Every year I fish the opener, and every year the rivers get healthier. The fishing gets better. It's been a great recovery for Lake Michigan from the late 1950's & 60's when I don't think there was a big game fish left. Sure there were bass and perch along the rocky shore lines but that was all. The trout and salmon through "we the people" have made it back from the grasp of near extinction. The younger generation has worked diligently to protect our forest and streams. Protect it, savor it. Thus the 2014 trout season begins!
The rain stopped for a few days this past week and the larger trout rivers dipped inside their banks to give us a cool, sunny Sunday for the 2014 trout opening weekend. Cool temperatures will push big bug hatches into late May delaying my beloved dry fly season. Today's the time for Steelhead trout fishing.
I took the opportunity to walk the river banks talking to fly fishermen working the runs to get their stories. I find myself observing and recording life along the river with my camera in hand and my fly rod still cased only yards away. Spending time with the very content fly fishing crowd on rural rivers seems to satisfy my need for a backwoods adventure after a long pent up winter in the ole cabin.
The Sturgeon River was clear and very fishable. There was not a lot success among the masses, but the experienced fishermen knew the game well. Years of chasing giant Rainbows along with the knowledge of a rivers secret holds near redds for trout is the key for spring Steelhead. It is a quiet time of the year this far north in the lower peninsula of Michigan, however the trout were spawning.
I was surprised by the water clarity. The fact is the river was just on the upper edge of the banks and had receded in just the last few days, the silting by the spring melt off is over. Many hunting & fishing camps have come alive. Outdoor sportsmen traveled to the Jordan, Boyne, Bear, and Black rivers to enjoy a long anticipated slow start of the trout season. Late afternoon brings warmth to the river and the action begins.
Brandon LaBlanc, his father and fly fishing buddies (a very nice bunch of guys) spent the weekend at their fishing camp doing what most people can only dream.
Brandon's beautiful hook jaw, male Rainbow trout (picture) will make his trip up north from Saginaw a memorable one.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.