Pere Marquette River Report

July 26th, 2017

What do you do when your sleep patterns become inconsistent bits and pieces from night fishing? You update the fishing report. The neighbor’s rooster hasn’t even declared the new dawn yet, the slacker. Maybe he was out surfing foam and fur in search of trout that go gulp in the night too…

It has been quite dark in the river corridor lately. The moon has been laying low which is music to the hardcore night angler’s ears. The proverbial “dark as the inside of your hat” kind of dark on those cloudy nights. The mousin’ has been fair to good. Some nice fish have been caught by those willing to fling a fly in the midnight ink this past week. Knowing where to look and how to present the fly have been big factors in success lately. Even with those advantages, some nights have been down right tough despite the prime conditions. But, every night has been fun and an adventure. I cherish these nights: bounding down dirt roads, everybody in the truck is hitting their chins on their chests in the struggle to stay awake, only recalling the memory of the big trout they just released brings a smile to their face right before they doze off again. .

I think presentation is more critical to success than fly choice when it comes to the mouse game. Just like swinging flies for steelhead, they want it at just the right speed in the right water. Wiggling the rod-tip by just shaking your wrist from side-to-side to give the fly a swimming action has helped in certain cases. The hard downstream mend in those back eddies to give it the down and away approach has worked too. Experiment. If something isn’t working, change it. If that doesn’t work, try a new piece of water. These fish are smarter than people give them credit for. Give them the time and respect they deserve and something good will come of it.

Daytime hopper/dropper fishing has been so-so. The nymphing on the cooler streams has been productive and not as harmful to the fish especially on those hot days. Water temps during the day are still within safe ranges but be mindful. The cooler nights have been cooling the water a little as well. Smallmouth fishing is still great and should continue through the month of August. The topwater fishing for these guys with poppers and wiggle minnows has been second to none in the sun. Smallmouth aren’t affected by warmer water temperatures like trout are so remember that when and if those water temps near 70 degrees on your local trout stream, go chase smallies.

Lots of stuff happening in the shop and at the Lodge right now. A couple cabins have been re-done so consider that option if you’re in the area fishing for a couple days. Ben, Adam and Westley can show you what flies have been working or book you a room. The guides have been keeping busy thanks to all of you who have come up to wet a line with us! Don’t let summer slip by without getting your up north fix folks. Seeing a few kings swimming around with the cooler nights these past few days has reminded me that fall will be here before we know it!

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

  • Flow
    501 CFS @ Scottville
  • Visibility
  • Water Temperature
    63 degrees
  • Best time of day to fish
    Early and late
  • Indicator
    Substitute a hopper pattern for an indicator this time of year
  • Recommended Leader
    9' Super Strong
  • Recommended Tippet
    2x Super Strong for hoppers, 5x Mirage for droppers, goat rope for mice.
  • Best Rod Outfit
    9' 5wt for day 9' 7wt for night
  • Best Techniques
    Attractor dries fished tight to structure
  • Comments
    Fish a bead head nymph like a pheasant tail or soft hackle on a small section of 5x fluorocarbon from your hopper.
  • 6 day outlook
    Grand Rapids
    Weather from OpenWeatherMap
  • Our thoughts on the outlook
    High's in the mid to upper 70's. Mostly sunny conditions forecasted.