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Manistee River below Tippy Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River below Tippy Dam
Smallmouth Bass Fishing below Tippy Dam

Summer Smallmouth Bass

The Manistee River below Tippy Dam fishing report for early August, has been all about the warm-water species still. With Smallmouth Bass being the main focus. Smallmouth Bass are currently present in okay numbers, with actually more Largemouth Bass than I can remember present. Water levels are good as levels and temps are about normal for this time of year. But make sure to monitor the water levels at the USGS Site. Especially if your looking for an early King run. Haven’t seen more than a few milling around, as Lake Michigan did flip on Aug 3rd, so cold water was at the pier heads.

Top Water for Smallmouth

We have only spent a few days below Tippy this summer as the trout fishing on the Upper Manistee as kept us busy. But with a few trips under our belt, the smallmouth numbers this year did feel off, but one way that has been producing the best is top water. Both with an aggressive type topwater presentation and with a dead drift.

What is the difference between the two? Its the style of popper that usually makes the difference. An aggressive style in my mind deals with the pop or chug you give the popper. Pulling fish up to your fly with a chug, no better popper for that than the boogle bug , now this year I have notice not chugging is working better. Now you can still dead drift your boogle bug but dead drifit dragonflies or over sized hoppers has been pulling up a few good ones.

Kings and Bass

So I mentioned the lake flipping and early Kings should be showing up soon, as we transition into August smallmouth fishing can get tougher on the lower Manistee. As more anglers will start showing up throwing cranks, bass also seemed to get turned off by the early King. So I’ll start traveling to other sections to find some of the better smallmouth fishing now. With smallmouth in the Hodenpyl section turning on we have plenty of water to go hunt.

Fall Steelhead

But with Kings brings Fall Steelhead and the phone has started to ring with interest in our open October thru December dates. If your looking for dates give us a call or shoot an email (231-631-5701) and email . Fall is one of our busiest times, so get your date request in soon.

Have a few XL Summer fishing shirts left, and just placed an order for the fall hoody restock, so tune if for that show up here. Thanks for checking out the report, stay safe and see you on the water.

Tight Lines,

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.