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Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Spring Steelhead Fishing

The Manistee River Steelhead report for the week of March 23rd. The Manistee River this past week has been holding steady around 2400 cfs. The river has been dropping steadily over the past few days and will probably remain slightly elevated as we warm up again and the snowmelt in the headwaters hits the stream. Water temps have also been on the rise and are now staying around 39.5 degrees. With the increased flows and water temperature, we have been seeing some fresh fish arriving daily over this past week, but not a substantial push by any means.

Coronavirus Pandemic and Guide Trips

With the global outbreak of the coronavirus now hitting close to home for every American, Michigan and several other states have issued a “shelter in place” order to try and ease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order in Michigan has mandated that all “non-essential Businesses” must cease all operations from March 24th to April 13th. This is subject to change based on how things proceed from this point moving forward. We at Mangled FLY hope everyone continues to do their part to prevent the transmission of this disease and we hope everyone continues to remain safe and healthy thru these trying times. We will resume our guiding services when the order is lifted by the state. We will try and update the fishing conditions as best as we can, so please be patient on awaiting new reports during these trying times. Also make sure to check out the Pere Marquette and Upper Manistee reports if you haven’t yet.

DNR

The State of Michigan has been encouraging people to continue to recreate outdoors using CDC approved social distancing practices. The Michigan DNR has been promoting the use of its outdoor resources and has encouraged people to engage in fishing, hunting, and general outdoor activities across the state. Yesterday the MDNR announced it would suspend all fees for the state parks, there will be no fees for people to enjoy the outdoor recreational opportunities here in Michigan throughout the outbreak. So with that being said enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer, but please continue to stay safe out there.

Fishing Report

The Manistee River Steelhead report as of late has some good steelhead fishing as of late. There is a mix bag of fish beginning to spawn and some newer fish arriving daily. The flows and clarity have improved dramaitcly since the last report as most of the recent runoff has moved through the system. With water temps quickly approaching 40 degrees it feels like the spring run is beginning to pick up in pace after a slight pause in the action with the recent cold fronts. The weather forecast for this upcoming week looks perfect with most days in the 40’s and even some 50’s and more rain heading into the weekend. This should keep the fish happy and continue to send our spring fish home.

The best flies right now have been brighter egg patterns in Chartreuse, Chartreuse and Orange, and Orange on the cloudy days and a little more pale on the sunny days. Salmon fry, hex, stones, and green caddis patterns are all providing opportunities especially when the fishing pressure has been high. Look for the green caddis nymph to continue to shine in the dropping flows this week and as we warm up the stonefly activity should return as well. As water continues to drop and clear, fishing with the smaller balsa floats and loafer style floats while utilizing a finesse approach, will once again provide some opportunities as we move forward in what should be a low water season this year.

Spring Steelhead

Spring Steelhead bookings have been put on hold at this moment due to the recent Governors executive order. Feel free to contact us regarding any future bookings and if you have a special someone who you know is itching to hit the water we are seeing a request for Gift Certificates towards future trips, (231-631-5701) and email requests are welcomed!

The next 3-4 weeks will be trying times as we navigate through the great unknowns, but we will get through this and we will be looking forward to fishing with everyone in the near future. Take care, stay healthy, and get outside and enjoy nature. This is a perfect time to disconnect from the the TV and Social Media and enjoy some self reflection, family time, and fly tying. We look forward to more positive times and getting back on the water shortly.

Tight Lines,

Ed McCoy

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Early season streamer fishing trips

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing report for late March has us busting through some snow and ice to get into the ramps. But with some 4×4 and a little elbow grease we got the drift boat into the Manistee River once again. Have reports that most of the launches are open, except maybe Tree Farms still, but with the rain yesterday that snow bank blocking the access could be manageable now.

Spring Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

One of the keys to Spring Trout fishing is water temperatures as you can see by the graph this past week we had our best success when temperature was on the rise. This week we hit 41 degrees on my temperature gun and that was the best day of activity we had.

