Pere Marquette River Report

December 15th, 2018

There’s been a rebound on the steelhead front lately. Fish have started to acclimate themselves with the water conditions and slight drop in angling pressure, save for this gorgeous weekend judging by the amount of boats being towed around town. The fish have been responding reasonably well to a well presented fly lately. The weather has been fairly comfortable depending on how used to the cold you are. Any afternoon without having to clear ice from the guides is a good one in my book!

Small eggs got most of our steelhead hook-ups during the past two weeks. Both trout and steelhead will eat 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. Streamer fishing for post-spawn browns has also had its moments with a couple bite windows yielding some impressive trout for those dedicated to watching the attack. Soft water, slower strip speeds and heavier sink rates all help the winter streamer angler achieve success, but most of all, perseverance can make the difference a fun day casting and a fun day catching. I know I’ve been sounding like a corny broken record with the whole perseverance thing but it’s true! I can’t tell you how many great fish have come to the net in the bottom of the 9th over the past two months. Most of those being day-makers!

Fish are set up in the deep, soft winter spots next to 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. Water temps have been in the mid 30’s but have been rising with the warmer weather. We should have good steelheading conditions all the way through Christmas judging by the forecast.

Stop by or call the shop (231) 745-3972 to book a trip if you need one last steelhead fix for the year! Remember to dress in layers out there. Bootfoot/neoprene waders, multiple pairs of gloves, winter hats, hand/toe warmers, propane heaters, and a hearty spirit all help battle the winter elements. Although lately with the warm-up, it’s almost back to t-shirt weather for me!

The shop also has plenty of great gift ideas for anyone looking for any fishy person on your list: gift cards, rods, waders, maybe even a guided trip? The guys in the shop are extremely knowledgeable in terms of the features of the equipment they sell and can steer you in the right direction to best suit your budget. If you’re coming up to fish or snowmobile in the coming weeks, the lodge is a perfect place to stay. Enjoy time spent outside for the remainder of the year and we’ll see you around!

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

  • Flow
    664 CFS @ Scottville
  • Visibility
  • 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!