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Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/14/2018
Water Conditions: Rising
12/14/2018
As expected, stream flows increased yesterday with the nice warmup and the conditions are pretty good in most creeks right now. While areas closest to the lake shore are pretty clear of any remaining snow, there is still some snow on the ground, primarily south of I-90. Another warm day today should encourage more meltoff into the larger watershed and keep stream conditions fairly good through the weekend. Even though ice fishing will be on hold for the time being, perch are being caught in Presque Isle and Misery on live minnows and plastics on jigs. We aren't hearing of too many jumbos at this time, but its good to hear that some folks are catching a number of perch. Safe travels to everyone coming up this weekend!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/13/2018
Water Conditions: Low but Rising
12/13/2018
The streams are still low at this time but with warmer temperatures moving into the region over night, the thaw is on. Melting snow is starting to make its way into the creeks and the gauges are just starting to tick up as flows are starting to increase. Expect flows to continue to rise throughout the day, and possibly into tomorrow for the larger tribs. This should make for good fishing conditions over the weekend in the streams, but unfortunately will reverse any progress that ice anglers have been looking forward to. The extended forecast shows high temperatures above freezing every day over the next week, so it looks like we'll have to hit the reset button on ice development.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/12/2018
Water Conditions: Low and Clear
12/12/2018
Conditions still haven't changed much and the water is still low, clear, and cold. There hasn't been too much angling pressure, so the few folks who are out have reported they have been getting into some fish. We are expecting a warmup into the upper-30s and mid-40s over the next few days which should encourage some meltoff and bring the streams up some. Depending on how quickly conditions warm up, there is a chance we could see relatively high and muddy conditions for a short time as some of the watersheds still have a decent amount of snow. Once things warm up to their peak on Friday, we should have a better idea of how the streams will fish over the weekend.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/11/2018
Water Conditions: Low and Clear
12/11/2018
The conditions haven't changed much since yesterday. The water is still low and clear with shelf ice forming at the creek edges. Please use caution when wading as the shelf ice may be getting thick enough in some places to hold your weight, but is still thin in other places. With the water as clear as it is, look to downsize everything from your bait, float, tippet, leader, etc. for the best chance to fool a vary fish. We didn't hear of anyone able to get out on the ice yesterday and with a warmup coming later this week, its starting to look like fishable ice won't be around until closer to Christmas. Stay tuned.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/10/2018
Water Conditions: Low
12/10/2018
All the streams are pretty low, which is something we haven't seen for awhile now. Shelf ice and slush is developing, which is restricting the fishable water and making it difficult to get a good drift in some locations. There is a mix of fresh and older steelhead in the streams at this point, and most of the usual spots are holding fish. Singles and live minnows were productive for folks over the weekend, as were small stoneflies and crystal meth presentations. The weather looks to remain pretty stable over the next few days and we're not expecting much of a change in the conditions. It looks like winter steelheading is finally here. Ice is forming on the inland and shallow lakes and ponds, although we haven't heard of safe ice conditions yet. Misery also has some ice developing. We'll need another few nights and days of sub-32 degree weather before the ice is safe to walk on. Please use caution and take all your safety gear with you when making the trek out onto the ice. Good luck!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/6/2018
Water Conditions: Low
12/6/2018
Some light snow last night will give way to a few more inches throughout the day today. With overnight temperatures starting to dip into the 20's and teens, its time to start watching out for shelf ice on the edges of the streams. When wading, please take extra precaution to make sure you are stepping onto a solid stream bank vs. shelf ice extending out over moving water. Those who have been fishing the last few days have reported fair to good catches, especially those who are willing to walk and spot hop. A number of baits and lures have been working, including all the regulars, but it has seemed like as long as you can swing your presentation in front of a fish, there is a decent chance it will hit. Again, when the water is low, target those slow and deep pools where fish tend to congregate in the winter. If you're not ticking the bottom every couple of drifts, adjust your depth as the fish will mostly be hugging the substrate right now. Combine these things and you should find a willing fish right now. Good luck!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/5/2018
Water Conditions: Dropping
12/5/2018
