Pere Marquette fishing report -Feb 18th

After 80% of our snow melted last week and the sun came out, we got hit yesterday and last night with a good bit of snow and colder weather. Though highs are forecast for the mid 20s today, mid 30s by Wednesday. A lot warmer than a couple weeks ago. The river is back up just barely over 1000cfs. And with the lower river opening up and more fish coming in daily on the high water, things are really shaping up around here. We even saw some worked up gravel and spawned out steelhead last week.

Steve and I hit the lower river at the end of last week and were happy to see that some of it was ice free. It was fairly warm but blowing light rain hard all day. Turns out 45 and sunny is a lot warmer than 55 with wind and rain, but apparently not to the fish. We swung flies and had two grabs, two hook ups, and put one in the net. Water temps were in the magical upper 30s, maybe even lower 40s, range where the chrome steelhead are hard to tame. A welcome change from the way steelhead slowly roll their way back to the boat in 32 degree water. The fish we landed made four, count ’em four, good drag screaming runs on us. We had grabs on a black and pink arctic fox pattern and grabs on a fairly flashy black bunny leech with an orange ice dub head.

We’ve put together a short video of swinging for winter steelhead on the Pere Marquette River and will have it here tomorrow.

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