Spring Runoff and Rising Waters

It’s mid February here in northern Michigan and the winter doldrums are here, and sadly here for a while longer.

Fortunately there’s still much to do to get ready for the upcoming fishing seasons. Steelhead fishing on the Big Manistee has slowed dramatically the past months or so, but hopefully should be heating up once the spring thaws begin.

As my guide customers at Manistee River Salmon Guide Service will attest, the spring time can yield some truly fantastic steelhead fishing, and the fishing on the Manistee River is no different. Of all of the steelhead waters around the state that host spring runs, one advantage that we have up here in northern Michigan waters is that we have a much higher sand component to our waters. What this means for steelhead anglers, is that during the spring rains and thawing snow, water levels rise, and oftentimes drastically. Sand is our friend up here, because it helps to keep the rising waters much clearer than some of the river systems just to the south of the Manistee. Those rivers have much higher silt contents, and the waters turn muddy. Bad for them, good for us. So during the spring floods, when the waters down south turn to coffee, try the northern Michigan waters, and the Manistee River.

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