Most streams have continued to drop and are now stabilizing at their usual low flows. With an inch or two of snow possible over the next few days, we don't expect flow conditions to change much. The usual baits should being increasing in productivity again. Jigs, sacs, and minnows under a float should work through the weekend. Dead drifting streamer patterns, glow bugs, and black stoneflies should also be productive. Look to the slower, deeper sections of the streams to hold fish this time of year. We didn't hear much perch activity from yesterday. A number of folks are waiting for ice to start forming, but the extended forecast doesn't look like temperatures will remain low enough for that to happen just yet.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/4/2018
Water Conditions: Dropping
12/4/2018
The streams have been dropping over the past two days and should offer decent to good conditions for the next few days. The anglers that we talked to yesterday had success fishing pockets and holding water among the muddy and heavy flows in the main stream channels. Big baits were key and you still had to put the bait right in their faces to induce a strike, but those who figured it out were met with relatively good success. With scattered flurries over the next few days, we're not expecting any additional spikes in flows. With many folks still hunting, the number of reports for steelhead, perch, and panfish have been down recently. We expect that to change as we move later into December, and especially if some inland ponds and lakes start to freeze.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 12/3/2018
Water Conditions: High
12/3/2018
Most streams are blown out at this point as rain moved through the region throughout the weekend, with localized heavy downpours in some areas). There is a chance of rain today but look for the streams to drop throughout the day. The smaller tribs should be fishable by this afternoon if we don't receive more precipitation and the larger tribs should be in good shape by tomorrow morning. There is a reasonable number of fish around, some of which are fresh. Larger and brighter baits will again be working best as the water remains up. With many folks hunting over the weekend, we didn't have too many reports of perch coming in. Some folks who were targeting them report some decent catches, although not many jumbos to speak of. As water temperatures get colder again throughout the week, look for the perch patterns to change as they continue following baitfish.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/30/2018
Water Conditions: Low
11/30/2018
Most streams are back down to average levels at this time. Anglers continue to pick away at steelhead, and the most successful folks are being mobile. Walking to get away from the crowds and more pressured fish are resulting in a few extra hook-ups. Fly anglers were doing fairly well on crystal meth and flashabou buggers while the water was up, and the glow bug bite is picking back up as the water drops. Again, a reminder that the minimum size for perch becomes 7" as of tomorrow. Perch anglers continue to report the hit-or-miss bite as the schools move around. With some warmer weather expected for this weekend, look for the bite to pick up somewhat. Safe travels to everyone driving up to the area for the weekend!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/29/2018
Water Conditions: Dropping
11/29/2018
Stream levels are continuing to decrease but are starting to level out. The water is clearing up at this point and visibility is at least 2-3' in most creeks. As the water clears, look for smaller presentations to be more appealing to fish. Egg sacs are always good in the winter, and when fishing them in clear water, opt for smaller dime-size sacs in white, peach, and pink. Bottom bouncing in the slower pools is also a good option this time of year, as most fish will be snug against the substrate. We haven't had many perch reports from the last 24 hours, but the few anglers we talked to reported fish "here and there", with no big schools being located. Don't forget that the perch minimum size regulations are changing December 1st, and check the Regulations page as we get closer to 2019.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/28/20108
Water Conditions: Dropping
11/28/2018
Stream levels are falling as the ground is starting to freeze and the runoff has subsided. Its going to be a blustery day on the steelhead streams today, as winds of 10-20 mph will move through the area and an additional several inches of snow is expected to fall. Fish are definitely sluggish now; bottom bouncing sacs, salted minnows, and jigging will likely be taking the most fish in the foreseeable future. Reports from the marinas are that perch can still be found, but with the rough weather the last few days, there hasn't been as many folks out fishing and our reports have been hit-or-miss. By all indications the fish are still in, but you may have to move between marinas to find them. Live minnows, jigs, grubs, and waxies under a slip float have been productive.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/27/2018
Water Conditions: High
11/27/2018
An all-day rain yesterday along with a wet and slushy snow overnight has lead to blown-out conditions in the area tribs. The stream gauges appear to have spiked overnight and are on their way down, but will likely remain pretty high for several days as the snow is expected to continue falling through Thursday. If you're out chasing steelhead today, target the smaller tribs or high upstream on the larger tribs. Your best chance at catching fish over the next few days may be chasing perch in the marinas as they've been moving in after the baitfish. Drive safe today and good luck!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/26/2018
