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Manistee River below Tippy Dam

Manistee River below Tippy Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River below Tippy Dam
Smallmouth Bass fishing on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam

Summer Smallmouth Bass

The Manistee River below Tippy Dam fishing report for mid July, has been all about the warm-water species. With Smallmouth Bass being the main focus. Smallmouth Bass are currently present in okay numbers, with water still slightly off colored, fishing has not been as good as it can possibly be of the Manistee River. Current conditions have the water once again on the rise after a few big storms this weekend. Make sure to monitor the water levels at the USGS Site.

Baitfish Patterns

One of the best way to fish for smallmouth in the summer is with medium sized baitfish patterns, one of our favorite patterns is what we call the dying minnow , an example of this type of pattern is the popular Murdich Minnow paired with a Full Intermediate fly line. Or check out the new I/S2/S3 from SA. What you want to do is have your minnow pattern act dying or injured. Fishing it in such a way make it easy for the smallmouth to sneak up and engulf your baitfish pattern.

I like the slow sinking lines as they allow the fly to fish slower, than a fast sink tip, that really pulls the fly down stream too fast. The new line by SA allows you to mend the Intemidate section, while the S2/S3 slowly sink your fly into the zone. This new sonar line really works well fishing the dying minnow patterns, but also really works well with the articulated gamchangers as well. Give the line a try or ask to use it on your next guide trip. Very fun line to fish.

Fall Steelhead

Fall Steelhead is really just around the corner, if your looking for dates give us a call or shoot an email (231-631-5701) and email . Over the next few weeks will will expand our smallmouth bass report, also be covering a new rod we have been throwing for smallmouth bass that has been great to fish with, so check back for new blog posts and reports.

Tight Lines,

Jon Ray

brown trout

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Trout Fishing

brown trout

Fishing Report

Hello fishing friends! This will be my last report before I head to Alaska for the summer. It has been great to be back out and floating. The weather has been hit and miss but it is nice to be out in flats shirts and sandals. Soon enough it will be long underwear and fleece. Worth the trade off for sure.

MayFlies

The mayflies are hatching. It is time to get the head lamps and bug dope out! The dry fly fishing has been very productive in the afternoons and evenings. Stoneflies are a great searching tool, and still finding a few Gray Drakes to play with in the evening hours. No news on Hex yet. Should be soon. If you’re looking for an effective Hex Spinner check this pattern out.

Baitfish Imitations

If you are a streamer or lure junky get a early start. The best sub surface bite has been best at first light and lasting until the sun breaks the trees. The river had a good amount of small minnows and salmon fry. Mid sized streamers and lures have been working well. The strike has been a very visual. Lots of fish chasing and not eating but some good browns are crushing the baits.

Booking Trout Trips

Drop us an email if your thinking about booking a trout fishing trip on the Pere Marquette or Upper Manistee, or give us a call (231-631-5701) and we will get you booked. With such a cool start to the spring the best trout fishing is just around the corner. Pere Marquette is a great terrestrial stream in mid summer.

Thanks to everyone that got out with us this spring. I am off to Anglers Alibi for the summer. I would like to wish everyone a great and safe summer. Get out there and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.

See you this fall for some epic steelheading.

Jeff Topp

Changing Floats based on Water Type

Changing Floats based on Water Type

I can still remember the day when the light bulb turned on and I finally understood the need to change my float to match the water type I was fishing. Changing floats based on water type isn’t something you hear much about. Actually it’s a simple change that can make a big difference, especially in the spring, when steelhead themselves are changing the water types they utilize.

Fishing Story

Let’s start with a real world scenario, or as I like to commonly refer to it, my lightbulb moment. It was December and I just spent the past 60 days fishing for steelhead on the lower Manistee River, the section closest to Lake Michigan. Most of those days were spent primarily fishing floats in the lower end of the river. I had my confidence rig all setup and ready to go and for whatever reason I decided to change it up and shift the guide trip towards Tippy Dam.

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Fall Steelhead

Fall Steelhead 2019 Update

Fall steelhead 2019 update. The Manistee River continues to fish pretty well for fall steelhead. The last few days fish numbers have slowed down as we haven’t received a push of fish in a few days, but with a good number of steelhead in the upper sections opportunity still prevails. While pressure remains high with other boats and anglers you have to have a good presentation to get the job done.

The egg bite has been the main tactic but the streamer rods have started to make it into the rotation as well. Craig had a exciting morning yesterday that I want to expand upon in the next blog. Working with a new single hand set up that I want to go into more details about. Craig as seen above in the picture gallery landed a nice Coho on a ESL (egg sucking leech) and wait to you hear about our other encounter. For those interested in the streamer / Swing bite, Steelhead have set up in the runs where we like them. At least I’ve been finding them in that type of water with the egg presentation. So I believe that the time is right to start hunting the fall steelhead run with both eggs and streamers.

Wish everyone the best of luck this fall, more updates coming. Hope to get to the single hand line combo blog this week as well

Jon Ray

brown trout

Finished Huron Drifter

Here is a link below to the Finished Huron Drifter on their Facebook page,  if you followed along in the building process post. A don’t be worried I’ll be taking many more water pics with this craft in the coming months.  Happy with how she turned out, thank you Jason and Tracy for all your hard work.  Any questions about this boat give Tracy a call, let them know I sent ya, you will be well taken care of.

Jon Ray

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 .

 

 

steelhead mangled fly

Steelhead Mangling a Fly

One of the original sculpin patterns that Kevin Fenestra showed me so many years now getting Mangled up by a nice Manistee River Steelhead.

Big Manistee River meat eater. #mangledfly #sonargetdown #korkerslife #seewhatsoutthere #hedronflashabou

A photo posted by Mangledfly (@mangledfly) on

salmon fry

Fishing Salmon Fry

Each year, in February and March, salmon fry pop out of the gravel and quicky grow to be an inch in length.   They feed on anything, including the remnants of their ancestors.    As this process begins, they become a food source for everything else in our rivers, including all manner of fish, birds, etc.    Steelhead feed heavily on salmon fry, and there are things about these fry that make them vulnerable to a predator like a steelhead.

Often times, water is high in the spring.     When water levels become high, the fry are pushed to the edges of the river.   Any run that holds steelhead near the edge of the river in these conditions will be a great place to look for a steelhead on a fry pattern.

Notice from the picture above the prominence of the eye in the salmon fry.   Your fly must exhibit this trait if it is going to be effective.   This is especially true if you are fishing the fry pattern as a nymph.   The slow nymphing presentation will make the fish picky about whether the fly has this one prominent feature.

Fry patterns can also be morphed into good swung fly patterns.   Because they are prone to be towards the surface of the river,  a small swung fly that is the shape of the fry, but not necessarily the same color, works great throughout the spring.    A small black and copper leech, for example, the size and shape of a fry, is deadly during the spring.       Often times it pays to swing small and colorful flies in the spring.

This is a typical night of tying for me at this time of the year; fry patterns in one form or another are always on the menu.   You can tie the thorax of these patterns any color, but pink always seems to work the best.      Typically, some of the holographic colors of flash work well on sunny days, as they make the fly twinkle in the current.

As the salmon fry head downriver and grow to a larger size, the process is repeated as steelhead and sucker fry emerge later in the spring.   These are on the menu of steelhead, brown trout, and every other predator too.

Thanks for reading this post!   Get out on the river and enjoy spring-like fishing conditions!

Kevin Feenstra

Catch and Release – Pic of Day

Manistee River Steelhead