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brown trout

Finished Huron Drifter

Here is a link below to the Finished Huron Drifter on their Facebook page,  if you followed along in the building process post. A don’t be worried I’ll be taking many more water pics with this craft in the coming months.  Happy with how she turned out, thank you Jason and Tracy for all your hard work.  Any questions about this boat give Tracy a call, let them know I sent ya, you will be well taken care of.

Jon Ray

Late Fall and Early Winter Steelhead Fishing

  • Late Fall / Early Winter steelhead fishing is off to a great start make sure to check out the Manistee River steelhead report, with strong winds and some much need precipitation this past week steelhead were on the move.  Along with the Mansitee River, another great tailwater to fish this time of year is the Muskegon River.  Both rivers offer great steelhead fishing the month of December .

 

 

steelhead mangled fly

Steelhead Mangling a Fly

One of the original sculpin patterns that Kevin Fenestra showed me so many years now getting Mangled up by a nice Manistee River Steelhead.

Big Manistee River meat eater. #mangledfly #sonargetdown #korkerslife #seewhatsoutthere #hedronflashabou

A photo posted by Mangledfly (@mangledfly) on

salmon fry

Fishing Salmon Fry

Each year, in February and March, salmon fry pop out of the gravel and quicky grow to be an inch in length.   They feed on anything, including the remnants of their ancestors.    As this process begins, they become a food source for everything else in our rivers, including all manner of fish, birds, etc.    Steelhead feed heavily on salmon fry, and there are things about these fry that make them vulnerable to a predator like a steelhead.

Often times, water is high in the spring.     When water levels become high, the fry are pushed to the edges of the river.   Any run that holds steelhead near the edge of the river in these conditions will be a great place to look for a steelhead on a fry pattern.

Notice from the picture above the prominence of the eye in the salmon fry.   Your fly must exhibit this trait if it is going to be effective.   This is especially true if you are fishing the fry pattern as a nymph.   The slow nymphing presentation will make the fish picky about whether the fly has this one prominent feature.

Fry patterns can also be morphed into good swung fly patterns.   Because they are prone to be towards the surface of the river,  a small swung fly that is the shape of the fry, but not necessarily the same color, works great throughout the spring.    A small black and copper leech, for example, the size and shape of a fry, is deadly during the spring.       Often times it pays to swing small and colorful flies in the spring.

This is a typical night of tying for me at this time of the year; fry patterns in one form or another are always on the menu.   You can tie the thorax of these patterns any color, but pink always seems to work the best.      Typically, some of the holographic colors of flash work well on sunny days, as they make the fly twinkle in the current.

As the salmon fry head downriver and grow to a larger size, the process is repeated as steelhead and sucker fry emerge later in the spring.   These are on the menu of steelhead, brown trout, and every other predator too.

Thanks for reading this post!   Get out on the river and enjoy spring-like fishing conditions!

Kevin Feenstra

February Steelhead

Had the chance to guide the past couple days for spring steelhead.  Felt so good to get back on the water and do what I love to do.  Also I will not lie yesterday’s sun felt so so good.  Bill pictured below with a very nice Michigan spring lake-run rainbow.

 

Manistee River Winter Steelhead – Picture of the Day

manistee_river_fishingHad the opportunity yesterday (Sunday, January 19th) to take Ben and John out for a little half day steelhead trip.  While getting out on the river has been a little more difficult than I’m used to this winter, the fishing still remains pretty rock solid.  With some of the best weeks of the winter/early spring season just ahead of us.  Have always been a fan of the February.  Days growing longer and no spring crowds.

 

Great Lakes Catch and Release – Picture of the Day

Enjoying a personal day on the river, trying to find some different angles to capture the release of a great fish, the Great Lakes Rainbow.

Great Lakes Steelhead Sticker available for a holiday stocking stuffer.

Season of the Red-Side

Early season (late Sept – Novemeber) is all about the chrome, but now as winter sets in.  This year especially with mother nature giving us plenty of snow and cold so far, the red-strips are making a strong appearance.   Big bucks with single and double strips are starting to show up in our catches.  Yesterday in the snow this big buck gave us his best, and his rosy checks just plain stood out.

Winter steelhead fishing is truly in full effect and plenty of fish around for a great day.  Check out the fishing reports at hawkinsflyfishing.com as we play through out the winter.  Give me a call or shoot me an email if your interested in a full or half day.