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> > Winter Steelheading Round 4!

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Pryal74March 5th, 2011, 12:29 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
03/04/2011 March Manistique Madness!
Another stunningly, gorgeous day on the Manistique River! Temperatures were high 30's, but it felt like 50. I only had 4 hours to fish today, but more than made them count. I fished with, but on seperate water with Chris G. I ended up going 2 for 5 with a monster red buck Steelhead and a hen about 2 pounds. Chris caught one as well. The river was quiet today, with no other anglers. The CFS was low around 800, ideal for wading. The Clown Egg pattern worked wonders again!
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
Jmd123March 5th, 2011, 8:37 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
WOW, is that a fatboy or what?? Good job Chris! We are getting snow coming down sideways - literally - today, and I'm still trying to get over the "never-ending cold from hell", so probably no steelheading yet for me. But I should get on with tying those Clown Eggs I guess!! My boss, who has lived here for over 20 years, recommended a Hex nymph pattern with a stripe of pearlescent Flashabou down the back to give it a little sparkle...

What was the weight on that big boy? Man, I bet that was some fight!!! Again, congrats on the fish, and the good weather for fishing!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74March 5th, 2011, 2:45 pm
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Thanks Jonathon!

He had to be close to ten. He fought me for around 12 minutes while he sat in the current and would NOT budge. Quite a beautiful buck. It's too bad you're a drive away. We have been doing really well. Yesterday Chris left early to some family function and I had a basketball game to attend. My sister was playing in the district championship. I went back today 3/5/2011 and it was BRUTAL near ten degrees with the wind chill. I also fell in while fighting a 5 pound hen. My foot caught on something and down I went. I lasted twenty more minutes and that was that. I still landed the fish. I felt awful leaving early today but my client had gear issues and did NOT want to continue. I don't blame him, just ill prepared for the elements. We were once again all alone on the river. Some younger guys I play hockey with went on the river after me today. They should be calling anytime to let me know how they did. I gave them 3 Clown Eggs yesterday and explained how to drift them.

I heard you guys were getting blasted with snow. Marquette is getting belted right now. Weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow and Sunday, so you know where I will be.

A Hex Nymph huh? I might have to put one above my Clown Egg or just try a few drifts with one and find out.
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
Jmd123March 5th, 2011, 5:55 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
James, if my work wraps up soon and I run out of it for a bit I might just head up your way! The lower Au Sable is likely to get somewhat crowded once the fish start boss says they're in there now and it's just a matter of getting them to hit. He recommends smaller flies since the water is cold - snow was flying today and tomorrow is supposed to be mid 20s F. BUMMER that you fell in! I took a swim last year in March downstate when I took one step too far into a hole and it was no fun whatsoever...I couldn't feel the bottom for a good minute, trying to stay afloat with my 8-weight in one hand while paddling with the other! The only parts of me that were dry in the end were my head (stayed above water the whole time, thank goodness) and my feet (water seeping into my neoprenes hadn't reached them yet). Perhaps I should think about investing in one of those inflatable vests...

STAY SAFE! And keep throwing those Clown Eggs.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74March 8th, 2011, 1:52 pm
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168

If Steelhead are in there now, they will hit. You just have to "make them an offer they can't refuse." All kidding aside, they should take "there" if they are taking "here." The water temp and air temp have been rising here and when they do, they fish go crazy. This is honestly some of the funnest fishing I have had the privilege to partake in. A friend of mine, who is a local angler, catches Salmon and Steelhead there in the fall and spring, he never even realized they inhabited the river during these winter months. I will post the most recent report on here and you can see what we have been up to.

Oh and those Clown Eggs were pink/orange Size 8s like I had thought. For some reason I have a much harder time hooking them on a size ten.

My friend called me from there a little while ago and he landed a 3 lb Steelie and chased a chrome hen about 8 lbs 2 blocks downstream and ended up losing her. He also had a few more takes.
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing

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