Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River below Tippy Dam
Manistee River below Tippy Brown Trout

Fishing Report

The Manistee River Steelhead Report heading into the middle part of April has the Manistee River running a little above average and still pretty clear for what is typical this time of year. Water flows are currently at an above avg level, and running at 1800 cfs. Water temps are at 50 degrees already and the steelhead process feels its about done. Not saying you can’t find a fish or two, but with numbers dropping off we are past peak and we as guides have started to look for other areas to fish and different species to focus on.

Spring Steelhead

Fish numbers have been remaining on the low side for most of the spring, and now really the only fish we have been finding is dropback fish on the sand. With only a few new fish per week been hooked (chrome) it feels like the run has come to an end. Again some fish are still spawning near Tippy, but any new fish are few and far between. Dropbacks have been aggressive to bright colored egg patterns, and small streamers.

Smallmouth Bass

When I talk about changing fish species smallmouth bass early catch and release season, has been pretty good. Both in the river and local lakes, smallmouth bass are on pre-spawn mode and super aggressive. They are currently grouped up so once you find one, you can usually find more. But this also means you can have some dead spots. Baitfish patterns have been working best, with a hard strip and a long pause. Smallmouth have been eating on the pause.

Booking a Trip

If you’re looking to book a fishing trip give us a call (231-631-5701) or shoot us an email . We will really be focusing on the Upper Manistee River trout fishing in the coming weeks. Make sure to check out the new sun shirts that just came in, inventory is going fast. Three new styles for 2021. Have additional hats coming in soon, as we replenish some back orders.

Tight Lines,

Ed

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Streamer Fishing Northern Michigan

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for early April has us what feels ahead of schedule. With a mild winter , and record setting lack of snow. Water levels currently are lower than we are used to. Be ready to down size your streamer patterns.

Streamer Fishing

With less water in the Upper Manistee right now than in previous spring seasons, downsizing your fly choice has lead to the most success in our limited streamer trips so far. With most of our focus still on steelhead the past few weeks, we have only been out a few times. But now as the main focus turns to trout fishing with opening day only a few weeks away.

Streamer patterns that have been working the best are 3-4″ baitfish patterns, colors are more neutral or dull. With clear water the tans, olives, and gingers are working the best. With water temps hitting 50 degrees yesterday, you can worry less about slow twitching and speed up the retrieve. Wood is out fishing rock as is the case most of the time but especially early season, as browns are still pretty close to the winter holding lies.

Dry Fly Options

It would be a mistake not to pack the dry fly rod from now on, with water temps hitting the magic 50 yesterday and with a big warm up this week, I would not be shocked to see surface feeding increasing. Only busted a few fish so far but again limited opportunity to hunt for them, but that will be changing. Had great BWO’s yesterday with plenty of little black stones. Found one fish that fed once on a black stone, but as temps increase so will the metabolism meaning more surface feeding.

Water Monitoring Stations

With two water monitoring stations now located on the Upper Manistee River you should add this link here for temp and flow data near the CCC Bridge and you should also book mark the new USGS site at M72 to follow trends in water conditions when planning your next fishing adventure. As guides we use this information daily in aiding our decision making process when planning for our days on the water. Conditions dictate success and understanding what the conditions are before you arrive can help you make smarter choices regarding where and how you fish a certain piece of water.

This new site is going to be a very valuable tool for the longterm. Now that real time data is available at both water monitoring stations, anglers will be able to develop a better understanding of water levels as they relate to depth and how wadable a section of river is to the walk and wade angler for example. When you begin to understand what the actual cfs reading looks like from a conditions standpoint, you will also be able to visualize how high and dirty a piece of water might be.

New Sun Shirts

Check out the latest sun shirts for this trout season

Manistee River Brown Trout Sun Shirt
green sun shirt

Trout Guide Trips

We will be changing our focus from the Lower Manistee River for steelhead , and now fishing the Upper Manistee and the Pere Marquette. We are booking trout, pike, and early season smallmouth trips currently, you can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email.

Tight Lines,

Jon Ray

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report
Pere Marquette Spring Steelhead

 

It feels like spring is just around the corner. Turkeys are gobbling. Grouse are drumming. Mother nature is waking up. What a great time to be in northern Michigan. The Pere Marquette is in great shape. Slightly stained but the water level is perfect.

Steelhead


The steelhead have moved from the slower winter water to the faster riffle water. They seem to like the dark pockets and slower seems around the gravel areas. The bead bite has worked best BUT the last few trips we have has some action on stonefly nymphs. It has been nice to see the spring steelhead migrating up river to make more. With steelhead migrating up river and a few heading back out to the lake now is a great time to catch a mixed bag. Some fresh chrome and some beautiful fall run fish.

Brown Trout


The brown trout are loving two things right now. Eggs and stoneflies! The trout fishing has been very good the past couple outings. The browns are so fat and healthy. We had a brown yesterday that was so full on eggs that he was throwing them up. Crazy! Alaska Style!
Only in the past few days have I noticed the stonefly hatching. Later in the day as the temp warms up look for trout rising to stones. The trout that have been rising have been in the slack water and foam lines. The dry fly fishing should improve as the water warms.

Booking Spring Trips

Drop us an email if your thinking about booking a trip on the Pere Marquette or Lower Manistee River. You can also give us a call at (231-631-5701) and we will get you on the water! Streamers, crank-bait fishing, and dry fly fishing are all the menu in the coming weeks. We will have prime trout dates open give us a call.

Jeff Topp