Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Dry Fly Fishing is heating up

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the first week of May gave us some water, but can we please get some more seasonable temps! We have been stuck in a cycle of 40-50 degree weather this week and fluctuating water temps, not quite the change we were hoping for, however I will take the big bump in flow. The water got pretty high after some heavy rains earlier in the week and the river has already dropped quite a bit. Fishing has been up and down this week, kind of like the weather, but a little stability should get us going in the right direction.

Streamer Fishing

So far the Upper Manistee River has been running low and clear this season, but we finally got some substantial precipitation this week and the river went on a steep rise. It has dropped 4-6″ already in most sections and has a pretty good stain to it right now. The streamer fishing has been pretty good on the drop so far as the fish quit hiding from the cold heavy flows and were on the prowl the past couple of days. We had success on a variety of flies and colors so I would argue there is not a hot fly, but how well can you move it! Yellows, White, White and Olive, Tan, all found fish and medium sized flies were the best overall.

Bait Fish patterns have been the most productive streamer patterns so far, but look for the Lamprey hatch to get going when our water temps maintain the 50 degree mark. With that being said streamer fishing is a searching game and playing with fly selection and various presentations is the name of the game. If it’s not working, change it up! Vary the fly size, retrieve, and fly color, each day has been different. The streamer fishing will continue to be good as long as the river holds some color, but as the water begins to drop, clear, and warm up, look for the insect activity to get the dry fly fishing fired up.

Dry Fly Fishing

As is the case with most cold fronts, the insect activity drops off substantially. This has been the case all week as water temps have been fluctuating from the mid 40’s to the low 50’s. The BWO’s in a size 18 have been the best hatch this week, with a few Hendrickson Duns still dribbling off. It feels like we are coming into the backside of the Henny hatch and I suspect we will be moving into a Caddis dominated week with the next warmup. Glossosoma Caddis (size 18-20) has been the predominant Caddis so far. There have been a few Brachycentrus (Mother’s Day Caddis in size 16-18) flying around, but there hasn’t been any significant hatching to speak of since the weekend. Make sure to be carrying your Henny Spinners and it’s now time to start thinking about Light Hendrickson’s and Suplhurs. It’s dry fly season now, and if you’re looking for the right hook to buy, check out Ed’s blog on hook choices. He lists some of his favorites.

This week I expect the Dry Fly fishing to really pick up with some warmer weather heading our way. With the current water conditions it’s also a good idea to carry two rods right now, one for fishing streamers and one rigged and ready to cast a dry fly to rising trout!

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.

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,


Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report
Spring Trout Fishing on the Pere Marquette

The Pere Marquette river is waking up! What a great time to be on the water! The river levels have been dropping slowly. As the river cleans and warms the hatch fishing should start to take off. The streamer/lure bite remains strong.  Make sure to check out the video I did with Ed McCoy breaking down some of the differences and similarities, of Streamer and Crank-bait fishing.  Any questions or comments drop us a note or leave a comment on YouTube.

Trout Fishing

The warming water has the insects starting to hatch. The past few floats I have seen a number of Stone Flies, Blue wing olives and some hendricksons starting to go. The trout have started to look up in the afternoons and into the evening. Look for the dry fly fishing to pick up as the water warms. It won’t be long and we will be in the land of mayflies. Great fun! Gray Drakes are one of my favorite hatches, check out Ed McCoys fly pattern. This mayfly is prolific on the PM and provides great opportunity for catching nice trout on dry flies.

The river is full of smolts hatching out of the gravel and the trout have been crushing them. When the trout are on the minnows hard slashes and mean takes is the tell tale sign

Booking Spring/ Summer Trips

Drop us an email if your thinking about booking a trip on the Pere Marquette or Upper Manistee River this year for trout fishing. 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

Manistee River Fishing Report

Manistee River Fishing Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Fishing Report
Smallmouth Bass on the Manistee Riverr

Fishing Report

The Manistee River Fishing Report heading into the last week of April has the Manistee River running a little low and still pretty clear for what is typical this time of year. Water flows are currently at an avg level, and running at 1620 cfs. Water temps have dropped a bit to 49 degrees after a couple of cold fronts moved through late last week and over the weekend. The steelhead fishing has tapered off and we are switching gears and targeting some different species. The main focus for us on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam has switched to Smallmouth Bass and Pike. Not saying you can’t find a steelhead or two, but with numbers dropping off we are past peak and we as guides have started to look for other areas to fish.

Spring Smallmouth Bass

The spring Pre-spawn Smallmouth Bass migration has been continuing to bring in some new fish over the past couple of weeks. These fish have been on the larger size and are very eager to take a stripped fly fished through their area. Both in the Manistee River below Tippy Dam and the surrounding local lakes, Smallmouth Bass are in pre-spawn mode and super aggressive! They have been grouped up, so once you find one you can usually find more, but over this past week they have been spreading out. Baitfish patterns have been working the best fished with a hard strip and a long pause. The Smallmouth Bass have been eating on the pause in most situations. With the low clear water some of the visual aspects of seeing the fish chase and eat the fly have added to the fun.

Mangled Fly Clothing

Check out the latest in Mangled Fly Clothing, as we have added some new hats and Sun-shirts over the last few weeks.

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,