Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River

Update for the 2019 Fall Steelhead run on the Manistee River for November 11th, 2019. Water levels on the Manistee River this week stayed right around 2100 CFS, with water temps on steep drop all week. We averaged losing almost a degree per day. Making the steelhead in the Big Manistee River, not so happy. To sum up Manistee River Steelhead Report in a few words, it has been work.

Steelhead Fishing

With water temps on such a drastic drop, the swing bite or streamer bite was extremely difficult. Going most days without even a pull. Talking with a few other captains throwing hardware even the plug bite was difficult. Fish have become moody and we need the water temps to level out and then we should get some consistency once again.

Fishing floats has been a little better than the swing bite but not much. Mustering up a few opportunities a day, the good news is that steelhead this year continue to be above average in size. This past week with the Fowler group the largest steelhead put in the next was just around 16 pounds. Great work Jeff and congrats on an amazing fish. With other steelhead landed last week in the 13 pound range it has been a great year for big steelhead on the Big Manistee River.

Steelhead Guide Trips

With what feels like winter steelhead here now, I still have a few dates open around Turkey Day. Currently have Nov 27 and 29 open. With also most of December open as well, December we offer 1/2 trips along with full day trips. Feel free to send me an email using the contact page or get ahold of me via DM on Instagram or Facebook as well. Thanks for checking out the site few items remain on the Sales page if your looking for some Mangled Fly Swag. and I’ll continue to post more through out the week. Been trying to add a few images social as well, so follow along. Short clip and videos are in our Stories section of the day’s events as well.

Jon Ray

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Pic of the Day – New Steelhead Swing Colors

New Swing Colors

Hard to believe after this many years that it took me this long to find love with the color purple on the swing fly program. But 2019 I finally did it. Have to thank Brett Howard for pushing me over the edge. This color combination has been in the Great Lakes Steelhead swing game for many years, but I just didn’t seem to ever gravitate to it. Well now that I have had success I find my self tying it more often. If your looking to expand you color scheme in your fly box here is a quick fly recipe.

Once the season slows down have goals of expanding this section of the Mangled Fly Blog, more details more videos and better fly patterns that need to be shared. Good luck this fall and hope this color can make it into your box.

  • I use cotter pins with medium weight dumbbell eyes
  • Hook is a size 1 Mosquito by Owner, this year using braid 50# to attach
  • Barred Rabbit or Marabou in Purple
  • Also experimenting with a sparkle brush as an underbody currently (purple)
  • Flash is Grape , as much as you like. I don’t count strands
  • Ice dub head ( defiantly chartreuse as the finishing color, but pink and orange have both worked as the core color)

Mangled Fly Sale

Not everything but most everything is on Sale right now. We are clearing out the inventory to make room for new stuff coming soon. Fingers crossed before Christmas for some new items so make sure to come back and check out the new swag. But in the mean time get some great deals on the older models. Any questions let us know via the contact page or reach out to us on Messenger via Facebook or drop us a DM in Instagram.

Thanks again for checking out the site.

Pics and Videos of the Day – Jumping Steelhead

Jumping Manistee River Steelhead

Todays post is a few hightlights from the past few days on Mangled Fly’s social media accounts if you haven’t followed us go check out the feed we have been updating a couple times a week on Instagram and our Facebook page. Video above was shot this week on my iPhone as we got an up close look at a steelhead from the Big Manistee River. These fish this year have been strong and full of power and giving us plenty of acrobatic displays. Enjoy the video

Big Colored Bucks

Jeff Topp again with an impressive colored up buck. We refer to male steelhead as bucks for those that don’t know. Males will color up the most and display some really intense red coloration the longer they are in the river. This male has been around since the beginning of the run we would guess. Awesome looking fish, and great work Jeff Topp.

Michigan Fall Steelhead

Pic of the Day – Jeff Topp Steelhead

Check out this great fish from Guide Jeff Topp’s boat. Client is Steve B. with a Big Manistee River steelhead

Fall Steelhead

Fall Steelhead 2019 Update

Fall steelhead 2019 update. The Manistee River continues to fish pretty well for fall steelhead. The last few days fish numbers have slowed down as we haven’t received a push of fish in a few days, but with a good number of steelhead in the upper sections opportunity still prevails. While pressure remains high with other boats and anglers you have to have a good presentation to get the job done.

The egg bite has been the main tactic but the streamer rods have started to make it into the rotation as well. Craig had a exciting morning yesterday that I want to expand upon in the next blog. Working with a new single hand set up that I want to go into more details about. Craig as seen above in the picture gallery landed a nice Coho on a ESL (egg sucking leech) and wait to you hear about our other encounter. For those interested in the streamer / Swing bite, Steelhead have set up in the runs where we like them. At least I’ve been finding them in that type of water with the egg presentation. So I believe that the time is right to start hunting the fall steelhead run with both eggs and streamers.

Wish everyone the best of luck this fall, more updates coming. Hope to get to the single hand line combo blog this week as well

Jon Ray

Pic of the Day – Big Steelhead

Manistee River Steelhead

Well so far the Steelhead run of 2019 is very similar to 2018, they are big again. If you remember one of my posts from last year I have the same feeling for this year. The elusive 20 pound steelhead is going to make it’s entrance at some point. Yesterday we had a 15-16 pound steelhead give us everything we could handle with an extremely long run, where the backing knot sure was tested for a longer period in time than I’m comfortable with as a guide. That amount of line out of the rod on the Manistee River with all it’s log jams is never a good thing.

Jim my client did everything he could to just hold onto this beauty. After landing the steelhead everyone was in awe and a simple picture in the net is all Jim wanted. We revived this beauty and off she swam to continue on her journey.

As your headed out this fall be ready for some big battles. Good luck and continue to check back as we share a few pics and stories from the fall steelhead run.

Michigan Fall Steelhead

Fall Steelhead on the Big Manistee River

Back on the Big Manistee for the Fall Steelhead season, wanted to share some quick pics of the first few days back. First impressions are we have some big fish again this year. They are strong and hard to hold onto. Without a doubt these are my favorite fish to chase during the season, the speed and power of these Great Lakes strain of steelhead is truly impressive.

Check back through out the week as I will continue to post additional images and links. Also make sure to follow Mangled Fly on Instagram as we post additional pictures and videos on our Feed and Stories.

Still have a few open dates at the end of November as well and plenty of availability in December too. Open Nov dates are 26,27,29. Contact me if your interested. As reports from my charter lake captains is this run of 2019 Fall Steelhead should be special. Have a great fall!

Bulls and Muskie – Videos

Might be a stretch but something similar about Big Bulls and Muskie Fishing. Here are two videos from this week that grabbed my attention. While watching first video their is a quote that really does rings home. The cowboy talks about how intimidating this certain Bull is. I feel the same way when releasing muskie. The power of these beasts is not always on display like Bull riding, but that 8 second ride has too many correlations to fishing a big Muskie.

The second video is about an absolute huge Muskie that wasn’t caught on a fly, but was a least caught casting. Even casting lures all day is a ton of work. So have respect for any method of Muskie fishing that deals with casting, even though I choose to do it on a fly. Give the muskie video a watch, and just imagine that size of fish coming in on your figure 8.

Check out the two videos, you might be asking yourself why the Bull riding clip, well this summer if you follow us on Social Media you saw that I went to my first rodeo, and it will not be my last. While the rodeo in McBain, Mi was a blast I have a desire to go so see a Western Rodeo and this rancher that is working with the PBR events has me fired up. I feel like as a muskie angler I am similar to a cowboy. Again probably a stretch, but I tip my hat to the ladies and work from sun-up to sun down.