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Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Manistee River Steelhead Report

Fishing Report

The Manistee River Steelhead Report for the final week of October, has us on the full throttle of Fall Steelhead. Water is at a good level even with all the rain from late last week. The Big Manistee is running at 2770 cfs with water temps in the high 40’s. We continue down a temp slide not making the fishing easy, but with fresh fish entering the river system one can’t complain.

Fall Steelhead

The Fall Steelhead of 2020 has gotten off to a good start, with some really big fish around that have been testing our anglers skill sets. With water temps on the slide the past 10 days if you look at the graph, you will see these are now the temps where fish really stop moving and start hunkering down for the season. Allowing the streamer bite to pick up. With less focus on the egg bite, now you can pick up fish with other tactics.

We have had some good swing trips too start off the streamer bite season, with Ed McCoy guiding Terry to an impressive Lake Trout (picture on the Instagram stories this week). Early morning very flashy patterns with copper tones have been best, but later in the day more natural sculpin patterns are working better. Look for fish to be resting outside the main current, so work those soft seams.

Water levels jumped up the last few days, so besides eggs make sure to pack your big stones, caddis, and mop patterns. With this water volume you can get away with some bigger items to get steelhead attention. Chartreuse caddis or mop patterns can be a perfect way to get into a few extra fish that have seen all the egg patterns already this year.

Booking a Guide Trip

If your looking to book a guide trip give us a call or shoot an email (231-631-5701) and email . Fall is one of our busiest times, we are booked until the middle part of November currently. November is a great time of year for swinging a fly on the Manistee River, or running a float in the deep holes. We will offer full and half day winter trips starting in December, just let us know what works best for you.

New Hats & Sweatshirt

Jon Ray

Fly Fishing Insider Guided Podcast

Fly Fishing Insider Guided Podcast

Scientific Anglers

I am honored to be selected to be part of the Fly Fishing Insiders Guided Podcast series, this series features the Scientific Anglers Ambassador’s and Advisors . This being episode 15 in the series, the host of the show Greg Keenan and I decided to discuss Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass.

Smallmouth Bass

Greg mentioned he had not had the opportunity to interview anyone yet as it relates to smallmouth bass. I did my best to cover the different ways that I like to target smallmouth bass in Northern Michigan. Going over a few different lines and setups. A key tip I disclose is how I use smallmouth bass to help me later in the year show me those off the radar steelhead spots. Make sure to give the podcast a listen and let me know what you think.

Podcast

Jon Ray

Bass Popper

Bass Popper

Bass Popper Pattern

Woke up this morning to a very nice text message from Bob C.  Bob was fishing Bass Poppers last night, and he wanted to share his success on the Mrs. Pakman popper pattern.   Fishing Bass on topwater, no matter if they are smallmouth or largemouth bass, is personally on of my favorite experiences with a fly rod.  The explosive takes and visual experience, that you get when a Bass takes your popper is something every fly angler needs to witness.  It truly doesn’t get any better, than Bass on topwater.

The Mrs. Pakman was a pattern that we covered in the Big Appetite Smallmouth Bass  DVD  from a couple years ago.  Kevin Feenstra and I collaborated on this Smallmouth Video, to cover all aspects of smallmouth bass fishing.  One of  the 6 patterns we covered was this simple foam based popper, it is easy to tie and highly effective.  Check it out, if you haven’t.  The Pattern is covered int he 32 nd minute of the video.  Also you can watch the video On Demand here.  Thank you for your support.

If your not into tying your own top water patterns.  But your thinking of buying a few for this summer’s Bass fishing adventure.  Two things to consider when buying a popper.  First, what is the underbody color.  The most important color is what does the bass see.  Don’t worry about the colors on top of the popper.  Some great choices to start with are yellow, white, and then go dark for an assortment like dark green or black.  Second, is the hook gap on a popper.  Make sure if your buying a Bass Popper that you buy one with a big hook gap.  No less than the width of your thumb.  Make sure the Bass Popper can hook the Bass that your targeting.

