Weather Notes: We’re serving dinner this Saturday (menu at bottom of report) and our tight-line nymph class is still a go!  

Last week when I wrote the fishing report, the forecast for this weekend was excellent.  There’d be olives!  And rising fish!  Now we have a storm that seems the direct spawn of the Snow Queen racing across the upper Midwest and bringing with it either a) lots of rain and wind, b) lots of snow and wind, c) lots of ice and wind, or d) all of the above, and wind.  As ice and wind tend to knock out power, tomorrow will be spent readying alternative heat sources to keep water flowing.  Today then was for flowing water.

Mayflies are princesses, and they like things to be just right.  If you are a mayfly person, this April has not been right for them, or for you.  If you are a streamer angler, what’s another day of cold hands and wet hats?  Not much.  And still worth it.

Matt and I hitched the raft and headed down the river.  We launched into snow and finished in the sun.  The banks trickled in fresh water from last week’s snow.  The river though was very low.  There were wood ducks everywhere: flushing from the woods, flushing from the river, flushing way up in the flooded beaver runs.  We fished yellow and olive at first, moved some fish, changed colors, didn’t move some fish, switched back…and stuck with it.

We cast at the wood and spooked trout from mid-river until we decided that maybe we oughta — duh —  fish the middle.  It was a downstream cast and a strip across the deep water.  Not as exciting as drawing them from the wood.  But more exciting than not drawing them from the wood.  We actually had a pretty darn good day.

Glad I caught this trout, now grab me that chainsaw…

In the early afternoon I thought I saw a bwo…but then decided it was two midges conjoined.   In fact we had a dandy midge hatch.  It was the kind of midge hatch that on a tailwater would be something special.  South Branch trout don’t play like that, though.  Of course no trout rose.  They’re midges!  These fish wait for bigger and better things.  Someday that’ll be a mayfly and that’s worth waiting for.  Today it was a streamer, tied in a sculpin shape, and fished on the strip.  Good enough.

And I guess that’s what we’re going to have to live with this April.  It’s good enough.  Meaning that if this were January, everyone would be up here fishing.  Perspectives are always good to keep, but during a Michigan April, they’re necessary.  So if you want a great day of streamer fishing, or want to nymph a couple of runs, it’s better now than it was in January.  And if that’s not a sign of spring, then I don’t know what is.

April is the Cruelest Month Dinner, Saturday, April 14, 5 pm – 7:30 pm

This week we’ll be serving another “off-season” dinner to help keep the chill off and, you know, give us something to do.  Last week’s dinner was awesome.  We were rolling pasta to order and eating well.  Please call for reservations.


Baby Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Raspberries $7
Creamy Ham and Potato Soup with Sharp Cheddar $4/7
Steamed Pork Dumplings with Maple-Black Bean Dipping Sauce $7
Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Butter and Crostini $12
Dry-Aged Wagyu Porterhouse for Two with Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli and Peppercorn Jus $48
Carbonara Tortellini with Sweet Peas, Bacon and Spring Onion $17
Fresh Lodge-Made Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp or Chicken $14/19
Hot Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel and Toffee $6