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River Report - April 14, 2021

OOPS! We forgot to post this last week...

We’re still on Hendrickson watch.  We continue to keep seeing a small hatch of the bugs each afternoon and are finding the odd trout occasionally rising, but the recent cold front has knocked back prime water temperatures.

The weather begins to right itself into normal, seasonable daytime high temperatures in the coming week.  So, hopefully, as water conditions creep back to normalcy, the Hendrickson hatch will follow suit and gain strength and the trout will take notice.

I expect that will be the case.  Once the nymphs start their metamorphosis toward adulthood, they can’t simply stop the change.  When they emerge in greater numbers it won’t take long for trout to rise.  Fish have been feeding consistently on the nymphs that are active on the flotsam in the riverbed.  When Hendrickson nymphs ripen, they turn very dark and swim aggressively up through the water column to the surface where they linger while struggling from their nymphal husk before, ultimately, popping topside and riding the currents as their new wings dry.   All that activity and vulnerability attracts attention and trout will follow the commotion upwards.  And rise.

It’s worth fishing now.  Streamers and nymphs continue to be the best fish catching options, but anglers would be foolish to go the River without a box of dry flies.  Vigilance is crucial.  Predictability has become aloof.  So, fishermen that spend the most hours on the water will find the best success and just might stumble into the first, best rise of the season.

The traditional Opening Day of trout season is just a week away.  On Saturday April 24th, all of Michigan’s eleven and a half thousand miles of trout waters will be open for anglers.  Some of the best of Michigan’s trout streams have been left alone for six months and the fish that live in them have been unpressured and unseasoned and may just have become a little foolish.

The tradition of opening day has lost some relevance since the advent of year ‘round trout fishing possibilities.  That’s too bad.  We need traditions in the outdoors—days when we get together no matter the weather and celebrate the beginnings of another season with friends and family.  Maybe we can rekindle that idea.

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you on the River