Common question: How do you best fish an 87 degree day in mid-April? Answer: Dunno…never seen this before.
Well, over the last few days, here is what we’ve learned: Not much! You nymph in the morning and streamer fish, fast!, in the afternoon. The BWOs that have been hatching sporadically all day are not on the water long enough to be of interest to the trout. The nymph fishing seems to die off midday. Why? Dunno! There will be small spinnerfalls of olives of little importance. In short, the water is cold (50s anyway), the air is hot, winter is long, and it’s good to be out there.
Now…things are about to change, and thank goodness for that. It’s going to stay warm into the weekend and then, not unexpectedly, it’s going to snow on Monday. Good! The BWO fishing is best when the air temps are in the mid-forties. The river temps have been in the mid to high 50s (hence the fast retrieve on the streamers). The cold won’t put off the bugs, except maybe on Monday…which might also be that rare day when the water temps are warm enough for the bugs to hatch and the air is too cold for them to fly away. Speculation. Optimism. Anyway, I’ll be there. Dry fly stuff is in my car. BWO box, nymph box, streamer box, and the hendrickson box.
Yes, the hendrickson box. I’ve not seen one, but the rumors have begun. And my experience is that the hendricksons generally show up about four or five days after the rumors (or, maybe more accurately, about five days after the BWOs begin to go full-swing). I’d expect we are fishing hendricksons toward the end of next week in their usual, early hatch spots.
Water levels have dropped all this week but they have not unexpectedly begun to plateau at just low enough for careful wading through much of the upper rivers including the Manistee and even a few spots on the South Branch. However, much of the South Branch, many portions of the Holy Waters, and the usual pinches of the Manistee are all dangerous to wade right now. I do think given the warm water temperatures and the change in weather that the streamer fishing for the boat anglers could be pretty darn good this weekend. White, yellow, shiny, and stripped fast. You won’t move a lot, but the ones you move are as full of fight and vigor and fat as you’ll see in April. The high water, mild winter, and warm week have done wonders for them. And for us. It feels good to be counting down the days until prime time.
Dinner this weekend, Season Begins Next Weekend: We’re serving dinners this weekend, April 14-15, a little precursor to our big opening, which is April 22nd: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner! We have a million projects right now trying to get ready. The gap between snow and season was especially short this year, but we’ll take it. See you soon!