February 5th 2024

Grand River Fishing Report, Muskegon River Fishing Report, Pere Marquette River Fishing Report, Rogue River Fishing Report -

February 5th 2024

Well folks, for the first time in a couple years Punxsutawney Phil popped out of his burrow and was unable to see his shadow - it looks like spring will be here before we know it.   Now if that isn’t great science, I don’t know what is.  All sarcasm aside, this winter has had its ups and downs and for a minute I figured we’d all be glued to our vises for what can feel like eternity in the winter.  Now with all these mild days coming, I’m finding it harder and harder to spend hours each day focusing on the commercial fly tying that I do every winter. 

Truth be told, I’m terrible at keeping logs, notes and records on my fishing excursions.  I’ve tried and always fail miserably by the time the spring hatches start rolling.  However, the current weather reminds me of the year I experienced in 2017 when we were fishing the early black stone fly hatch on local water by Valentines Day.  Could this be a similar year?  As a dry fly angler, will you be able to find solitude away from the crowded steelhead rivers this February / March?  Time will tell, but with this weather pattern we are currently experiencing, my mind can’t help but wander off to those old memories of happy winter time risers…

Early last week we were experiencing some especially large flows in the Rogue River.  However, at this point the river is dropping steadily and trending its way into safer wading conditions.  I have heard reports over the last few days of a mixture of winter holdovers and a couple fresh fish being caught in this system.  I even talked to a guy who swung up a sucker and if I remember the story correctly, it bumped him on three separate presentations for an obviously disappointing conversion.  If you’re planning to fish the Rogue carrying flies like hex nymphs, wiggle stones, steelhead buggers and caddis patterns is a great call. 

Personally, I have been spending much of my time on the Pere Marquette over the past week.  The inflated flow from the snowmelt helped set up for some great trout and steelhead fishing over the few times I was able to visit.  Nymph fishing was the name of the game, with a large majority of fish being caught on alevin imitations.  Stonefly and caddis patterns caught fish too, but the alevin accounted for probably 75% of the bites.  Flies like the bruiser sac fry and chicken little are very simple to tie and incredibly effective once alevin are present in systems that see large salmon runs. 

If you’re heading up there soon, definitely carry a selection of egg flies along with you.  I haven’t noticed any active spawners, nor caught a drop back yet, but did see a few fresh redds sprinkled about last week.  Targeting large brown trout below active steelhead can be an exciting game to play once the next round of egg buffet really begins.  With this weeks air temp trending upwards, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the fall fish start cutting gravel and begin spawning.

The fly shop is well stocked with plenty of tying materials, flies, gear, lines, etc.  We hope to see you before your next fishing excursion.  Have a great February!