pere marquette winter fishing

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

pere marquette winter fishing

The steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette has picked up over the last few days. The steelhead have been transitioning from the deep winter water to some quicker pre spawn water. With the water temp in the 40s the steelhead have began sniffing around the gravel. Look for moving/biting fish in dark water below riffles and bubble lines in the deeper water.

Float fishing has been the best method for getting bite. Right now beads have been the goto. With the water staring to warm up the insects will start to hatch. Better have the nymph box on board. Stone fly, hex and caddis nymphs will get bites.

As the water continues to warm the drop back fishing should start picking up. What a great time to catch a steelhead on a streamer or lure! Nothing better than a rip the rod out of your hands kinda take!

Brown Trout

The brown trout have moved into the holding lies behind the spawning gravel. The feed bag is on. The eggs from the spawning steelhead is a great meal for the trout after winter. The spawn moves the trout out of there normal holding lies and into the buffet line. Now is the time. Get out and enjoy mother nature!

pere marquette winter fishing




Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report below Tippy Dam

Spring Steelhead 

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Steelhead fishing Below Tippy Dam

The Manistee River fishing report below Tippy Dam for the last part of March.  With the apparent lack of snowpack, water levels started the week pretty low and clear.  However, we received a substantial rain event a week ago Monday night that made the river rise considerably.   Fishing the last week started out pretty good, but as the water bump moved through the system it started to change the Steelhead behavior and made the bite more inconsistent and difficult at times.  

I strongly urge you to get your spring dates now!  Water temps are already over 41 and this run feels like it will peak early this year.  The next 20 day window could be the whole show for this spring. Give us a call 231-631-5701 leave a voicemail or drop us a text message and we will get right back with you.

Manistee River

Currently the Manistee River  Water Levels  are on a drop cycle after some heavy rains and the highest flows we have experienced this spring.  Currently levels are 1660 cfs.  This will more than likely be our peak runoff event for this spring barring any more heavy rains.  Water temps have already exceded 41 degrees and are quickly approaching the 42 degree mark.  

This week we saw mostly adults on the Manistee River and some rather large units that left us humbled.  Our landing ratio suffered a bit this week as the fish were pretty fresh and more robust in appearance.  Until the high water we were still seeing mostly wild fish, especially in the sections below Pine Creek.  I suspect the high water will bring a significant number of our hatchery fish home.  The hatchery fish tend to show up in larger numbers around our spring high flows with warmer water temps.  The Spring Steelhead should be spawning here pretty quick as water temps will likely hit or exceed 42 degrees this week. 

Egg Patterns

Once again Egg patterns this week had the highest success rates.  With the bumping flows you had to find a pattern bright enough and big enough to grab their attention.  I would expect the stones and fry patterns to take off this week as the water recedes.  Usually new fish are pretty receptive to egg patterns and then we see a trend where pressured fish will key in on other food items such as the flies I mentioned. 

10mm and 8mm beads in light orange with Nuke Eggs and smaller clown patterns doing the best for egg imitations.

Salmon Fry

March is here so bugs and salmon fry will be a main focus for the rest of this month.  The river will continue to warm up this week and the stones and salmon fry will continue to become more active.  After the Chinook Salmon run last fall, we should have a banner crop of salmon fry in the slack water this spring.

Manistee River Steelhead Report


Booking a Trip

Manistee River below Tippy Dam is one of the best west side steelhead rivers in the state of Michigan.  Mangled Fly guides are starting to book Spring Dates so please give us a call at (231-631-5701) or shoot us an email .  Also not too early to get your Spring Trout trip or Smallmouth Trip on the books.

We have a new sticker too check out in the shop , this sticker is pretty cool so make sure to get yours today.  Also have new this year hand tied Night Leaders for those of you that like the mousing for brown trout.  We also put together a Night Fishing Assortment that saves you a few $$’s and comes with an easy box to store them in.

Jon Ray 

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the third week of February has us experiencing a very mild winter and mostly lacking snow.  With that being said the Upper Manistee River trout fishing has been good this winter.  The river is currently at or just below average flows and has a slight stain.  The water temperatures have ranged anywhere from the low 30’s to low 40’s. Water temps have been dependent upon ambient temperature and the amount of sunlight we get.  It looks like our area is going to receive another warming trend heading into March and I expect this trend to continue.   

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Streamer Fishing

The Winter Streamer bite has been decent on the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing, especially during the warmer conditions.  With the unusually mild winter we are experiencing the trout have been more active.  Grinding through the slow periods until the next bite window has been the key to success, but the windows have been somewhat unpredictable.  The streamer bite has been primarily on mid sized baitfish and leech patterns.  Black, Tan, and Yellow were the most productive colors recently, but you need to play with color and size as it can change frequently.  

Normally I would shy away from sunny conditions, but this time of year it can warm the water and inspire short feeding windows. Warmer Cloudy days have been the best, but this time of year you just go when you can.  Water temps have dropped into the low 30’s so you need to slow down your retrieve and fish a little deeper.  Weighted flies are typically more productive for us during colder conditions, but some days the swim flies can get the most lethargic fish motivated to come take a look.  

Upcoming Spring Streamer Season

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

The Spring is typically a peak time to fish Streamers on the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing. However, spring has become sort of an anomaly over the past 5 years.  Our winters have become progressively milder and our seasons have shifted forward over that timeframe.  With that being said our fishing has been ahead of  what we would consider normal.  Based on the lack of snowpack and warmer weather we are having we are probably a solid two to three weeks ahead of that pace.  The streamer fishing in the spring can be productive at times, but you still have to approach the day with a mindset to grind through the slower times.  

It won’t be long and we will be matching the hatches on the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing.  Early Winter Stones were rolling all afternoon, we didn’t see a rise, but a few more degrees and that becomes more of a possibility.  Spring fishing can be challenging at times, but it is a great time of year to be a trout angler.  Pursuing larger fish with streamers while waiting for an emergence of BWOs and Hendrickson’s can provide a mixed bag of opportunities.  It won’t be long before the hatches start to produce.  The longer days and sunshine are currently turning our thoughts towards the Upper Manistee River trout fishing prospects.


Didymo on the Upper Manistee continues to be a problem with a high level of concern.  I would consider the whole Upper Manistee River System to be contaminated with this Diatom. There was new Didymo growth above CCC bridge and it has been documented as far upstream as Yellow Trees Landing.  The Didymo mats in sections below CCC are still breaking down and to my knowledge there isn’t any blooming like we saw in the 2022 season.  Didymo is considered a very resilient invasive species so you need to educate yourself on safe cleaning techniques.  River Users will need to clean their gear or anything that touches the water.  Didymo can easily be spread between watersheds and can be detrimental to our trout streams.

I would consider the ENTIRE RIVER TO BE CONTAMINATED and treat it as such. Clean, Drain, Dry your gear before entering another Body of Water.  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).

New Shop Items

Have a few new Items in the Shop, besides the Stickers, we have Night Fishing Leaders,  a new Assortment of Night Flies that is perfect for the wade angler, and coming soon the ultimate boat anglers Night Fishing Assortment (coming soon).


Trout Guide Trip

If you’re looking to book a Trout Guide Trip you can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email.  We are excited for the upcoming Trout Season.  We have openings for this Spring with limited openings during the prime drake season, so make sure to book your dates now!  Also make sure to follow along on our social pages and our online fishing report page . for more updates. 


Tight Lines,