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Ain't nothing like a chrome-colored springtime steelhead!

This has nothing to do with this report other than the fact I wish spring, and spring fishing, were here right now! This, by the way, is a smallie being caught on Torch Lake.

All waters of the area
Friday April 3, 2009

So far, early spring’s still feeling like late winter in NW Lower Michigan; it’s snowing, and accumulating, as I type. What this cold weather means for fishing here in the Traverse City area is lake fishing is nil and void as most inland lakes, as well the shoreline areas of East and West Grand Traverse Bays, are still frozen with a too-thin-to-fish layer of ice. My boat, the “Miss Guided” still sits in the pole barn.


HOWEVER! That doesn’t mean there’s not fishing to be had… There are steelheads in many of the rivers of this corner of the state.


I had the chance to hit the upper Platte River as well the Betsie River this past Wednesday, April 1, and landed two beautiful chrome-colored hen steelheads, as well saw several others caught.


 The Betsie River by far had the most fish. I fished during the late-morning/early-afternoon, from Homestead Dam down a few bends. The water was a little high and you could see through the stained water down to about a foot-and-a-half.


 My winning combo was a tiny pink (shrimp) and white-colored yarn fly on a size-8 octopus-style hook, on 10-pound-test line, drift fished with just enough weight so that my sinkers just “ticked” bottom ever so often. Both fish, a 7-pound spent hen, and a 5-pound hen still tight with skein, came on this rig. The weather was cold, and the fish seemed to be in the lower section of the deeper holes and runs this day.


 There’s been good numbers of fish in the Betsie over the past week or so, with reports of good numbers of fish, most all fresh from Lake Michigan, being taken in this ever-popular midsection between Homestead Dam and the US 31 Bridge.


 The Big Manistee, too, has been producing steelhead. Tippy Dam is hit and miss depending on the day, with water temperature and flow rate depicting where in the system the fish will be. My guide buddies who do the drift boat thing have been getting 3 to 10 fish per day, especially in the water from Tippy Dam down to High Bridge.


 Although there are some fish, the Boardman River is not producing as well as the rivers to the west and south of Traverse City. The, Elk River, too, needs some time.


 'Till we meet again… BE SAFE ON THE WATER!

 Dave ~ WildFishing

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