Pere Marquette River Report

January 1st, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Things are looking good going into the New Year. We received some rain over the past few days to help add a little color to the water. Fishing still has been day to day, some days better than others. Nymphing with small eggs and nymphs has been the most productive method but streamers were effective in the rising water a few days ago. The trout have been trying to put some winter weight on by ambushing smaller trout, chasing sculpins or picking off nymphs and the occasional washed out coho egg. There’s been some nice ones caught incidentally by those targeting steelhead and those pursuing trout specifically.

Pheasant tails, hare’s ears and hex nymphs tied with pheasant aftershaft, CDC and other delicate materials to animate the fly just by itself dead-drifting in the current. Jointed/articulated nymphs will also give the fly more action on a dead drift as well. Nuke eggs in softer colors with small Oregon cheese and clown colored glo-bugs will cover the egg front.

Fish are set up in the deep, soft winter spots not too far from wood. Go through your spots carefully and thoroughly with multiple sets of flies. It might take a few runs through the pool to figure out what they want. Stealthy wading/presentations with smaller floats, lighter weight and finer tippets are the name of the game when the water is dropping and clearing. Any window with temperatures above freezing in January or February can yield some productive opportunities bite-wise. Hopefully these little spurts of warmer weather continue throughout the next couple months to allow for some nice winter afternoons on the river.

Remember to dress in layers out there. Bootfoot/neoprene waders, multiple pairs of gloves, winter hats, hand/toe warmers, and propane heaters are all highly recommended for those going out on their own steam. Bringing a dry bag with a spare set of clothes in the boat or in a backpack is a good idea. Use caution around the boat launches during winter. Snow and ice can make for some scary situations. Bring chains, tow straps, ropes, shovels, and salt if you’re heading out after a fresh snowfall.

If you’re coming up to fish or snowmobile in the coming weeks, the lodge is a perfect place to stay. Full or half day trips are available for anyone looking to spend some time on a quiet winter river. Steelhead fishing should stay fair to good from here on out given the weather conditions. Thank you to everyone who took a trip with us, purchased something from the shop or stayed in the lodge this past year. Look forward to fishing with all of you in 2019! Be safe and stay warm out there!

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

  • Flow
    821 CFS @ Scottville
  • Visibility
    Slight stain
  • Water Temperature
    34-37 degrees
  • Best time of day to fish
    Mid day/afternoon (when the water is at its warmest)
  • Indicator
  • Recommended Leader
    9' 0x Mirage
  • Recommended Tippet
    2x Mirage for nymphing, 12-15lb Seaguar fluorocarbon for streamers
  • Best Rod Outfit
    11' 8wt Clearwater Switch Rod
  • Best Techniques
  • Comments
    Fish the slower seams and keep your flies near bottom.
  • 6 day outlook
    Grand Rapids
    Weather from OpenWeatherMap
  • Our thoughts on the outlook
    Bundle up!