Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report has me a little more optimistic this week. Now that the heat wave is gone, we are starting to catch up with our hatch progression. We are seeing the end of the Hendrickson hatch and the Light Hendrickson, or Sulphur, is getting started. Fishing has been much improved the last couple of days with more seasonable weather.

If you have not heard the news regarding Didymo on the Upper Manistee, please educate yourself on this very resilient invasive species. It can be spread between watersheds very easily and can be detrimental to our trout streams. The amount of Didymo that we are seeing on our floats on the Upper Manistee below CCC Bridge is truly alarming. So far I have found it in every section below the CCC Bridge, but not yet above CCC Bridge. I would consider the River upstream of CCC Bridge NOT TO BE contaminated and treat it as another water body. Clean, Drain, Dry your gear before entering any waters above the Bridge.

Currently, there are no effective methods to eradicate didymo once it is established in a river. To prevent spreading didymo and other aquatic invasive species to new locations, it is critical for users to thoroughly clean, drain and dry waders, equipment and boats upon leaving a waterway.

  • Clean by removing mud and debris from all surfaces.
  • Use a 10% Solution of Dishwashing Soap with hot water for 10 minutes (Example 1 gallon of water is 12.8 oz of Dawn Soap). Then it must dry for 48 hours (mandatory if your fishing different water systems).


Didymo is on the Upper Manistee and it’s sad to to see as I think about the future ramifications for our beloved trout stream. Here is some under water footage of the Didymo that we found near 4 Mile access site – Under Water Video

Please spread the word to all river user groups! We must continue to clean boats, kayaks, waders, wading boots, equipment, and whatever else makes contact with the water. Mangled Fly guides have already bought designated anchor ropes and anchors for the Upper Manistee and every other river we guide on. We are cleaning our boats and gear with 10% Solution for 10 minutes prior to fishing another river system, I suggest everyone does the same.

Trout Report

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Manistee River Brown Trout

Trout fishing hasn’t been easy by any means this spring. With a slow Spring warmup, we suffered from a long cold and high water cycle. The Hendrickson’s hatch is coming to a close and we had a couple of decent spinner falls heading into the weekend. Black Caddis numbers have been building all week and fish are starting to take notice. Skate it, twitch it, dead drift it! Caddis are very active and sometimes it takes a bit of movement to elicit a strike. The Streamer fishing has been much harder with the dropping and clearing water conditions. A good rain event and bump in flows could spark another streamer bite, but for now we are focusing on the strengthening hatch fishing.


Next man up! The Sulphurs are starting to hatch now. With the next bug showing up the fish are getting a little more tuned into the surface activity. So far the hatching has been mostly light, but this little yellow bug can show up in numbers. This is one of my favorite early hatches as the trout can get keyed up on this hatch and feed recklessly at times. Pay close attention to how the fish are rising, large trout will often key in on the struggling nymphs just below the surface. This hatch should help to improve the dry fly fishing moving forward as the Mahoganies aren’t too far behind now. For now keep an eye out for hatching sulphurs, black caddis, and the last few Hendrickson spinner falls.

With the Sulphur stealing the show, its time to focus on the size 16 and 18 yellow bugs. Here is one of our go to patterns.

Monitoring Station

The 4 Mile Water Monitoring Station is back up and working! Make sure to click the link. I encourage folks to continue to monitor the stations just to form good habits and a lot can be said by watching flows and gauge heights to help in the decision making process on where to fish. Please continue to use the USGS site at 72, USGS at Sherman, and the Monitoring Station at 4 Mile Access.

Trout Guide Trip

You can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email if your looking to book a Spring trout trip we still have a dates open. Prime May and June dates are quickly filling up as well, so get in your requests now. We look forward to another great trout year, and was great to get back up on the water.


