A photo posted by Mangledfly (@mangledfly) on
- Late season steelhead fishing has been about as close to “great” as I’m about as comfortable saying. Mixture of warmer than normal temps and some much needed precipitation brought the west side of Michigan a pretty impressive run of steelhead the last couple weeks. Make sure to check out the river reports for the Manistee River and Muskegon River
- Jan 14th mark your calendars and stop by the new West Michigan Fly Show. A pretty impressive group of talent talking and this new show.
If you have heard me talk about smallmouth the past couple years you know all about the crabbing technique, well the annual spring minnow hatch (salmon fry) has started on the most of our western streams, steelhead and trout are taking notice. Using the same techniques that I use for smallmouth (chapter 3 of the DVD) , only instead of using a crayfish or hellgrammite pattern, but fishing with a 1-2″ minnow pattern and a float (bobber) can bring a couple extra fish a day. One of the perfect size steelhead jigs that I’ve found is made by Wapsi, I like them in 1/32 size 6 or 1/16 size 4. Here is a link to FishUSA. I powder paint mine to match the colors that I like, white, pink, light blue, and black. But fishing a small baitfish pattern near the bottom dead drift style in the spring is worth the little extra effort.
The rain had finally stopped, I had the camera set up with the proper ISO, rapid fire was engaged, and my 70-200 with IS was ready. But this steelhead just would not leave the comforts of the river. As water temps have dropped into the 40’s now (48 yesterday). My season of capturing the ultimate jump shot is shrinking. Oh well.
On a positive note last weeks swing game was great. This week I’m looking forward to the challenge of high water. Yesterday with water levels going from 1700 to 2500 cfs we still found a handful of players. Once water levels maintain for a few days and I dial in the color combo’s, I expect a good week on the streamer game again.
With everything about perfect right now to swing flies. Perfect river temperature, plenty of steelhead around, and the desire of anglers and guide. The fly tying bench has been getting some serious use the past couple days. Shot this photo with the use of a UV light to bright up the egg sucking head of this leech pattern. More photo’s of patterns and successful steelhead trips coming soon.