The DNR stocks Browns and Rainbows upstream of Wixom Rd. in early April. They are catch and release, artificials only until the last Saturday in April. On a random stretch of river you might get one or two fish while covering 100 yards of river.
Thursday evening I kayak fished 200 yards down from the launch at the Wixom Road Bridge, no fishing pressure but there and no good holes. I got two browns 11* and 15* inches. Actually they were about an inch shorter because they had no fins or stubs of fins. After getting next to no response on a couple of flies, a dark Brown #8 Mopworm Leech Jig got hammered by 3 fish, two of them getting securely hooked.
In past seasons, I have had 2 good days upstream in better holes on dark brown marabou leech patterns, a #8 bead head Wooly Bugger and a simple marabou leech. Early in April stripped streamers are effective. Later nymphs, sow bugs, and small midge patterns, dry or wet are good.
Friday I got 5 fish from the channel upstream of the dam below Proud Lake. Like a past trip there, a few fish would hit a #8 White and Pearl Marabou Minnow. Lots of fish in the hole right below the Dam but its not legal to fish there. A long poor stretch of shallower slightly quicker water below the dam until I got to the first marsh hole. It was packed with "rising" Browns. There was reed marsh behind the inside bend which allowed for a good back cast from the kayak anchored close to the reeds. Wading there looked difficult but maybe possible.
I got 11 browns, some of them big, on a #12 Brown Drake Swimming Nymph. The fly got really torn up but they were still hitting it. About the 5th fish that hit it was a huge (8lbs) brood stock brown that thrashed on the surface for several seconds until the #12 hook came loose under light pressure. The best presentation was a down an across swing with constant small crisp rod tip twitches instead of a steady draw. The Tug is the Drug. Some times I fed line out between strip taps to cover water further down stream. It seemed important to cast at a downstream enough angle so the fly would swim straight across or at a slight upstream angle while still drifting downstream. Once I wore out that retrieve, more hits would come if I varied it some how, mixing in 2 seconds of slack line drift or making more vigorous or rapid twitches.
I put on a big #6 Foam Lip Klinkhammer Hex. Skimming it smoothly across the surface, down and across got nothing. Using the same downstream swing and quick twitchs quickly got 2 fish on the surface. That was so cool. I missed hooking up on 3 more hits further downstream in slightly shallower water but the fly was waterlogged and I had to twitch harder and faster so the foam lip would keep it up on the surface. Some dry fly dope, a small net and a ketchum release would all have been very helpful.
I put on the #8 Brown Mopworm Leech Jig and got another 13 browns on various similar down and across twitch and swing drifts.
Two of the trout above the dam and one from the marsh hole were rainbows, all the rest were browns. Barbless hooks worked well hooking and holding fish. Small 4.0 mm 3.5mm brass bead head patterns worked well adding some jig action without diving down into the weeds on the bottom. Only used barbed hooks for the 2 dry fly fish and the first 5 fish on the #12 bead head Swimming Brown Drake.