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

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!

Great Blue Heron

Two Great Blue Herons eating Pike

Had the opportunity to shoot two different Great Blue Herons enjoying a shore side lunch this week.  I have never seen this before a Heron eating a Pike, but in less that one week it happened on two separate occasions.

Great Blue Herons now have my attention to say the least with how they hunt and how effective they are.  They can really do a number on a fishery.  I thought they really only targeted smaller fish and smaller amphibians.  But that is not the case.

Great Blue Heron

Down the hatch it goes, another Pike meets his maker.

Great Blue Heron

Blue Heron trying to figure out how to slurp down a pike.

sculpins kevin Feenstra

Gobies–Everything Eats ‘Em

Over a decade ago, zebra mussels invaded our rivers, and left a trail of destruction in our Great Lakes and their tributaries, altering the resource.    In their wake, something that preys on these mussels also arrived, the round goby.    Round gobies are an invasive species, and as such they squeeze out native fish.   However, they have become a food source in any river attached to the Great Lakes.   In some of the bigger rivers, such as the Muskegon and Manistee, they have become a primary food source.

Fly anglers should take advantage of the presence of this bait fish!    They are most commonly a sandy tan, and can be found just about anywhere.  They are most commonly found in areas with high concentrations of the mussels (especially in proximity to dams).    You can fish them with a sink tip or with an indicator, they work well either way.

I most commonly use them for smallmouth bass and for steelhead in a sandy tan.

Don’t hesitate to try them in an inky black, as the males will carry this color through the late winter and through the summer as they breed.    They can naturally be quite large, and can grow up to 10 inches in length.   Check out how big this one is; it is being consumed by a merganser:

Like so many invasive species, gobies have worked their way into our food chain, and will probably be here indefinitely.    Even the snakes eat them!

As far as invasives go, these are useful ones.  Add some gobies to your fly box; big things love to eat them!

Thanks for looking!

Kevin Feenstra

 

 

 

 

muskegon river brown trout

Pic of the Day – Underwater Mouse Eater

Photo by Ed McCoy of a Michigan Brown Trout snacking on one of his new mouse patterns.  Thanks for sharing the pic Ed.  Nice work.

 

lake trout

Lake Trout, in the river?

What’s up with the increase in Lake Trout in the Big Manistee this year?

 

8 Questions and Answers with the DNR

Check out the questions and answers that the DNR gives about the 75% decrease in Salmon.

Link

 

If you have read this post already sorry for the repost, lost a few post to a bad back-up system.  Thank you for your continued patience