River data for the Upper Manistee can also be looked at online at this link. They are still working on getting a good signal for all the data to load consistently but hoping by summer to fix all the problems. The probe is located downstream of the CCC Bridge a few bends. Giving you an idea for water temperature and level.

Streamer Fishing

With warm weather next week it will be a good week to get out again and chase trout, with streamer fishing being the main tactic. Early season patterns you can never go wrong with sculpin / goby imitations, take your favorite pattern and try a black head on it. As male sculpins and gobies when they spawn in the spring have very black / dark heads.

We noticed this week that we had to have lead on our patterns to get the most attention. With cool temps and dropping water most of our trout were located in deeper darker slots. Most of them would not come up for the flies, you had to get the fly deep to get them to chase.

Trout Guide Trips

With Steelhead hitting their prime on the Lower Manistee and Pere Marquette , we always welcome a change of pace and venturing to the trout water is a welcome adventure. If your looking to book a trout trip give us a call, 231-631-5701 or shoot us an email.

Stay Safe

Jon Ray

Pic of the Day – Big Steelhead

Manistee River Steelhead

Well so far the Steelhead run of 2019 is very similar to 2018, they are big again. If you remember one of my posts from last year I have the same feeling for this year. The elusive 20 pound steelhead is going to make it’s entrance at some point. Yesterday we had a 15-16 pound steelhead give us everything we could handle with an extremely long run, where the backing knot sure was tested for a longer period in time than I’m comfortable with as a guide. That amount of line out of the rod on the Manistee River with all it’s log jams is never a good thing.

Jim my client did everything he could to just hold onto this beauty. After landing the steelhead everyone was in awe and a simple picture in the net is all Jim wanted. We revived this beauty and off she swam to continue on her journey.

As your headed out this fall be ready for some big battles. Good luck and continue to check back as we share a few pics and stories from the fall steelhead run.

Michigan Fall Steelhead

Fall Steelhead on the Big Manistee River

Back on the Big Manistee for the Fall Steelhead season, wanted to share some quick pics of the first few days back. First impressions are we have some big fish again this year. They are strong and hard to hold onto. Without a doubt these are my favorite fish to chase during the season, the speed and power of these Great Lakes strain of steelhead is truly impressive.

Check back through out the week as I will continue to post additional images and links. Also make sure to follow Mangled Fly on Instagram as we post additional pictures and videos on our Feed and Stories.

Still have a few open dates at the end of November as well and plenty of availability in December too. Open Nov dates are 26,27,29. Contact me if your interested. As reports from my charter lake captains is this run of 2019 Fall Steelhead should be special. Have a great fall!

AP Drake

I have been lucky enough to have Ed McCoy on my team of guides for the last 10+ years and have access to his fly box on my days I need it. Now with Montana Fly Company picking up his patterns. You too can have them in your arsenal. Make sure stop by your local fly shop and ask for Ed’s patterns this Drake season. His AP Drake will be submitted soon, with it’s new updates. But I believe Orvis still carries this amazing pattern. AP stands for All Purpose. Makes it easy just match the size.

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.

 

brown trout

May Fishing Video

Did a quick edit from this past weeks for the Hawkins YouTube Channel.  Highlights are from a good week of Dry Fly Fishing for Trout on the Upper Manistee River.

Steelhead Eye – Picture of the Day

Late Fall and Early Winter Steelhead Fishing

  • Late Fall / Early Winter steelhead fishing is off to a great start make sure to check out the Manistee River steelhead report, with strong winds and some much need precipitation this past week steelhead were on the move.  Along with the Mansitee River, another great tailwater to fish this time of year is the Muskegon River.  Both rivers offer great steelhead fishing the month of December .

 

 

lake trout

Lake Trout, in the river?

What’s up with the increase in Lake Trout in the Big Manistee this year?