Spring Smallmouth Bass

Manistee River Fishing Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

April 29, 2022

The Manistee River below Tippy Dam steelhead fishing report for the end of April still has some fresh steelhead fishing entering the system right now. With the annual Trout Opener this Saturday April 30th, we have changed our focus this week. We are now specifically targeting trout, bass, and pike moving forward on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam. Right now the river has been running at/around 2110 CFS and water temps have been creeping up to 48.2 degrees. Water conditions really improved this past week. Streamer fishing for trout and bass has been improving slowly and with some warmer weather the dry fly fishing should pick up as well. With the opener this weekend the pike are now another potential target to add more variety to our angling opportunities.

Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead fishing this year was much improved compared to 2021. As I look back on the season we had a long consistent season as our spring weather was pretty cold overall. Most of the fish in the system now are spawning, but there are a few new fish still coming in. The drop back fishing for post spawn steelhead should remain productive over the next week or two.

Trout, Bass, Pike

Tippy Dam Fishing
Spring Smallmouth Bass

The streamer fishing for trout, bass, and pike will be the name of the game moving forward. The trout fishing will primarily be a streamer approach until the water temps warm up some more and our caddis hatches get going. Swinging wet flies will also gain some traction as we continue to warm up. Tippy is a great opportunity for the novice angler to work on fly casting, presentation, and catch some fish all in the same day.

The annual pre spawn bass migration is just heating up! As water temps continue to climb it should become more consistent as well. This time of year can give anglers a chance at some of the largest bass of the season. These fish will eagerly take a stripped streamer and can be handful in the higher spring flows. This is a great alternative to the bright sunny, clear sky conditions that make our spring trout fishing challenging.

The northern pike is a vicious predator and the Manistee River below Tippy Dam can produce some quality pike fishing. If you are into chasing large toothy predators, then pike can add some excitement to your trip. Often they attack your offering like a blur and can present the angler with some visual takes which will get your heart pumping .

Booking a Trip

The fishing right now is shaping up to be very good as our rivers continue to settle down and warm up. If you’re looking to book a Spring Trout/Bass/Pike Fishing Trip give us a call at (231-631-5701) or shoot us an email . Space is very limited right now and the Trout Opener kicks off this weekend. We are primarily targeting trout with streamers and dry flies on the upper river right now stay up to date with the Upper Manistee River Trout report. Also check out the Pere Marquette page as Jeff Topp has been actively guiding there.

Tight Lines,


Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Open Guide Dates

Jeff Topp

May 2,3, 17, 18

Spring is here and the Pere Marquette Fishing, with rain rain and more rain! That has been the way mother nature has treated us the last few days. The Pere Marquette was very high, over the banks high. With that being said the river stayed fairly clean and remained fishable.   Steelhead fishing has been pretty good. We have seen a mix of fresh steelhead, spawning steelhead and drop back steelhead. With that mixed bag in the river it has given us lots of angling options.

Steelhead fishing

With the steelhead spawning bead fishing remains strong. Larger floats and heaver weight under the float has made a difference in catch rate. Look for this to change as the water drops this week. The streamer/lure bite has also been producing some great action. With all the small fry in the river minnow patterns have been best.  

Brown Trout

Pere Marquette Brown Trout Fishing

Brown trout have had the feed bags on. With all the steelhead eggs floating down the river the browns are starting to fatten up. The dark water around the spawning gravel has had good numbers of browns in and around it. Egg patterns and beads have worked best in these areas. The streamer bite has started to pick up.

With loads of minnows in the Pere Marquette and the browns keying in on them, the smaller minnow patterns have produced some very nice browns.   It’s looking like mother nature will give us a break with all the rain and the river will drop some. The next week looks perfect for fishing. Finally some sun and warmth. It won’t be long and it will be time to get the dry flys out and get on a second shift schedule. Weather permitting.  Good luck out there and be safe!!!

Booking a Trip

Some of my favorite months of the year are coming up, with some best crank-bait fishing happing soon. I enjoy both crank bait and streamer trips, check out the video about how these two techniques are so similar.  Booking a trip is easy shoot us a text, or call us, (231-631-5701) or use the contact page.  

Now is the time to get out and enjoy the spring weather. Tight lines! 

Tight lines!

Jeff Topp