Check this link for details and contact the shop on that. We have do have space available!
Tight lines all!