Fish Pics

Early Season Guide Special, March 25-April 10:  

Full day double + double occupancy room = $400

Full day single + single occupancy room = $375

Half day + single or double occupancy room = $325

03/23/2016  It was a good week for fish pics.  The river hit peak run-off (we think), receded, and the trout responded.  The snow melted.  The trout responded.  The air temp flashed in and out of the forties, and the trout responded.  We saw rises.  Midges. Stoneflies.  A few olive rumors.  The rainbows jumped onto their spawning beds.   It wasn’t awesome fishing.  But it was way better than it could have been.  It was plenty good enough.

So this gigantic spring snow currently falling is equal parts exciting and depressing.  Depending on what weather report you “trust”, we’re going to get somewhere between 6″ and 20″ by the time it’s over.  Hoping for six.  Looking like twenty.  Oh well.  That’s the bad news.

The good news is that it’s a blip on the radar, and by Saturday we start another spree of 40 and 50 degree days.  It’s worth being up here.  The river will be beautiful, dripping, and the trout should continue chasing streamers and eating nymphs.  It’s a good weekend and week for a float trip with a guide…or just a wade.

How do you chose a steamer?  Well…I don’t really know.  We’ve had them chase every color this past week, but it seems like light olive/cream/white have been the most consistent for me.  Ask a dozen folks, and you’ll get a dozen answers.  The streamer wall at the shop is full for this reason.


Andy G and Greg B found some fine trout today before the storm hit

By mid-week, I expect to see some decent blue wing olive hatches and that should put us right on track for a mid-April hendrickson hatch.  It’s soooo close now.  As it warms up next week, the variety of fishing improves.  I think the fish will eat stoneflies on the Manistee.  I think shallow water dry/dropper systems will work on the Holy Waters and the North Branch.  I think the trout, enjoying the warmer water temps, will chase smaller streamers.

River levels are good on the North and the Mainstream.  The South is very high still and will remain so.  The lower river is that wonderful rich red color and it’ll stay that way well into the spring….

I got out a few times this past week.  Last Thursday Matt and I took the skinny boat right into the teeth of a brutal south wind and, after a slow start, found a little window of feeding in the middle of the float.  Good enough, right?  Well, seeing those two trout rise to midges was even better.  160323_streamer

A picture-perfect brown trout

“Man, I like the little rivers so much more than the big water,” I said.

Then yesterday Alex, Matt and I fished the big water…and, well, that was fun too.  The highlight was the proverbial last-light, last-cast hook-up that felt like a 40-pound pike but ended up, sadly, as a nice big brown hooked square in the tail.  Saw eagles, buffleheads, deer, a lot of east wind, and a few trout.  Meanwhile, Kevin and Alex H were upstream and sent me this fish picture:


I look at the pics in this report and ask myself was it really that good?  All week, every day?  Nope.  Not even close.  Frankly, a more realistic report would be about 93 pictures of people casting and one picture of a trout.  But memories of 93 pictures of people casting isn’t what keeps me focusing on my next escape to the river on this big winter night.  It’s the chance that I might touch a ‘bow as bright as the one Jordan’s hand is slipping into the river.  The promise alone is enough to make me work hard to make it to the river.  That…and I know where he caught it.


Fortnightly Fly: It’s back.  The fly is a re-run…but new ones are coming soon!


Winter Rates: If you need to play hooky, give us a call.  We have guides and rooms available.  Our winter weekend room rates are $50/single and $75/double.




Previous Fishing Reports


It really is 92 in the shade.  We’re poling riverboats, not flats skiffs, and the trout don’t like the heat any more than any of us do.   The hex is

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