Shop Hours are 8am to 6pm Daily
I would like to start this report by thanking everyone that helped us with the River Clean-Up this past Saturday! Both new and old faces joined the effort and we made a DIFFERENCE!!! The river is a better place from M-37 to Walhalla. Several sections had more then one boat with overlapping coverage. We also had some volunteers walking around popular access sites picking up those areas. We did not get everything, but we did get boat loads of trash out of the water, trees and off the banks. It’s nice to know people still care and are willing to put in the “effort” to improve and protect our amazing resource! It was a huge success due to YOUR hard work….THANK YOU!!!!
If you can’t tell….the river is fishing well for fall steelhead right now! The bump in water level I spoke about in my last report certainly did the trick! There are fresh fall steelhead throughout the river system. There have been some very impressive migrations this week! The fish are big, thick and HOT!!! We have had an absolute blast getting humbled by them with the occasional “Grip and Grin”. Lots of big jumps!!!
The river is back to it’s normal levels at the moment. Water temps will start to fall over the next week with colder nights forecasted. We are looking at a more “normal” weather pattern for the next 10 days (but that can always change). The season sure kicked off with a fast and furious pace which is not normal. Enjoy it while it lasts and we have great fishing! We have Guides and Lodging available…231-745-3529. My current open dates are: October 30, 31 & November 5, 6, 8, 14, 17, 21, 23, 26 – 30. Available to the first caller…not to mention Steve, John R, Kam and Donnie all have some openings as well.
Steve with a HOT buck that found the net!!!
We will be deploying several different techniques to target steelhead. Fly fishing (C&D, switch rods with floats, streamers…both stripped and swung) and Spin fishing (tossing hardware and drifting beads under floats)…we do it all! Most days we bounce between a couple different styles to see what’s working best. If you are NOT a fly fisherman…NO problem! If you prefer NOT to spin fish…NO problem! When booking a trip just communicate your preferred approach with the shop, so the guide will be prepared in the morning. Or take the guides advice…we have our finger on the pulse and will be out there daily.
Please be mindful of the regulation on the Pere Marquette…Everything up-stream of M-37 and the Baldwin River are closed until the last Saturday in April, from M-37 to Gleason’s Landing is “Flies Only/Catch & Release” (NO BEADS WHAT SO EVER), from Gleason’s Landing to Lake Michigan is open to all legal techniques (bait, hardware, beads and flies). We have been doing some bead fishing a little more and sell beads in the shop; but trying to educate/communicate where they can be fished.
The egg bite should remain strong for the next couple weeks. Light oranges, clowns, rag eggs in pale/washed out colors will be my go to patterns. Try matching the egg pattern or bead size to water levels and clarity…higher/dirtier water bigger fly and/or bead. Size #8 – 12 in egg patterns and 12mm – 8mm beads. The streamer action should start picking up for both steelhead and browns once the eggs become less abundant. Flashy stripped and swung patterns will get the attention of steelhead and browns, but more natural colors if you are just targeting browns.
Presentation is the name of the game! Presentation in all aspects; the drift, leaders & line, fly or bead color/size, hook size, mends, proper weight, proper depth of your floats, physically approaching the pool/run, casting a shadow…you get the point. But it all makes a difference in finding a player most days in low water. Tread lightly and stay off the run as much as possible to increase your odds. That is just my $0.02’s. Also, please try your best to respect your fellow anglers as well…boats floating by bring in your lines, have a sit and drift thru the entire run with the least amount of disturbance. Just a friendly reminder…that is the proper edict around here…it will be appreciated!
The more I read about dwindling salmon & steelhead returns out West, Alaska, the Eastern Great Lakes and even the Western Lake Michigan rivers…it’s up to us to protect the amazing Pere Marquette River! There has been a dramatic increase of anglers on the PM over the last 5-7 years. Let’s all try to do our part to protect and preserve this wild fishery…PLEASE catch and release our wild steelhead!!!
Good Luck out there!!! I hope to see you on the river or around the shop. Here we go!!! I am ready and excited for one of my favorite times of year…Fall Steelheading!!!