The Pere Marquette is a beauty of a river. A piece of water with countless tributaries, it also provides constant steelhead fishing during the wintertime, primarily because of its spring fed properties and the amount of regulation on the "flies only, catch and release" section of the river. These two items allow for a perfect mash up, where spring fed water decreases anchor ice, and strict regs keep fish in the river and off the grill. It gets fished a lot. Its been said that the fish here are Phd's in egg flies, nymphs, and streamers, having seen them all in the past couple of months. In fact, they have probably seen just about every variation of these bugs imaginable. In this type of situation, changing up your presentation can pay big rewards, and Saturday proved that big time.
As Kyle and I gloomily made our way through the hole we were fishing the third time through, my drift was approaching its end. As my bobber and fly began to swing in the current, a hard strike jolted me out of zombieland. A quick fight ensued, and soon ended after the fish managed to break me off while going in full bore towards some wood. Still, I began to figure out that it was going to take some out-of-the-box thinking to produce on that day.
Fishing for 45 minutes more, Kyle lands a really nice brown out of a very odd spot in the hole we were fishing. As I moved back to the top of the run, I thought in the back of my head that this will be the last time through. It was getting rather dark after all, and I definitely didn't feel like being there as night befell us. Plus, the fishing had seemed to drop off anyway. So, I decided to go against conventional wisdom and threw a large weighted streamer under the bobber. In the clear, pressured water, I thought that throwing a piece of meat might jolt them awake. A few drifts later with the streamer produced the fish pictured at the bottom of this entry. All together, we went 1 for 2 on steel with one awesome brown trout thrown in in about 4 hours of fishing. Another killer day on a memorable river.