Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report has us entering the second week of June and our Drake Season is under way. Fishing has been inconsistent for most of this week. The weather has been up and down, but we are getting some much needed rain today. Looking ahead, the forecast is for more unseasonable and cool weather this week which will probably stretch out the hatches a bit. The Mahoganies and Isonychia have been the primary focus and I would expect our Brown Drakes to show up with the next warmup.

If you have not heard the news regarding Didymo on the Upper Manistee, please educate yourself on this very resilient invasive species. It can be spread between watersheds very easily and can be detrimental to our trout streams. The amount of Didymo that we are seeing on our floats on the Upper Manistee below CCC Bridge is truly alarming. So far I have found it in every section below the CCC Bridge, but not yet above CCC Bridge. I would consider the River upstream of CCC Bridge NOT TO BE contaminated and treat it as another water body. Clean, Drain, Dry your gear before entering any waters above the Bridge.

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).


Didymo is on the Upper Manistee and it’s sad to to see as I think about the future ramifications for our beloved trout stream. Here is some under water footage of the Didymo that we found near 4 Mile access site – Under Water Video

Please spread the word to all river user groups! We must continue to clean our boats, kayaks, waders, wading boots, equipment, and whatever else makes contact with the water. Mangled Fly guides have already bought designated anchor ropes and anchors for the Upper Manistee and every other river we guide on. We are cleaning our boats and gear with 10% Solution for 10 minutes prior to fishing another river system, I suggest everyone does the same.

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing
Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing has been up and down with the start of our Drake Season. We have had several days of hatching Isonychia and a few fish are starting to take notice. Sulphur’s are winding down and the Mahoganies are still present on most days. Light Cahill’s, Yellow Cahill’s, Gray Drakes and Isonychia have all been present this week. Bug numbers have been variable for most of the week with the fluctuating temps. Some larger Stoneflies are showing up, the Mattress Thrasher and even a few Golden Stones have been active lately. Mattress Thrasher stoneflies have been busy on the sunny afternoons, pay attention as this bug is often overlooked.

Streamer fishing has been much harder in the clear water. With some precipitation today we should have some fish hunting baitfish in the bumping water flows. The Lamprey hatch is in full swing and Lamprey imitations have been the most productive flies on days the fish are willing to play. More rain is in the forecast for today so it should improve the streamer fishing and our water conditions moving forward.


We are into the first week of the Isonychia hatch now. As this hatch builds we should see more fish tuned into the surface activity. So far the hatching has been mostly light, but its that time of year and our larger trout love to graze on this bigger Mayfly. This is one of my favorite hatches of the season as the trout key up on this hatch. Isonychia are very active on the surface and will attract the attention of most of our trout. The fish can feed recklessly at times, but they will test your presentation. Pay close attention to how the fish are rising, large trout will often key in on the struggling nymphs just below the surface and the takes can be violent at times. The McCoy’s All Day Dun and Boondoggle Isonychia have been producing some good fish so far this week.

Mahoganies are still dancing during the warmer evenings. As the Mahoganies start to hit the water fishing a #12- #14 AP Drake or Borcher’s Drake can get you plenty of looks. This hatch tends to be opportunistic at times, but you may be surprised by the quality of fish it can produce. We are still waiting on our Brown Drake hatch to get going, the cooler weather will probably stretch out our timing a few more days. Make sure you are stocked up on the McCoy’s All Day Brown Drake in sizes #12 and #14. The #14 All Day Brown Drake has also been working well during the Yellow Cahill hatches currently happening.

Better Dry Fly Fisherman

Check out the latest video to help you become a better Dry Fly fisherman.

Dry Fly Tips and Tricks

Monitoring Station

The 4 Mile Water Monitoring Station is back up and working! Make sure to click the link. I encourage folks to continue to monitor the stations just to form good habits and a lot can be said by watching flows and gauge heights to help in the decision making process on where to fish. Please continue to use the USGS site at 72, USGS at Sherman, and the Monitoring Station at 4 Mile Access.

Trout Guide Trip

You can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email if your looking to book a Summer trout trip we still have a dates open. Prime June dates are quickly filling up as well, so get in your requests now. Make sure to check out our new sun-shirts in the shop area and get a few All Day Brown Drakes for this Upper Manistee river trout fishing dry fly action


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

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.