A few weeks ago the jet stream finally shifted north, allowing southern warmth to move across the Midwest. This shift turned our area from tough winter to pleasant spring overnight, we saw a temperature swing of over 70 degrees (-20 to 50’s) in a few days. Because it had been so cold, for so long, it still took a few days for the PM to thaw and open enough to float boats.
The first flies into the river after the thaw were greeted with aggression from eager steelhead that probably hadn’t seen a fly for months. For winter fishing, it was very good but unfortunately it didn’t last long. With a lot of snowmelt trickling into the river each day, the water temps have remained cold.
This past weekend showed the first upswing in fishing with many groups of steelhead jumping on gravels, most of these are probably winter-over fish. We’re hoping that these winter fish will be replaced with a nice big batch of fresh spring chrome. Conditions are right for enticing steelhead to head-up-river with April just around the corner and higher water moving into Lake Michigan, water that is infused with all that good spawning scent.
Again the water temps are still cold but in the Flies Only through Walhalla stretch the river is just about perfect as far as level and color. I don’t have a reliable report from the lower river.
A few steelhead are being caught on streamers but the majority have been on eggs.