Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing
Trout Fishing on the Upper Manistee River

Manistee River Trout Report

This post will be our dedicated report page for the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing. While this being our first entry and it’s middle of December it will probably be a few months until we can update this post again. But I would suggest adding it to your favorites because during the 2020 trout season and beyond this will be getting updated frequently . Also make sure to check out out Steelhead Report page for the Manistee River.

Winter Trout Fishing

Trout fishing on the Upper Manistee this past week, Dec 9th, 2019 we had water temperatures just around 37 degrees. We found streamers with a small amount of weight in them fished better than push flies or deer hair patterns. You need to get down and stay down with your presentation during the winter trout season. As is normally the case the Russ Maddin Circus Peanut was a first choice out of the box once we saw that fish were not going to climb in the water column. Even though the water had a perfect color to it and was slightly above average flow, fish were not in the kill spots. Structure was key, broken timber in 3-5 foot of water. We never had a fish come out of the DEEP stuff during the day. The half dozen brown trout that came to the fly all in the 15-18″ range, all came towards the fly with the intent to kill and pack on some calories before winter really sets in.

Guide Trips

If your looking to book a guide trip for the upcoming 2020 trout season make sure to get ahold of us soon. As prime trout dates fill up fast. If your also thinking about giving your loved one a guide trip for Christmas, we set up a online E Gift Card site, these are printable and show up in your loved ones email account. Any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call. Make sure to check back next week as new Mangled Fly merchandise will be coming out.

Happy Holidays

Jon Ray

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 – 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?