Manistee River Fishing Report: April 2016

LarryRaney N ot only does April bring spring steelhead here on the Manistee but it also brings longer warmer days and high water because of run off and rain. A good thing about run off and rain is that we start getting new fish on each high-water event, but it also can make things a little more challenging because of muddy water. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

There has been a fair number of fish around up to this point so things should be good this spring. We still employ many of the same methods in April as we do in the winter months, but that can change daily with varying water conditions. The most commonly used technique is bottom bouncing especially in the high dirty water. You can do this either with spinning gear or fly gear; it’s a personal preference.

At the beginning of the month, you can catch them in the holes and runs where they are holding as they make their migration to the spawning gravel. As the month goes on we are targeting them more on the gravel but also spending time each day fishing the runs for drop backs and new arrivals.

Trout beads, yarn flies, spawn and lymph patterns, such as stone flies, green caddis, hex nymphs and small salmon fry patterns all work well. Most steelhead anglers look forward to this time of the year. It’s a great time to be out on the river. So dust of the rod, check your waders for leaks and load your vest, and get out and enjoy a day on one of the many steelhead rivers Michigan has to offer. Tight Lines and High Fives!