Manistee River Trout Report
Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the third week in June has some relief from the heat wave coming our way. We apologize for the long lapse in reports, but it was a strange week last week as I can’t say I have ever taken a week off from trout fishing in early June!! Things are changing and the water temps are recovering after some light rains and much cooler nights. Hopefully we can get through the rest of our hatch season without another repeat “heat wave”. Conditions were not ideal last week for what should be prime time fishing for trout in Michigan. Water temperatures were at dangerous levels this past week for catch and release trout fishing so we took a break from the trout stream. Moving forward everyone should continue to use caution and check the water temps at these gauge stations before heading out. Please use the USGS site at 72, USGS at Sherman, and the Monitoring Station at 4 Mile Access to give you the best up to date water temperature information.
We have been getting back to guiding for trout the past few days, but we are still running later on the warmer days. The last few nights have given the water temps a much needed cooling, but we could still use “inches” of rain for longterm stability. We thank our guests for being flexible and ask anyone fishing with us the next few weeks to understand that we will probably continue to have to make last minute adjustments moving forward if water temps get back into lethal ranges.
Jon and I live for this time of year, but the resources is too precious to not be vigilant and smart about our choices. We are asking our guests to continue to understand the limited photo’s or no photo policy. The trout were severely stressed over the past week so we will continue with the no grip and grins and in the water only shots for a trophy. We are using the heaviest tippets we can push thru the dry flies, no downsizing tippet, and no babying while fighting hooked fish. We are pushing the 6wts to the max and sacrificing flies if need be.
Now, back to more positive outcomes. With the intense heat over the past week we have been starting to see Hex in most sections of the Upper Manistee. With that being said, there hasn’t been any “super events” yet, but the fish have taken notice. We are also seeing some big overlap in hatches right now. There are still a lot of Brown Drake Spinners in the trees and the Iso has been showing up again in the cooler weather. Both hatching and Spinning Isonychia have been taking some good fish as of late along with the Brown Drake and Hex spinner falls at dusk. Light Cahill’s have also been present in the evenings along with some bigger stones. Both Golden Stones and Giant Stones have been active in the evening and after dark providing fish with a very large meal!!
Spinner flights were pretty intense a few nights ago, but the last couple of days have been a little lighter with the cooler temps. Brown Drake spinners in 12 and 14 have been producing when Brown Drakes are on the water. The All Day Dun and Boondoggle versions have also been fishing well while searching water. The All Day Iyso size 10 (gray) has been good the past two days as the water has cooled and some Iso have been hatching before dark again. We will be deploying the All Day Cherry (new for 2021) this coming week as the Isonychia spinner falls should take over in the cooler weather. This fly has been a go to fly in my program for years and this year it’s finely available to the public. The red version is imitating the Isonychia in its final stages of life, known as a spinner. This fly is a great searching pattern.
It’s finally starting to feel a little more normal for this time of year and hopefully that trend will continue for a while. The hatches are definitely early and highly compressed so hopefully this cooler weather stretches things out a bit moving forward.
Trout Guide Trips
We are currently in prime time for trout on the Upper Manistee River. We are booked for June but are currently booking for hopper trips this summer and smallmouth trips on the lower Manistee. Last I heard from Ed he has 1 day open this mousing season. You can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email if your looking to book a trout guide trip.