Monday, February 27, 2017

All is back to normal on the Muskegon and Lake Michigan Tributaries- Perfect flows & temps

(Early March Red-bander and chrome bonanza is here!)
PERFECT!... is the one word to describe the current state of affairs on the Muskegon and other Lake Michigan steelhead and brown trout tributaries .They are prime to set the stage for a nice long spring run like we have been accustomed to for decades.
The recent nights that dropped the air temps into the upper teens and 20's, along with almost two inches of rain that other places in the Appalachians would kill for, has put our river at "prime ' stage for a nice long March thru May period.
River flows at 5400 cfs this morning is optimal for bringing a ton of fresh steelhead into the river system, cloaked by the stain waters and not killed and over-harvested in the lower system which is usually the case in lower water levels. 
It will also move resident and lake-run browns around and hungry for the grab. 
( my client Jeb from VA last week- we landed three browns in 4 days between 22- 24  inches- one 26 incher, last week- and many more in the 15-16 inches- can't wait for the stoneflies and mayflies to hatch!)...for those itching for mischief,  brown trout season doesnt open for harvest until the last week in April- 8 weeks from now FYI
The bump in flows will trigger the lateral lines and send migration into over-drive.
Soon the baby salmon sac fry will hatch with the warming temps- We should see an excellent crop this year based on the large size of Chinooks last fall ( best in size in 6 years IMHO). So the larger the fish, the more efficient nest builder and larger number of successfully laid eggs in deeper water water redds that have a higher hatch to fry success ratio. All good mouth candy for browns and steelies alike.
 Finally, river temps are back down to 35F this morning with two spill gates pouring ice cold waters to slow the spawning down. Gates are also pouring in tons of ice stunned baitfish from the reservoirs.
As good, as it gets!, despite the roller coaster- hot/cold weather we have had.
NOTE: We still have some good dates available this spring and would love to have you!
Happy and safe Fat Tuesday!