Big Manistee Steelhead, April 22, 23, 24

Lots of Steelhead and fishermen in the river but by Sunday the crowds were gone.  Fish are spawning and eating eggs.  All colors of beads and jigs in brown in were working well.  High water levels have made fishing difficult and protected the fish.  The water rose to 2550 fps Friday. steady at 2500 Saturday, steady at 2400 Sunday and Monday.  Water temperature climbed to 47 degrees by Sunday evening but may come down a bit  with the next few cold days.  Expect lots of Steelhead and low crowds in the big rivers for the next few weeks.   Steelhead stay in the river until the water temperature hits 60 degrees. 

Friday I got 3 for 4 on various Brown Jigs. The first fish hit a White Nuke Minnow Jig and got off after a long fight when I pulled too hard.

Saturday, 1 fish on a day of difficult crowns, bad for bobber fishing with a downstream wind, and me not doing a good job presenting jigs or beads. 

Sunday 8mm Pale UV Yellow Glow Bead got the most hits with other colors getting a few hits.  I simplified  down to a single 8mm bead only 12 inches from the point BB shot, then 18 more inches to clustered big shot.  This got the bead down to the fish quickly before turbulent currents or bad wind could spoil the drift.  I fished in close where the center pin tackle could be most effective to control for a good drift in the fast, turbulent water I was fishing.  Hooked and fought 6 fair hooked fish in strong currents, but only landed 2.  Had more hits that got shook off quickly.  I foul hooked 4 or more fish that got off the hook quickly.  This Smallmouth bass broke the skunk and hit a bead retrieved quickly upstream near shore.

The last fish taken on the bright chartreuse bead also had a chartreuse yarn fly hooked in his mouth.



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