April 9th, 2019 | Redd Hot Action
Lots of steelhead spawning right now, and naturally, lots of people. Seems like every water type has been holding fish; holes, runs, trenches, gravel etc etc. Even though there are lots of visible fish spawning, it's guaranteed there are more around them you cannot see. It's fair to say the run is at peak right now. Not sure if there are more fish on the way, but safe to say the majority of the herd is here, doing their springtime gig. The incoming cold rain could change things drastically. It could possibly draw another wave of fish in, but more than likely it won't since it seems most fish seem to be inland? Hard to say.
If anything, it will slow the migration slightly, and will extend the spawn well into May, even June on some rivers. One fun activity that is often over looked is the dropback streamer program. Often times these fish are emaciated after the rigorous spawn, and on their journey back to the lake, they are aggressive and will hit streamers nicely. Need a new streamer rod? Check out some of our favorites:
Small nymphs like stoneflies and caddis have been productive, almost more so than eggs. Salmon parr have been fantastic too. With the warmer water, 10lb fluoro is a good option since they go ballistic when hooked, unlike the winter when they are a little more manageable. Make sure your knots are seated tightly, there's a tendency for fluoro knots to pull out under high tension.
Check out our page on how to rig up for Steelhead HERE
Grand River has lots of fish, as well as it's many tributaries. Water is still fairly cold, but plenty of fish around to make the trip worthwhile. The Muskegon has just recently gotten better with a recent push of fish in the last few days. The PM has an absurd number of steelhead in it, as well as boats and people. The Manistee is fishing very well too. Sixth Street Dam is passing fish daily. Basically there are fish everywhere you go.
Trout bite has been really good behind the gravel, mainly on eggs and small nymphs. The trout really take advantage of the free forage drifting down that has been lodged in the rocks all winter. Seems like they aren't directly behind the steelhead redds though, but a considerable distance downstream, nearly 20 yards down or so. Sometimes we get the sense that the resident trout get spooked by the steelhead, and end up hiding from and avoiding them. We are not finding them in spots you would expect. They are in super soft and slow water, keeping their distance from these gigantic steelhead that have recently invaded their turf. It's odd because this doesn't happen so much with the fall salmon, as they are often sitting directly alongside the kings in the fall. Not sure why, maybe it has to do with water temperature. But point being, the trout are sitting in some weird water types right now. But regardless, they are out and feeding, and provide some solid fun.
The stonefly hatches have been good on warm sunny days. The weather is slow to warm up, but seems like we are officially into a decent weather pattern, although it would be nice to get more of those 70 degree days like last weekend. Somehow, there is a huge blizzard system forming in the Midwest, and we will get some of it in the next couple days. It's pretty frustrating to say the least, but that's how it goes in the Spring.
Also want to extend a huge THANK YOU for all the support lately. Both shops have been slammed with anglers wanting to get out on the water and enjoy the nice weather. Everyone is very anxious to get out and hit the water, and we sincerely appreciate of all the support. Hope to see more of y'all soon!
Also, if you haven't seen, we did a quick video with Matt Grajewski of Adaptive Fly tying his Devil Dancer.