April 22nd, 2019 | Trout Opener
The trout opener is this Saturday, and we couldn't be more excited. All that means, is certain regulations change for certain rivers this weekend. Some rivers open up, and keeping trout in permissible rivers becomes legal. There are many trout streams that are "open" all year, but they are catch and release only during the off season. Check your local river for tackle restrictions, slot limits, access, etc etc. One fantastic resource for the trout angler is the all new Flyfishers Guide to Michigan.It's loaded with maps, access sites, fly patterns, and a brief history of each river. Great resource for exploring new water!
Right now it's 75 degrees outside, which will really jump start the fishing throughout the state. Water temperature is everything, and these last couple days have really warmed things up. For instance, the Muskegon has jumped 8 degrees in 6 days, which was badly needed. Other rivers are doing the exact same thing, which is a great setup for the opener. If you don't have one already, be sure to pick up a stream thermometer. It can give you an idea of what fish should be doing. Typically, trout are most active when the water is in the 50-60F degree water. Steelhead like it when its 40-50F.
All techniques are in play right now. Streamer fishing is still probably the most effective, but can be a test of mental stamina when the bite is off. Rob and Dane spent all day Saturday pulling streamers, and got one nice brown. With water temps increasing, their willingness to chase a streamer increases. Should be great very soon.
There are some dry flies going pretty strong currently, and by this weekend they will surly be even more prevalent. Blue Winged Olives and Stoneflies are predominantly what's hatching, with the Hendricksons on the brink. I can't imagine they will be hatching in any large numbers this weekend, but with this heat, it's very possible to see some sporadically hatching. Check out the Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity Line for all purpose trout applications. Super smooth, super stealthy, and super durable.
Nymphing is still the best way to get numbers of trout, albeit not the largest. Find any quick, rough water and suspend some nymphs in the water column, and you will be fine. We will be hosting a Euro Nymphing 101 class next Wednesday, May 1st at the Grand Rapids shop at 6pm. Call us during business hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot for this free class.
For the Steelhead angler, there are still some fish around, most of which are spawning and headed back to the lake. If you're looking for something totally different, try stripping streamers for the dropbacks. They hit a streamer nicely, and can be a good way to change it up from the typical indicator or bottom bouncing program.
On the Smallmouth front, conditions are rapidly improving. Our water here on the Westside of the state is still quite cold, since we had so much snowmelt occur over the last 2 weeks. Fish are still reluctant to chase streamers, but will be more likely pick up a crayfish or weighted leech. But with this heat, the prespawn bass will become much more aggressive. We got into a few of them over the weekend, all on the Crusty Craw fly pattern.
This Thursday April 25th through Saturday April 27th, the GR shop will have on hand sample products from Echo, Scott, Ross, and Abel. Come cast a rod, check out some reels, and take adavantage of some in store specials!!
We are also hosting a Fly Fishing 101 class this Wednesday at 6pm in the Grand Rapids shop. Call us during business hours to reserve a spot. Click HERE to see a full list of our 101 classes scheduled for the next couple months.
Here's a video Rob made a few years back that still gets us amped up. Filmed right here in the great stat of Michigan!
Thanks for the support! This trout season will be great! Get out and enjoy the warm weather after our brutal Winter!