Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Latest update for the 2019 Fall Steelhead run on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam for early December . Water levels on the Manistee River jumped this week to 2700CFS and currently this morning are running at 2610 CFS. After last nights couple inches of snow, we are back into a winter steelhead program again. Fishing the last week wasn’t easy as water reshuffled the deck. But we did find a few new steelhead pushing into the system and trout fishing was pretty consistent near Tippy Dam as well.

Winter Steelhead Fishing

It’s winter time. Winter steelhead fishing has it’s pro’s and con’s. But the fact remains it’s one of my favorite times of year. Boat ramps are almost empty and their are plenty of steelhead in the river. It’s all about reading water speed and finding those easy current seams. No different if you fish high or low in the system is all about speed, not as much depth. Especially with rising water. Then I really like to hunt shallow runs. As steelhead that are sitting shallow are usually really aggressive.

Winter Steelhead Fishing should remain strong this year, with a good population around. Small streamers and Indicator fishing will be the main focus through out the next few weeks and later into December. Water has a good stain to it currently so bright patterns have been best. With Chartreuse leading the charge. This week the streamer bite was slow, but with cold high water that can be the case. Hope to get out a few days this week personally and see if I can dial it in a little better.

Steelhead Guide Trips

Steelhead Guide Trips are available all winter and it’s really not to early to start thinking about booking for next year. December, January, and February we will be offering 1/2 day trips for $325. Feel free to send me an email using the contact page , Call 231-631-5701 or get ahold of me via DM at Instagram or Facebook as well. Thanks for checking out the site few items remain on the Sales page if your looking for some Mangled Fly Swag added the Muskie T to the Sale items this week. Been trying to add a few images social as well, so follow along. Short clip and videos are in our Stories section of the day’s events as well.

Jon Ray

Pic of the Day – 2018 Fall Steelhead Run

The 2018 Fall Steelhead run has begun, so far size of the fish is very impressive.  Looking forward to the next 2 months.  Make sure to check out the fishing reports for the Manistee River and the Muskegon River for more pictures and updated information.  Hope to see you out there, have a great fall.


Biggest so far on the Swing (this year)

Nice part about battling the big boyz of the 2013 fall steelhead with the streamer rod, is that you can battling them with 12-15 pound test tippet.  Pictured below is Robert from OK with the largest steelhead landed so far with a streamer.  Great fish Robert. Would guess the fish to be 14-15 pounds.


Picture of the Day – Hoodie and Steel

Dan C. with a super silver fall steelhead from the Manistee River.  Dan also sporting a Mangled Fly Hoodie.  (MFM green can barely be seen, but it’s there) With the forecast of 40’s and mix (rain/snow) the down puffs and hoodie will be a staple the rest of the year.  Steelhead fishing is pretty darn good right now.  Thank you Dan for a great day.



Big this Year

Better get ready to rumble this year, as fish are bigger than normal on the West side.  Pictured is Jon with a big boy from the Manistee River from this Friday, Oct 11th.  Two-Handed rods are start to come out, as heavy angling pressure is pushing the fish off of the gravy train and into the spots I call home.


Fireman pants and chrome

The contrast of the bright orange pants with the green tree line, and the pure beauty of a Michigan fall run steelhead.  I love taking pictures of these fish.

Fall Colors

Colors seem to explode yesterday morning (once the rain stopped), this bank along the Manistee River always has great color and is a wonderful back drop for anglers as we search for chrome.

As the sun rises, the colors explode along the Manistee River.

Underwater Steelhead – Pic of the Day

Erik Rambo shot a video of a cool release shot of a steelhead swimming away along the sand in the lower river.  This video was shot this week in the high sun so we had good light and low clear water provides for a perfect effect. Took the video and converted it to a jpeg and found this shot that is hard to get with just a camera.  Thank you Erik.

Keep on trying – season is almost over

So I know in my hearts of hearts that as the water temps cool, I’ll only have a couple more chances at the leaping, cartwheeling, summersaulting, jumping, kicking your butt steelhead leaps that I try to burn into the images of film (DSLR).  But here is one from the week that turned out okay.  Had a chance at true glory but had the wrong ISO and AF for the moment, and all I captured was blur.

Splish Splash Steelhead Taking a Bath – Pic of the Day

Fall Steelhead do some crazy and wild things, trying to capture these events on film are almost as hard as getting one to eat on a tight line.  Streamer season has started and let the games begin.