The first part November in the Lower Pere Marquette may not be as good as a typical fall steelhead run depending on water levels. We have had a lot of rain, and the river is stained and higher than normal. With high dirty water, the fish tend to make their way upstream further than Walhalla. Our best fishing on the lower river is when it is low and clear, and we get rain. They come in and feed and then drop back to the lake. With the higher water levels, I suspect the fish that are already above Walhalla may stay the winter up there until the spring when they spawn and return to the Lake Michigan.
Normally the water levels drop in mid-November, and that should be our best fishing time for steelhead in the lower river. For the first part of the month before the water gets cold, pay attention to the current seams and bubble lines. When the water drops below 40 degrees, fish will hold in slower, deeper pools. The fish we are catching are good size, fat, and sassy. In the Ludington area, we did not have good water set up for steelhead fishing this summer, and I suspect the run this fall will be one of the best ones in many years. What section of the PM will fish the best this fall is the question. Standard egg flies, spawn, or beads will be the best baits. Make sure you give the best fish Michigan has to offer a try this fall, the steelhead are actively feeding and very aggressive. See you on the water.
Capt. Sean McDonald
Katch Me Charters