Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Manistee River Steelhead Report

Fishing Report

The Manistee River Steelhead Report for the final week of October, has us on the full throttle of Fall Steelhead. Water is at a good level even with all the rain from late last week. The Big Manistee is running at 2770 cfs with water temps in the high 40’s. We continue down a temp slide not making the fishing easy, but with fresh fish entering the river system one can’t complain.

Fall Steelhead

The Fall Steelhead of 2020 has gotten off to a good start, with some really big fish around that have been testing our anglers skill sets. With water temps on the slide the past 10 days if you look at the graph, you will see these are now the temps where fish really stop moving and start hunkering down for the season. Allowing the streamer bite to pick up. With less focus on the egg bite, now you can pick up fish with other tactics.

We have had some good swing trips too start off the streamer bite season, with Ed McCoy guiding Terry to an impressive Lake Trout (picture on the Instagram stories this week). Early morning very flashy patterns with copper tones have been best, but later in the day more natural sculpin patterns are working better. Look for fish to be resting outside the main current, so work those soft seams.

Water levels jumped up the last few days, so besides eggs make sure to pack your big stones, caddis, and mop patterns. With this water volume you can get away with some bigger items to get steelhead attention. Chartreuse caddis or mop patterns can be a perfect way to get into a few extra fish that have seen all the egg patterns already this year.

Booking a Guide Trip

If your looking to book a guide trip give us a call or shoot an email (231-631-5701) and email . Fall is one of our busiest times, we are booked until the middle part of November currently. November is a great time of year for swinging a fly on the Manistee River, or running a float in the deep holes. We will offer full and half day winter trips starting in December, just let us know what works best for you.

New Hats & Sweatshirt

Jon Ray

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Trout Fishing

Pere Marquette Fishing Report
Pere Marquette Fall Brown Trout Fishing

Fishing Report

Pere Marquette River Fishing Report for the first week in October is the river is in great shape for salmon, trout, and the first arrivals of steelhead fishing. The Salmon migration is in full swing. We spent the better part of the day watching kings swim up river to their spawning grounds. Pods of 2 to 10 fish at a time passing us bye. Although we had brown trout on our mind it was a very pretty sight. Also the salmon are a great food source  for everything that swims in the river. Not to mention the birds and critters on the banks. With the trees in full bloom it is a great time to be floating the river.

Trout Fishing


Trout fishing was pretty good. We moved trout in the log jams and deeper runs on lures for the better part of the day but our best trout bite was around the spawning kings. It seemed to me that the browns are starting to put the fall feed bags on and are lining up behind the spawning kings. The best luck we had around the gravel was to use beads and yarn flys under indicators. A solid dead drift made a big difference in the number of bites we had. As the salmon continue to spawn the trout fishing in and around those areas should get better. We also had a couple of good butt whoopin steelhead on our lines and they did just that. Whooped use big time. The steelhead fishing should ramp up as the fall moves on.

Fall Steelhead

Steelhead are egg junkies. This time of the year we usually find them in the dark water around the kings spawning gravel. The bead game is strong right now. Salmon eggs are the best food source available in the fall and they are like crack to steelhead. As the fall progresses and the King Salmon spawn slows the steelhead will move back into the deeper runs. This is my favorite time to be on the Pere Marquette from mid November and December for me is the time to be fishing for fall steelhead.

With very low angling pressure that time of the year in my opinion its the best! This time of the year fish are there and the river gives you the feeling that you are the only one out there. Floating the river in the later fall can bring great reward. We have a few openings for the later fall season. My favorite season. If you would like to float the Pere Marquette this fall please let us know. It is a very special time to be on the river.

Booking Trout Trips

Drop us an email if your thinking about booking a steelhead fishing 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! We still have a few openings in November and December can be just as good if your looking to get out on the water. Make sure to check back as our fall hats should be arriving soon. Also not too early to think about Gift Certificates for your favorite anglers for holiday gifts.

Jeff Topp

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing report for the middle of September has the late summer fishing transitioning hard into fall. Fishing has been pretty good overall, hoppers are still producing but small streamers have been getting some attention as the fall air is triggering movement. We had a water event at the beginning of the week and fish moved into ideal hunting spots. Currently water has dropped and clearing.

Fall Fishing

With some more seasonable weather in Northern Michigan, the water temps have been dropping into the upper 50s at night as we begin to transition into Fall fishing on the Upper Manistee River. Please use this link here for temp and flow data this fall to help you remotely monitor water levels before you even head out to the river. Understanding the water levels and being able to relate the Depth reading at the gauge to how wadable a section is, or understanding how high and dirty the water might be, is still a valuable tool that can be used when choosing the best section to fish as we move towards our fall streamer season.

Transitioning to Fall Hatches

The fall Isonychia hatch was in full effect this week. With the recent drop in water temps this bug has been hatching more consistently throughout the day and the fish were taking notice. This hatch isn’t as prolific on the Upper Manistee River as the earlier June hatches, but it can provide some good quality fishing at a time of the year where the hatches are very limited. Also had good Cahill’s this week in size 14. Look for best bugs from 12 to 5 pm, with flying ants in the evening hours.

Good cinnamon colored ants have been flying around from size 16 to micro. Not sure how small they were, but I mean small. Smaller than I want to fish and tie, fish didn’t seem to mind and we caught plenty on size 16 and 18 ants as well on those warmer less windy evenings.

Fall Streamer Fishing

This week the streamer bite was solid in the beginning of the week as fish liked that water event we had, Kean had us booked for a couple days and mangled to find a beautiful Manistee River rainbow trout, one of those fish we don’t see very often. Fish were on the hunt on insides and shallow kill spots. Or hunting spots, with water dropping focus on the deep pools.

We have been fishing a lot of floating lines and weighted streamers as of late on the Upper Manistee, but check out the New Sonar I/2/3 from SA. It has been fishing so well for smallmouth bass in the low-clear water that it will be getting a good run later this fall if low-clear water conditions persist into the late fall for trout. Check this line out at your local fly shop and put it in your arsenal this fall!

Trout Guide Trips

Looking to book a Northern Michigan Fishing trip? Please continue to check out this page as we update it, but we will be starting to spend a lot of time over the next 3-4 weeks persuing other fish species as we transition into October and our Fall Steelhead fishing on the Lower Manistee River for steelhead. You can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email. We are booking well into October & November now, with streamer trips for trout and then Fall Steelhead starting in as well.

We have a few sweatshirts back in stock , this is a great weight for the fall season and is one of the coziest sweatshirts I own. New in the Mangled Fly Swag hamper we are working on a wax canvas fall steelhead head, a new beanie, and one last trucker hat for the 2020 season, so check back to see when they are added or follow Mangled Fly socially.

Tight Lines,

Jon Ray