We are starting our 3rd month of Atlantic Salmon in the lower river and it sure has been an excellent run this Fall since early October. Currently the majority of the spawning is over and the Atlantic Salmon are still in the are looking to feed as they trickle back to Lake Huron. With the lack of cold weather this Fall and early Winter there are still a few fresh fish coming in. Last December we had real nice run of Coho and hopefully that happens again but currently not many of those around. River levels are as low as i have seen them and still shocked that the lower river could get this low and clear. It has effected our fall steelhead run but not really hurt the Atantics. If anything the low water is a plus for these Atlantic Salmon as they like living in shallow water and I love casting floating lines and just sink leaders. When it comes to Atlantics they love a swung or stripped streamer. Typically it doesn’t have to be deep.
We have had a little bit of Winter but not much and current weather pattern is ideal for December fly fishing. On our guided trips we do have a nice hot meal on the river. Probably time for me to break out my boat heaters also. For those that like solitude of this early Winter its great time to fish.
When it comes to Atlantic Salmon anglers need to target the fish that are in areas where they like to feed and looking for food. THIS IS NOT AROUND A SPAWNING REDD. Currently most spawning redds are empty and this doesn’t mean the fish are all gone or poor fishing! Atlantics are much different than Steelhead. They love to sit on the inside of runs this time of year. Often in the gravel runs where they spawned they now will sit in the slower sand with logs around for cover. Often these lanes are where people are driving boats staring at the old spawning gravel. In the slower sandy area of the lower river many post spawners love to sit just above or slightly in log piles. If streamer is presented properly they can unload on first cast. Anglers need to limited casting to get aggressive streamer bites on these fish. Get in perfect position and a couple good cast is what is needed. Pounding fish with streamer from wrong angle and then crying how they only chase or wont bite is pretty common with this fish. Every time they chase a flies and dont eat odds drop that you will catch that one.
Below is on of favorite December pattern for steelhead and Atlantics. Senyo A1 Intruder. My stock is very low on these but more should be in this week. Putting together more Atlantic flies that have produced on my web site for online sales at: https://michigan-streamside.com/product-category/flies/atlantic-salmon-steelhead-streamers/ Will be adding more later this month when I have time.