Tag Archive for: dry fly fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

The Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the third week of July has the mid summer programs are picking up.  We have finally entered the “Junk” season when you can fish any and every crazy concoction that comes off the tying vise.  The foam bite has been gaining momentum and we still have a few key hatches getting some fish up.  July is always a fun month and the dog days of summer can provide some relaxed fishing.  This time of year matching the hatch isn’t as critical like we saw in June.  

Overall the Hex hatch was pretty solid during the first week.  Just like in recent years, big cold fronts can stretch the hatch out.  As of right now we are still seeing small windows of hatching and spinning bugs.  The Isonychia is still producing some good fishing.  Recently the Hopper and Terrestrial bite has been our primary focus.  Fishing foam is a great way to just go after an impact bite.  Foam flies this time of year can create lots of action and some pretty savage eats at times.  

Water conditions have been all over the board the past couple of weeks.  We continue to receive decent amounts of rain on a weekly basis which has helped to buffer the river from getting too warm.  The river has been dropping and clearing all week and water temps have been mostly in check with fishable water temps this past week.   The water temperatures have ranged anywhere from 59-68 over the past week.  We have a little cool down coming over the next few days so fishing should pick up.  I’m looking forward to a steady pattern of daytime highs in the 70s over the next week.


Streamer Fishing

The Streamer bite has been put on the back burner for us.  Our focus right now is primarily on the dry fly fishing.  However, if we get a big storm or rain event the streamer could produce more opportunities especially in rising flows.  Smaller streamers have provided the best activity, but the fish are still focused towards the surface when insects are present.  Grinding through the slow periods and keeping the faith is always the key to success.

Warmer cloudy days are always the best, but this time of year I look for a cold front or bump in flows.  With water temps peaking in the low to mid 60s the best times will be early in the morning.  Water temps in the 60s will usually motivate the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing towards the surface.  The fish have shown this shift over the past few days.

Late Summer Programs

The Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing has been pretty good in the mornings and the evenings.  Our Hex Hatch has been past peak and winding down over the past week, but we still have had a few spinner and hatching events.  Over the last few years we have seen the Hex push into August, however the feeding events have always been inconsistent at best.  Isonychia and Light Cahill’s have also been present in decent numbers and the fish will key in on them when they are active.

Fishing in the morning vs the evening can have different experiences, but one must pay attention to the water temps.  Make wise choices based on cooler water temps to decide when to go fishing this time of year.  Usually the middle of the day is the hottest and heat waves can make the water temps get questionable until well after dark on the really hot days.  Mornings will always be the safest bet for water temps safe enough to fish.  Usually the coolest water temps will be found in the morning during July.  


The mornings have been dominated primarily by the Summer Olives, but the Trico’s are making a run for the title of the most abundant food source.  This hatch will test your presentation and your patience.  Tiny size 20-24 mayflies and small trout that require perfect presentation will quickly test your skills and attitude.  Outside of the cooler periods of the day the “Foam” bite has been picking up steam and the Hopper and Terrestrial patterns are getting the most attention from our trout.  This is a fun time of year, somedays the impact bite can be silly, but you can also catch a few nice fish from time to time.  

As the cool weather moves in this week look for the fishing to become more consistent throughout the day.  Stable weather has been the recipe for more consistent fishing this year.  The unstable atmosphere this year has been the most limiting factor for our hatches and consistent fishing.  July is always a fun month to fish, the pressure of bugs or no bugs is no longer an issue.  This time of year you just base your decisions upon when and where based upon the daily conditions and just go fishing.  In July we create our own hatches, no bugs are required!


Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

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

Check out the latest Mangled Fly T-Shirt plus Flex Fit Hats are back in stock. 

Trout Guide Trips 

We have very limited openings available during the peak hatch season, so make sure to book your dates now!  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.   Also make sure to follow along on our social pages and our online fishing report page . for more updates. 


Tight Lines,


New Fly Release McCoy’s All Day Spinner

McCoy's All Day Spinner
McCoy’s All Day Spinner

McCoy’s All Day Spinner – Isonychia

I am excited to announce a new fly pattern to be released by Montana Fly Company in 2021! The McCoy’s All Day Isonychia Spinner is very durable, has a very realistic profile, can be fished all day, and is a must have pattern for our Northern Michigan streams. This fly will be available in two sizes, #10 and #12, and will complete the Isonychia lineup in a series of foam based dry flies that I released through MFC in 2019.

The All Day Isonychia Spinner is a great searching pattern and is one of my go to favorites to target rising trout during an Isonychia Spinner fall. Make sure to check with your local fly shops for availability and I expect we will have a limited quantity available here online at Mangled Fly. Read more

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.