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Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Trout Fishing on the Upper Manistee

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing report for the first week of July and the July 4th holiday week has more sweltering heat remaining in the forcast throughout most of this week again. There are still some Hex Spinner falls in the evening, but we decided with the intense heat late last week its time to move on to other fishing opportunities that we can do during the cooler parts of the day or target warm-water species instead of trout. The recent intense heat and warm nights have made the water temps get too warm to fish for trout on most of the Upper Manistee. If you are a catch and release angler heading out in the evenings, make sure you take temps before fishing and play the fish quickly and give them lots of time to recover before releasing them.

Temperature

It’s not too often we need to preach about when or how one should be fishing, but in this heat wave you should limit your fishing to the first 4 to 5 hours of the day. The evenings and early night time water temps have been too warm on the 90 degree days as of late. Last week the Upper Manistee reached daytime highs of 72-73 degrees in all sections below Yellow trees. Please do not fish in those sections this week that go over 70 during the heat of the day, give the fish a break until this heat wave moves on. This type of weather is the number one reason why we teamed up with TU to get a river monitoring gauge established around the CCC Bridge area last year. Please use this link here for temp and flow data this summer to help you remotely monitor water temperature before you even head out to the river.

If the temps are going to go past 70 degrees for the daytime high, it’s probably just best to stay home. Last week the amount of safe cold water was really constrained to the sections above Yellow Trees, typically it will be 3-4 degrees colder than the current reading at the monitoring station. Above M72 appears to maintain temps 4-5 degrees cooler than the current readings at the monitoring station. These numbers are not exact and you should still use a thermometer to check the temps before fishing in those sections.

Hex Hatch

This past week the Hex hatch was feeling like it was showing signs of slowing down. We had a few spinner events and one hatch by the middle of last week and due to the heat wave we called off the dogs. The 2020 Hex hatch was good overall, lots of great fish were caught and plenty of new stories were made to be shared again on future trips. As we move forward from here we will be starting our hopper trips after this heat wave moves on and spending some time after dark chasing some fish that we couldn’t connect on during the the Hex hatch. We are already looking forward to chasing the Hatches again in 2021!

There will still be some remnant Hex spinners over the next week I’m sure, but as things come back to normal on the temperature scale we should still see some Light Cahills and Isonychia Spinners in the evenings and the Summer Olives and Trico’s in the mornings. Fishing Hoppers/Terrestrials on the Upper Manistee during the late summer months can be a great way to spend the day taking in everything she has to offer from the scenery to the fish themselves.

Trout Guide Trips

Looking to book a Northern Michigan summer Trout trip? If so you can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email. We are booking well into July and August now, with hopper and mousing trips. Ed only has a few nights left open for mousing and the daytime calendar is filling up fast so don’t hesitate to call for availability. If you’re thinking about giving the midnight creeper a try, click the link to the tying demo, this fly is easy to tie and very effective at night. It’s also not too early to start thinking about fall steelhead adventures on the Lower Manistee River for steelhead, and late season streamer trips for brown trout on the Upper Manistee as well.

Tight Lines,

Ed

Chestnut Lamprey

Chestnut Lamprey

Chestnut Lamprey
Chestnut Lamprey attached to a Brown Trout

Chestnut Lamprey

The Chestnut Lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, is a Native Species commonly found in Lakes and Rivers throughout the Great Lakes region. They are considered to be an indicator species and their presence in a body of water has been closely associated with healthy clean water. There is, however, one negative component to their presence in a watershed and that is the negative impact they can have on fish populations during their parasitic phase.

The chestnut Lamprey has two primary life stages to complete its life cycle. The first life stage is the larval phase, commonly referred to as ammocoetes, in which the larval form is primarily a filter feeding organism. The larva will live in the fine and silty bottom sediments in slower backwater pools for an average of 5-7 years. When the larva reach 4-6 years of age they go through a metamorphosis and develop teeth and a sucking mouth disk characterized by the adult parasitic phase of their life cycle.

The metamorphic phase appears to take place from October through the end of January as the ammocoetes enter the second life stage as parasitic adults. As the water begins to warm up in April the larva exit their burrows and enter the parasitic feeding phase of their life cycle. The Chestnut Lamprey tends to be more active at night and during low light periods. Peak feeding periods for the adults range from May through July with some adults holding over until the following spring to spawn. The adult chestnut lamprey will continue to feed until the peak spawning season occurs from June to July. After spawning the adults will die and the cycle is repeated. (Hall, 1963)

Manistee River

In Michigan, most of our trout streams have an established population of Chestnut Lamprey, but, the Manistee River has been mentioned as having a highly abundant population in the upper portions of the watershed, especially from County Road 612 to Sharon Road. As the water temperature reaches 50 F degrees the adults begin to feed. (Hall, 1963) This temperature change coincides nicely with the obvious annual appearance of Chestnut Lamprey on the trout we catch throughout the first half of our trout season. Most of the trout in our streams will react to streamer patterns tied with a long and “leechy” appearance and lots of undulating movement in the materials.

Matching the Hatch

Chestnut Lamprey will range in size from 4-5” early in their adult development and will attain lengths of +7” at maturity. It’s not a coincidence that as the lamprey continue to become more active that the streamer fishing becomes more consistent for us, especially on the Manistee River. The trout are not only actively feeding at this time, but they are also combating the presence of an “alien intruder” that will parasitize them if they let their guard down! It is not uncommon to see some pretty exciting visuals while fishing “leechy” patterns at this time of year. Some fish will recklessly chase them out of their territory and oftentimes will strike with violent takes.

Take this information for what it is worth, but having an understanding of the natural phenomenon that occurs during this time of the year can only help you. Fly selection, fly movement, and presentation are all critical components to angling success and having one more arrow in the quiver can only be a positive. The Chestnut Lamprey life cycle is really just an example of one more hatch that you should pay close attention to as we move closer to the opening day of trout season here in Michigan.

Hall, J. 1963. An ecological study of the chestnut lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, in the Manistee River, Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Spring Steelhead Fishing

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.

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 Tippy Dam area was closed as you can see by the post above my Jay Wesley with the DNR.

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

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 .