Every year there is always a day when you say it’s now Winter in Northern Michigan and that day is today! With this snow storm it looks like its here to stay which is not all bad. I read in social media now about many are calling this the off season, reducing fly shop hours, brave the elements for 1 day, vacation time and etc. Not so here at all for MichiganStreamside! We fish and guide year around and love the winter months. Custom rods are getting down now every day and we start in mid January with our guiding on the White River in Arkansas. The month of December is called prime time Au Sable Steelheading and one of my favorite months to fish. Even better there are Atlantic Salmon still in the river and this time of year they are looking for food. What makes this time of year special is everyone is done spawning now. Our Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon are both in post spawning mode which means they like to eat! Some days the weather can ruin some good plans this time of year but that is December in Northern Michigan. Yesterday we spent the day floating small water on the North Branch of the Au Sable and had some good streamer action. This is not the time for big numbers of trout but good quality fish!
Yesterday what was effective was stripping streamers on a sink tip and we hit fish on Murdich Minnow, JJ Special and Sparkle Minnows. River temp were in upper 30’s and Browns were not sluggish at all. We fished the new Winston streamer rod – Alpha+ in 9′ 8wt. Just love this series and perfect amount of flex/power for casting our Airflo Streamer Max sink tip fly lines. It’s been a wet month and Au Sable has lots of water in it right now. With current snow storm flows will continue to increase. This is ideal for trout fishing conditions and for bringing more Steelhead into river.
Atlantic Salmon numbers are down now but the bite is up! Same thing happened last year in December. A few fish are still coming in to spawn but most now are post spawning Atlantics that are choosing to live in river. These fish are looking to feed like a Brown Trout now and swinging a streamer is the ideal method. Have had good success with shad and goby patterns of late. Dan fighting and landing a nice Au Sable Atlantic while swinging a Mud Puppet streamer!
Jim with beautiful Au Sable Atlantic on one cold day last weekend and this one took a black egg sucking leech.
Noah fighting a big chrome Atlantic. You got to love sight fishing them in shallow clear water with streamers! They love to sit right next to logs and with will crush a swung streamer.
This past week and river was in great shape! Fishing pressure has been very low of late.
A beautiful fresh run Atlantic from last week!
Steelhead numbers are starting to increase in very lower river near Oscoda. Pretty much just like last Fall with low numbers and quality fish. Best numbers last year was December and hoping for a repeat. As soon as this storm moves thru will be back searching for some bright chrome!