There are decent numbers of salmon in the Pere Marquette River. There are also a lot of anglers and fishing can be tough because of it. This week should see an easing of pressure and more fish continuing to enter the system and move up. We’re seeing some worked up gravel already in the middle river and even spotting a couple fish that haven’t been raked off their nests yet. Remember, the more fish you release, the more fish there will be for the future. The Pere Marquette’s salmon fishery is 100% wild. If you’d like to harvest a fish, please think about harvesting small males only.
Flows just peaked last night a bit over 600cfs at Scottville which means fish should continue to move for a few days. Thundersticks are by far the best bet for getting a fish’s attention, however we’ve been working with a couple different streamer patterns that provide lateral line stimulation in a way similar to Thundersticks. Steve has been hard at work dialing in a foam bodied wiggle minnow pattern that definitely throws out a lot of vibration. These patterns also seem to bring out the aggressive side of even the smallest brown trout. Swinging streamers for fresh, early kings is not the most productive way to fish for them, but with these kinds of flies we have been able to stick a few fish with the two handed rod. A long, heavy sink tip is necessary to get these flies down into the fish’s zone. Our standard early king spey set up is an 8/9 weight 12-14′ rod, 550-650 grain skagit head, and 10-12′ of T14 or T17. More on rigging and fishing this setup later in the week.