Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing report for the last week of May, and as we head into June, is that we are starting out this week with the Manistee River on another water drop. Some heavy rains hit the area late last week and added another 8″ to the river level. Water levels have already dropped 4-5″ and should continue to fall as the week progresses barring any more heavy rains. Make sure to check the water flow data , this site has been updated and seems to be loading much better FYI. As a walk and wade angler when you see the depth gauge near 14″ you are safe wading in all the sections upstream of Sharon Bridge Access, assuming you use common sense. Currently we are at about 17.8 on the Gauge. The water still has a heavy stain in the lower sections, with the USGS site near Sherman showing 1700 cfs, the river is still rolling pretty good downstream.

Sulphur Hatch

We are into the second week of Sulphur’s on the Upper Manistee. Most of the Light Hennies (E. invaria) have hatched and we are seeing mostly the smaller True Sulphur’s (E. dorothea). With the current cold front moving in the Sulphur’s have been hatching pretty good before dark, but not lasting long. Before the cold front we had clouds of Sulphur spinners in the riffle sections at dusk and some light spinner falls. The best thing going this week was the Great Mahoganies, Mahogany spinners have been on the water most days and providing some quality fish opportunities on the dry. Best flies for success have been #16-18 Robert’s Yellow Drakes, McCoy’s AP Drake and AP Spinner #14-12, Borcher’s Drakes #14-12. Fishing an emerger during the Sulphur Hatches has still been the most productive as the fish are not crashing the bugs, but just a light sip due to the higher flows and cooler water temps.

Matching the Hatches

As we move on into June the anticipation of our Drakes and Isonychia grows near, it won’t be long and some of the bigger Mayflies will be hatching! We are currently seeing some Great Mahoganies, Sulphur’s, Yellow Cahill’s, March Browns, Medium Brown Stones, Olive Stones, Gray Drakes, and some tiny BWOs as well. Look for the Isonychia and Brown Drakes to start in a few sections by the weeks end as another warmup is heading our way. Baetiscidae, or the “Bat Fly” as it is commonly referred to, are right on the cusp as well. The Manistee fish will get very selective when the Bat Fly spinners show up in the evenings and will let the bigger bugs go right by to gobble this bug up. Make sure to have some Chunky Borcher’s Drakes in #18-14 to put over a rising fish that won’t touch anything else you try.

Streamer Fishing

When the water was on the rise we had some good days of streamer fishing, but hitting the river the last few days on the drop you can tell the big boyz are full. Maybe not full but not starving. Chases and attacks of the fly have been softer and harder to hook up. As temps increase with warm day time highs, going early is your best chance. To also be honest the streamer rods are getting put away and it’s dry fly season. With increasing bug size and hatch densities starting to show up, it’s really time to match the hatch and hunt for heads.

Trout Guide Trips

We are guiding again, though we continue to have some restrictions. Currently we are only allowed 1 angler per boat, and we must maintain social distancing practices. We have no further information on how long this will last, but we are currently approaching this on a weekly basis. Please call us if you’re looking to book/or have a trout trip booked and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can reach us at , 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email. We will have more information as we begin to move forward and things continue to change weekly. We will continue to update the information as it is passed along to us so be safe and we will see you on the water.

Tight Lines


drier dry flies

Drier Dry Flies

Did a video on the Hawkins YouTube channel about a trick I learned a few years ago from angler Larry Webb.  Had to share this simple trick to keep your dry flies floating longer.  Thank you Larry for the helpful tip, has really saved my spinner patterns from an early grave.  Check out the video if you enjoy throwing around the dry fly this time of year.

May Dry Fly Video

Worked with Chuck Hawkins yesterday and taped a couple video’s that we just posted on our Hawkins Youtube channel.  Did work separating audio from video and inserting photo’s inside the video to display detail.  Working with audio is not an easy as it sounds, but enjoy the video and hope it helps bring to light how good May dry fly fishing can be.