Saturday, January 23, 2016


                                                    ( January's "wolf howling" full moon)
If any of you have read my 'Steelhead Dreams' and 'Selectivity' books, you know the importance I place on full moon cycles for fresh migrating winter steelhead and lake-run browns. Also it "jumps up" the biological drift a notch and puts resident trout on the a/a bite.

Couple this with a winter thaw from a sub/near zero Fahrenheit period and things start moving and coming alive.

The moon deals with the fish's pineal gland and the lessening of melatonin  secretions, thus promoting' around the clock migration'- aggressive/active feeding responses by resident trout. The thaw gives a slight bump in river flows from snow melt and sunny days. Thus fresh chrome steelhead and holdover darker fish start moving up the system in a sort of "winter awakening" period.

(Gene Kelly/Boston and the Steelhead Princess- Grace Smith/OH both with  three nights into a 'howlin wolf' full moon from years past-  even though sub zero conditions , the fresh chrome  fish were ignoring temps when the hormonal/endocrine system dominates behavior). 
So, if you are in the hunt for a trophy 'pre-spawn' winter steelhead leviathan, now is the time to get out. Your best bet will be to focus on biological drift items: stone fly nymphs and  larvae, burrow leaving hexagenia wigglers, small bait fish/sculpin leeches etc.- and the proverbial egg patterns. If you are a swinger , focus on the duller natural motifs with some bling/flash used as suggestive colors along with the pinks and fuchsia reds .
The daylight hours are already on the positive increase side. Her , coupled with a full moon and thaw greatly increases the bio drift of stones, midges, scuds- which all in tune spark the trout's feeding from a dark window of semi- passive dormant behavior as a general rule' life survival strategy' rule. My records indicate wiggling black and olive stones to start downstream migrations with this moon cycle. Midge activity will be in full phase along with strong scud activity along the shorelines.

( Winter scud eater on the Muskegon for my lucky client)

It could be possible that our Polar Vortex was very short lived this winter- watching a Bundesliga Soccer match from Germany it was 40F there today- very unusual for Germany at this time and global warming -like!
cheers!- we are taking 2016 spring booking and will be on the water all winter with these 'balmy conditions'.