Some of the best  Bass Poppers to buy are the Boogle Bug Popper , make sure to check these Poppers out for your Bass fishing needs.  They are a little expensive for a fly, but they are truly worth it.  Very durable, come in great colors, and are perfect size for smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Happy Bass Fishing,

Jon Ray

Jumping Largemouth and Jumping Smallmouth Bass

Bass fishing really heated up over the weekend with the warm air temps, fish were fairly aggressive, still not 100% on fire, but some really nice bass can be found.  I still look for August to be prime, as water levels drop and water clears up.   Been tying patterns very similar to the ones found in the DVD, and now can also be watched VOD.   Baitfish style has been #1 but with water dropping and clearing look for the spicy crab to start to take over.

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Air Time, Mr. Smallmouth – Picture of the Day

Mr. Smallmouth getting a little air time.  Trying to continue to work on my skills of timing, smallmouth are much easier than steelhead.

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3 – Tand Fly Reel – Very Impressed

 

 

So if you know me you might find this post kind of funny.  But yes I was impressed by a fly reel here most recently.  While a lot of my teaching on how to go about fighting and handling fish here in Michigan does not require the reel.  I believe in stripping the fly line in and landing them.

But with my new arsenal of Scott Radian rods, I was finding out my old school reels where just too heavy and my balance was off.  As fly rods continue to get lighter and lighter my “coffee cans” needed an upgrade.  Now to my dilemma, with smallmouth bass season here my 907 Radian needed to be outfitted with my favorite bass line 7wt Titan Taper, but as you all know smallmouth do not require the reel for drag.  Strip them bronze back beauty’s in.  So I did not want to spend a lot of money, for a line holder.  Not going to be using a drag.  But balance is key, smallmouth require that you cast.  Longer casts on wider rivers, and banging shoreline on our reservoirs.  Don’t want a heavy setup for a long day of casting.

So my good friend and fellow endangered species hunter Russ Maddin, told me about a new company 3-tand reels.  He had just bought a few for his Scott Radians.  Well after picking up a TF 70 from TNA (The Northern Angler) for $209.  I am floored by the value that one gets with this reel.

The TF 70 is perfect for trout and smallmouth fishing.  There are a couple things that I look for in a reel.  1) How does it balance on the rod, 3-tands TF-70 is super light, well ported but still seems durable.  2) How does it spin, what do I mean by this.  Can I pick up line quickly by spinning the spool.  The answer is yes here, the reel is balanced almost like a center pin reel.  Spins like a champ.  3) Sounds funny but is it sexy.  Do I like how it looks.  While I see reels as men’s jewelry, I want my stuff to be looking good.  Answer again is yes.  4) If and when I need drag what am I working with? 3-tands and there TF-70 model?  Well the Patent Pending sealed NanoCF Drag system to begin with, what does that mean?  Smooth and Sealed basically and secondly for the money more drag than you will ever get anywhere else.

If you need a new reel check out 3-tand and contact Brian at the TNA he has them in stock.  Great reel and OMG great value.

Smallmouth DVD now On Demand

With future project just around the corner about to be released, working with Vimeo Mangled Fly and Snap T Pictures have launched a Vimeo on Demand page.  First video  on our page is the Big Appetite Small Mouth DVD that we launched a couple summers ago.  Now you can watch this DVD at anytime on your computer.  Look for this page to grow over the next couple months, as Erik and I will be releasing more videos here very shortly.  Next video to be released with be the Midnight Creeper.

Big Appetite Small Mouth DVD from Mangled Fly Media on Vimeo.

Michigan is home to many great freshwater game fish. In this DVD, Michigan guides Jon Ray and Kevin Feenstra explore some of the great waters of West Michigan for smallmouth bass. Both Jon and Kevin have a great deal of experience with these hard fighting gamefish. The complete DVD features tips and techniques, as well as detailed, step-by-step instructions for a handful of their favorite smallmouth bass flies. Basics such as equipment and knots are also covered. This DVD is produced by Erik Rambo of Snap T productions. Erik is a professional videographer, known for his work in other fly fishing films. Music done by Mike Moran check out more of his work on his website.

Moldy Chum DVD review

One of the biggest fly fishing blogs, Moldy Chum,  posts a review of Big Appetite Smallmouth bass DVD.  Click here to read the review.

To purchase a copy of the DVD check out Mangled Fly’s online shop.