Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report below Tippy Dam

Fall Steelhead

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Steelhead fishing Below Tippy Dam

The Manistee River fishing report below Tippy Dam has us in late fall or early winter mode.  Received our first significant snow yesterday with 3-5″ of the white stuff blanketing the ground and boat ramps.  With water levels remain low and clear, the fish that are here are on high alert .  We continue to only receive small trickles of new fish coming.  But I will say my last few trips I’ve noticed an uptick in hook ups.  While mostly because I’ve had a down trend in other fishing boats, I have been finding a few more steelhead per trip.

Here is a link to the NEW NRC Amendment for the 1 fish limit for steelhead.

Manistee River

Currently the Manistee Water Water Levels  is on a slight rise with the small amount of rain and snow lately .  We are currently at 1560 CFS and would love to see some more rain or snow.  Manistee River is low and clear in most sections and downsizing your presentation is key once again.  Water temperatures on the Big Manistee are still in the low 40’s (currently at 41 F).  

Definitely been noticing some dropping water temperature tendencies , meaning you better start fishing some slower seams and looking for some slower moving water.  This temp drop from the 40’s into the 30’s can be one of the toughest scenarios .  But once it settles and levels out fishing will be good for the rest of the winter months.

Egg Flies and Swung Flies

I was all over the board this week with fly colors.  One day size 12mm was my best with the biggest brightest stuff I had in the box firing, to the next day with high sun and blue bird skies I had to run the dullest 8mm I own.  Looking for colors such as Sunny D or Mandarin.

Same can be said for the swung flies, early fall firet iger one day to the smallest black with hardly any blue flash would be our only action.

Best advice I can give you is be ready to tie a few extra knots each day and change out until you find something that works .  Simple concept this year I’ve been employing is to have faith in the fly or presentation.  It’s probably not the color if the steelhead are there they have been active in the first few casts.  Have faith in what you’re throwing just keep fishing.  It’s not the fly.

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 have some openings now that we are almost to December so please give us a call at (231-631-5701) or shoot us an email Guides are open to a full or 1/2 day trip.  With winter fast approaching some of the best fishing can be from 10am to 2pm.  

If you haven’t noticed we finally have the Amphibious Assaults and McCoy’s Mouse (both sizes) in stock.  These flies look really good.  Buy them online at the links above.

Jon Ray 

Upper Manistee Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the third week of October.  The colors are popping and the Brown and Brook trout are nearing their peak spawning period.  The river is low and clear and the water temperatures have ranged from 48 to the low 50’s.  It looks like our weather is going to be fairly seasonal moving forward and some much needed rain is heading our way.

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River in fall colors

Streamer Fishing

The Fall Streamer Season, the hunt for large fish, has been decent to productive pending conditions.  The streamer bite has been primarily on baitfish and leech patterns.  Cloudy days have been the best, but the better fishing can be during or after rain events.  Water temps have dropped into the low 50’s and with the right conditions the streamer fishing should improve until the fish begin to spawn.  

October can be a good time to go as the fish are in pre-spawn mode and want to eat.  As the fish begin to spawn the streamer fishing will lose its effectiveness.  At this time the fish just need a break until they are done with their spawn.  The post spawn window is one of my favorite times as the fish are looking to put some weight back on heading into winter.

Upcoming Post Spawn Streamer Season

Brown Trout on a Streamer

Sometime around the second week of November the fish will finish spawning and the streamer fishing will pick back up.  The post spawn bite can provide some good fishing especially on cloudy/wet weather days.  It will pretty much be a streamer game moving forward.  Late fall and winter can give the angler who is willing to go hunting for the opportunity plenty of solitude.


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).


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 currently have limited availability, so if your looking to book a trout trip I would encourage you to do so soon. October and November brings with it a mixed bag of opportunities as we are on the Lower Manistee chasing Fall Steelhead.  So make sure to follow along on our social pages and our online fishing report page .

Make sure to check out the new mouse and frog patterns from Montana Fly Company that have finally arrived.  Check out our online store for these flies and availability.  They have been a staple in my box for several seasons.  Both patterns have provided personal best trout for our customers.


Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Hello fishing friends! Here is the latest Pere Marquette Fishing Report. 

Dry Fly 

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

It is time to switch gears and go into second shift mode. It’s dry fly time in the river. With a good amount of insects hatching starting mid afternoon and going into night fall. Look for caddis and stoneflies to start hatching mid afternoon. As the evening starts and the sun gets below the trees it’s drake time. Check out Ed McCoys All Day Dun patterns for the go to patterns for the night bite. They are foam so they float all night long.

Lure or Streamer

If lure or streamer fishing is your game you better start early. First light bite is by far the best time to move a big brown on a lure. As the insect hatch gets stronger the lure bite will get harder to find.The first couple hours of light night be the only hope this time of year. The browns at times will just sit and wait for the “hatch”. This makes it hard to catch fish during the day. Bottom line is get your dry flies out and enjoy the evenings on the river. The river is low and clear. Wading should be very doable. Watch your step and be safe out there. 

Booking a Trout Trip

If you’re looking to book a Trout Trip use our Contact Page 

 Pick up a few dry flies from our Shop, as the Pere Marquette Hex Hatch is only weeks away.  New Sun Shirts are also available, hood makes for a great mosquito barrier in the late evening as well. 

Jeff Topp