Pere Marquette River Fishing Report

Here's what's happening in Northern Michigan

APRIL 21, 2024



Steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette River is coming to a close.  I want to thank everyone who joined me this Spring.  It’s always great seeing all of you and spending a day or two on the river with you. Overall, the Steelhead season was good, even though numbers were down. Spring sprung early with warmer weather in February and March, and a bulk of the run came and went fast. Colder weather towards the end of March and into April was actually a blessing which did slow the fish spawning cycle down. Now it’s time to switch gears and rig up the trout rods! It’s hard to believe the opener is a week away. The river is low right now and has a little stain to it.  We did see some rain last week, but not a lot. Smaller streamers on the sink-tips will be productive on the cloudy days.  Cloudier days might give some opportunity to fish dry flies with the Blue Winged Olives around.  Little Black Stoneflies are still coming off the water on warmer days with a few trout looking up. Good luck and once again thanks to everyone for a great Spring Steelhead Season.  Tight Lines !!!

PIC:  (Above) Two Brothers enjoying some hydrotherapy. John and Larry having a great day on the river.  John is all smiles with this bright Hen Steelhead that took a Fry pattern.
YOUTUBE: I’ve started a new YouTube page! Click on the link for some new videos and click the subscribe button.
LIVE FLY TYING WITH THE NORTHERN ANGLER:  If you missed it – I had the opportunity to head up to Traverse City to visit good friends Brian and Matt at The Northern Angler Fly Shop. Thanks to all who joined us on YouTube for the Live event. If you missed the live event, you can still watch the full video on the Northern Angler’s YouTube Page.
If you are ever in Northern Michigan stop by their shop and say “hi!” They have a great assortment of gear, tackle and fly tying materials. You can find them online at The Northern Angler


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Worn less than 2 hours.
Size Adult Small
$300 if shipped, $275 pick up.  Retails for $450
email me for info
Brand New Rock Dry-Strike Boat Shoes
Size Mens 9m / Womens 11
$80 shipped $65 pickup Retail for over $100
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For this time of year, when the water starts to warm between February and May, the Pere Marquette River experiences one of the biggest hatches we see all year. This hatch has fins, not wings. The Fry Hatch are small Salmon which hatch during the spring months in the thousands. These Fry become a huge food source for the resident trout and Steelhead migrating up river to spawn.  Once spawning is complete, drop-back steelhead will feast on these fry as they make the trip back to the big lake.  I developed a couple a couple of fly patterns to match these hatches. The PM Parr and Flash Fry work really well in this scenario. These patterns can be fished under an Indicator, bounce them off the bottom, or even tie these patterns a little bigger and swing them.  These fly pattern recipes can be found in the Fly Box links below.  Be sure to tie some of these up! Tight Lines!




I can’t believe it’s already April! The weather we had in February and March felt more like an April and May weather pattern!  However, last week on the Pere Marquette River seemed more like January.   We’ve been riding a weather roller coaster since January, and we’ve seen many fluctuations in water temperature. Fish become less active when the water temperature’s cycle fast from warm to cold. Trout slow down and so do the Steelhead. I like to mix the fly selection up.  We are seeing a higher rate of angling pressure on the river with spring breakers and fair-weather Steelhead Anglers.  The pools and runs in any section, are getting fished by large amounts of Anglers daily. Most of these Anglers are bouncing bottom with the usual Egg flies. I like to mix up my fly selection when the river sees this much Angling pressure and crazy water temps.  It doesn’t hurt to go crazy and add some creativity to show these fish something out of this world. You may be surprised what could happen.  If the water is high and dirty, I will fish a lot of brighter fry and parr patterns along with Egg Sucking Leeches.  I will make these flies quite flashy, almost like mini-swing flies.  You may coax a strike response for these fish which have become stale.  The Trout still want an easy meal and quite a few Steelhead have spawned and are making their way back down through the river to the Lake.  These Steelhead are known as drop back Steelhead and they are often very aggressive and eager to take a fly.  Brighter flashier Nymphs and Streamers can be effective. Swing- em, fish them under an Indicator or bounce them off the bottom. Be creative and have fun with it, that’s what fly-fishing and tying is all about.  Use your imagination with creating your flies and go test the waters. Best of luck this month and Tight Lines!

I am Jeff Hubbard. I grew up in West Michigan with a real love for the outdoors. After guiding in Alaska for a few years, I returned to my favorite rivers and streams, here in Michigan. Among these, the Pere Marquette River is my favorite by far. I have spent many years next to this great river in the town of Baldwin and have a great love for this great natural scenic river. I became a professional guide in 1998, and fishing still remains a real passion to me.

I’m a licensed USFS Special Use Permit holder and State of Michigan Permit holder.  This allows me to fish the whole water shed of the Pere Marquette River.  I am fully insured and CPR Certified. I run Full and Half Day Trips, Instructional, walk and wade, or float trips.

Always feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions or ideas!  Thank you for stopping by!