Water Conditions: Rising
11/26/2018
Streams are up and will likely continue to rise as rain has been moving through the area early this morning and is expected to continue falling throughout the rest of the morning. The rain is then expected to turn to snow this evening and we're forecast to receive a foot or more of accumulation in some locations (primarily the snow belt). These conditions are going to make steelhead fishing pretty difficult, even for those who are able to travel safely. Fishing and driving conditions likely won't improve until mid-week. Perch fishing has picked up quickly around the docs and marinas as many anglers have been catching limits or double-digits. Slip floats with jigs or live minnows have been working for perch. Travel safely if you're looking to do some fishing early this week!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/23/2018
Water Conditions: Dropping
11/23/2018
The streams have been steadily dropping the last few days and are starting to level out. However, a chance of rain this weekend may bring another spike on the gauges. A SE wind of 20-30 mph will bring a cold day on the water today, and may deliver another round of leaves. Its been a cold few days in the region, and stream temps continue dropping. Expect fish to be lethargic, and concentrate your efforts on the deeper and slower sections of the streams. Those who braved the cold yesterday found success with sacs. Good luck to everyone and safe travels if you're coming up to fish this weekend!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/21/2018
Water Conditions: High
11/21/2018
The creeks are still up as periodic precipitation has moved through the region in the last few days. Today will be windy with some snow squalls, and tomorrow is forecast to be the coldest Thanksgiving in a century. So if you're looking to make the trip up to steelhead fish, travel safely! The weekend is looking nicer at this point and should offer some decent conditions. The water is likely to stay pretty cold for the remainder of the winter now, as the usual late-fall warmup never really happened this year. The usual baits are producing for those able to find fish. Its that time of year where spoons and swung flies are going to stop being productive as fish won't be willing to move far or chase lures in the cold water. Dead drifting bait and jigs, or bottom bouncing will be the most productive now. Good luck to everyone and have a great Thanksgiving!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/20/2018
Water Conditions: High
11/20/2018
Streams remain high this morning as another round of mixed precipitation has moved into the region and is expected to stick around throughout the day. Temperatures are expected to drop into the 10's and 20's on Thanksgiving, before raising back into the 40's by the weekend. Most anglers are reporting that the fishing has remained relatively consistent for the past few days, and the extended forecast is showing more of the same weather. Keep looking for the deeper pools or slowing moving water to hold steelhead, and throw larger and more brightly colored baits with the water being high and dirty. A number of anglers have had success catching perch from the piers and marinas, some going up to 12". This is a great alternative when steelhead fishing becomes difficult and the perch seem very willing to bite when you can find the pack. Good luck!
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/19/2018
Water Conditions: High
11/19/2018
Continued rain, snow, and sleet has kept the water levels up at relatively high levels and the melt-off/run-off has kept the temperatures cold. There are fish throughout the streams, but you're going to need to walk to find those that are willing to bite. Some fresh fish came in with the recent high water, but all fish in the streams are pretty lethargic with the water being as cold as it is. There's a mixed bag of fresh and darker fish now. Jigs, streamers, and live minnows should work as the water remains high. Look for slow and slack water to hold fish as they should be trying to conserve energy in the low temperatures. Good luck!
Location: Elk, 16mile, 12mile
Time Observed: 11/17/2018
Water Conditions: High
11/17/2018
The creeks are coming down a little and thats all that happened today. I fished Elk, 16mile, and 12mile creeks and only heard of one guy catching one fish. Don’t waste your time today. 2-3 days from now should be good as long as no more precipitation occurs.
Location: Tribs
Time Observed: 11/16/2018
Water Conditions: High
11/16/2018
Streams are up again after the winter storm came through. A majority of the wintery mix of rain, sleet, and snow has already made its way into the creeks, some of which may be blown out at this time. As we're not expecting to get much more precipitation through the weekend, it appears the flows have already peaked and should be dropping through Sunday. This should offer anglers a decent opportunity to hit the creeks. While the water is high, try jigging and throwing streamers in moderately deep sections. As stream levels drop, look to transition back to sacs and minnows. Good luck to everyone trying it this weekend and safe travels. We'll see you on the stream!