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Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Below Tippy Dam

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Winter Steelhead

The Manistee River Steelhead report for the middle part of January. Once again is focused around the water levels, with the Manistee dropping all week from a high of 2600+cfs to it’s currently level of 2100 cfs . Temperatures staying in that 35-34 degree range. All about perfect for this time of year. Water Levels this year continue to rise and fall, pushing up small waves for chrome. As was the case this week, with some newer fish once again showing up.

Jeff Topp

Guide Jeff Topp has our report below for the week.

Steelhead fishing is fairly good right now. We had a nice push of chrome fish this past week. Fresh fish are biters!  Beads under floats is the name of the game right now. With the Water temperature in winter cold mode look for the steelhead to be living in the slower sections of the runs. The slow side of seams and current breaks have been best.  With spring around the corner now is the time to get out before the crowds show up. LETS GO FISHING!!! 

Winter Steelhead

With temperatures improving through out the week, water levels should maintain or slightly increasing with melting snow from this past weekend. If you can find the speed, you will find the fish. Speed will be the most important part of the steelhead equation this week.

Guide Trips

January and February should continue to fish fairly well, with decent numbers of steelhead in the Manistee River and other Northern Michigan systems. Not too early to start thinking about booking your Spring Steelhead Trips as well.

March and April are prime time and dates will go fast, Ed and Jon booked a few trips this week while at the Heartland Show. Drop us an email if your thinking about fishing this Spring, or use the Contact Page to request a day. Also feel free to text us at 231-631-5701 for open availability.

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

February Steelhead

Had the chance to guide the past couple days for spring steelhead.  Felt so good to get back on the water and do what I love to do.  Also I will not lie yesterday’s sun felt so so good.  Bill pictured below with a very nice Michigan spring lake-run rainbow.

 

Manistee River Winter Steelhead – Picture of the Day

manistee_river_fishingHad the opportunity yesterday (Sunday, January 19th) to take Ben and John out for a little half day steelhead trip.  While getting out on the river has been a little more difficult than I’m used to this winter, the fishing still remains pretty rock solid.  With some of the best weeks of the winter/early spring season just ahead of us.  Have always been a fan of the February.  Days growing longer and no spring crowds.