Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Winter Steelhead

The Manistee River Steelhead report for the middle part of January. Once again is focused around the water levels, with the Manistee dropping all week from a high of 2600+cfs to it’s currently level of 2100 cfs . Temperatures staying in that 35-34 degree range. All about perfect for this time of year. Water Levels this year continue to rise and fall, pushing up small waves for chrome. As was the case this week, with some newer fish once again showing up.

Jeff Topp

Guide Jeff Topp has our report below for the week.

Steelhead fishing is fairly good right now. We had a nice push of chrome fish this past week. Fresh fish are biters!  Beads under floats is the name of the game right now. With the Water temperature in winter cold mode look for the steelhead to be living in the slower sections of the runs. The slow side of seams and current breaks have been best.  With spring around the corner now is the time to get out before the crowds show up. LETS GO FISHING!!! 

Winter Steelhead

With temperatures improving through out the week, water levels should maintain or slightly increasing with melting snow from this past weekend. If you can find the speed, you will find the fish. Speed will be the most important part of the steelhead equation this week.

Guide Trips

January and February should continue to fish fairly well, with decent numbers of steelhead in the Manistee River and other Northern Michigan systems. Not too early to start thinking about booking your Spring Steelhead Trips as well.

March and April are prime time and dates will go fast, Ed and Jon booked a few trips this week while at the Heartland Show. Drop us an email if your thinking about fishing this Spring, or use the Contact Page to request a day. Also feel free to text us at 231-631-5701 for open availability.

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Winter Streamer Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Had a chance to venture out on the Upper Manistee River again this past week, with Mother Nature allowing us to still access most of the launches. We took advantage of the warm weather and lack of snow and spent the day chasing trout instead of steelhead on the lower Manistee. Water levels are good and with a slight stain to the water, it looked great for a day of streamer fishing. While winter streamer fishing is never about how many, it’s always a good day when you can catch a few fish, and see a few others. As was the case on this day.

Winter Trout Fishing

Winter Trout fishing when it’s in the upper 40’s and the sun is on your face and your having a few brown trout chasing is hard to beat. While I can pretty much sum up winter streamer fishing as the opportunity to catch brown trout in the 14-20″ range. I hardly ever see the little guys, and the same goes for the magnums. But nothing wrong with the trout in that range, in my mind. Streamer selection at this time of year I also think needs to be what I consider as medium to small sized. With some sort of weight added. Getting the fly down in the zone quickly, as trout don’t have the energy to climb up out of their zone. Also wood runs and deeper cuts had the best activity on this past trip. Looking for that same type of water speed as we have been finding most of our steelhead lately. Closer to the bank and out of the main seam. That harder to mend area, on the fair side of the bubble line. Slow water.

Guide Trips

With warm air in the immediate forecast trout fishing is still very much an option. Looks like some rain headed our way as well, some additional color to the stream could make it fish even better. Not that much snow can melt so water temperatures should bump up as well. Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. Hope to update this page soon, but if not make sure to check out the Steelhead Report, and if your thinking of booking a trout trip for next year make sure to contact us soon. Prime dates always fill up fast.

Happy Holidays

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