Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the first week of July has us transitioning our fishing to focus more on the early morning and late night programs. With another warmup and some much needed rain the past couple of days, the water conditions, have rebounded nicely after a hot Fourth of July weekend. It looks like we have a couple more days of rain this week, but the overnight temps look good for keeping water temps in check. The Hex hatch is winding down and we are looking forward to chasing trout with foam attractor patterns in the early mornings. Evenings will still provide anglers with decent spinner falls of Cahill’s, Isonychia, and the occasional Hex, but it’s time to switch gears and the morning fishing has been heating up.

Water temperatures were at dangerous levels in early June this year for catch and release trout fishing. Water temps once again were pretty warm for the Fourth of July holiday on the Upper Manistee River. We have since received some rain and water temps have recovered, but anglers will need to continue to be vigilant over the next 3 weeks and check the water temps at these gauge stations before heading out. Please use the USGS site at 72, USGS at Sherman, and the Monitoring Station at 4 Mile Access to give you the best up to date water temperature information.

Big Bugs

The Hex hatch is continuing to thin out and on most sections of the Upper Manistee River it is pretty much done. We had a great season overall, but the bugs were very inconsistent and we had about a week with very limited bug activity due to a cold front. Things fired back up heading into the first part of July, but the feeding windows were getting short and the fish were growing long in the tooth. The very upper sections of the Upper Manistee River will probably still give anglers a chance at a couple more Hex spinner falls, but we are moving on to the next phase of our summer program. We are beginning our transition towards other times of the day to target fishing now and the morning foam attractor sessions are beginning to heat up.

Foam Attractor Season

The early morning trips are starting to gain traction and the fish are beginning to hunt throughout the day instead of just the last couple of hours before dark. This can be a fun time of the year to fish, especially for beginners as there aren’t really any rules and the flies are user friendly. I love the medium to larger flies right now as they can elicit some violent strikes, but also understanding that as the day wanes on you may need to downsize and play with color. Fishing tight to structure this week has been key to finding some of the larger fish in the Upper Manistee River. How close? If it’s not rubbing it’s not close enough! I have had a couple reports of flying Ants in people’s yards including mine, so better have a good selection of Ants on hand as well.

The Trico hatch is probably not that far off and I would expect to see them show up this week if they haven’t already. The summer olives started about 3 weeks early this year and the fish have been on them when they are present. Smaller hoppers and Stonefly patterns are also going to be key on some of those cooler mornings. If the water gets a good shot of rain fishing a small streamer or twitching a wet skunk on a floating line can produce some exciting fishing as well. Basically we have entered the part of the season when you can try just about anything and you will find some success.


We are still seeing a few Isonychia hatching throughout day and we should continue to see some Iso activity heading into mid-July. This bug will typically hang around for quite some time post Hex so I would still have a few of the All Day Iyso size 10 and 12 stashed in a box somewhere. We have also had a few Iso spinner falls this past week and the new All Day Cherry (new for 2021) is still producing some great fish for our customers. The Iso spinner falls aren’t always long in duration, but the quality of the fish rising to this bug can be as good as any other hatch so make sure you aren’t caught unprepared.

It’s finally starting to feel a little more normal for this time of year and hopefully that trend will continue for a while. The hatches were definitely early and highly compressed, but the fishing has been good on our most recent outings. July should be a productive month as the fish are getting more active throughout the day now that we are post Hex. We should continue to see some pretty good fishing right thru the end of July if the current weather patterns continue with some scattered showers and cool night time low’s.

Trout Guide Trip

You can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email if your looking to book a trout guide trip. We are also fishing Smallmouth Bass currently on our local rivers and reservoirs. To keep updates on the smallmouth bass report check out the Lower Manistee River page. Summer time fishing trips are more relaxed and the rivers quiet down from other anglers. From now until mid September is a great time to get out and enjoy Northern Michigan.

Tight Lines,


SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity

SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity

SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity

brown trout picture

Day Time Hex Eater

A new line was introduced in the past month the SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity  and have had the pleasure to test it out over the last month.  Line showed up during Hex Season, even though my go to line for Hex is the Glow Line , but I have a few days each year that allow daytime fishing of the Hex Hatch.  Turning over big dry flies into tight quarters is a must and the New Smooth Infinity was up to the task.

Location, Location, Location

During the last thee weeks the line continues to bring it’s A game to Northern Michigan. With the foam bite (hoppers, ants, and beetles) mixed in with twitching (small streamers on a floating line) these two methods are a huge part of my summer program for trout.  Having a line that can deliver dry flies to within inches of a log, but still has the energy to turn over a small weighted streamer with a tungsten cone head into a deep pool.  Is a must for me, nice to have confidence that the SA Smooth Infinity can do both without missing a beat.

Local Fly Shop

If you have ever spent much time with me in the boat, and we talk equipment you know how I feel about fly lines, it is the most important part of your equipment!  Make sure to stay on top of the latest technology and check them out at your local fly shop.  Also if you see me on the water and want to take a test cast just ask.

Amplitude Smooth Infinity from Scientific Anglers on Vimeo.

There’s a reason we call this line the Infinity: there is no end to what you’ll be able to do with it. The Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Infinity taper is a half-size heavy freshwater line built for everything from panfish to pike. With a long rear taper and extended front taper, it’s delicate for dry flies, has enough power for streamers, and can mend line for nymph rigs with equal ability. Built with the AST Plus slickness additive, Infinity lines are 50% slicker than any other SA line, and will last, on average, eight times longer than any line from the competition.


russ maddin streamer fishing

Streamer Fishing article with Russ Maddin

Great article about steamer fishing featuring good friend and fellow guide Russ Maddin.  Russ, shares a few of this beliefs about streamer fishing.  Check out this article, it will help you become a better streamer fisherman.  NO matter the species you chase, from brown trout to muskie.

Picture of the Day – Jumping Brown Trout

jumping brown troutSometimes it is better to be lucky , had the camera at ready for some reason at the right time for this jumping brown trout.  Love the spraying water effect.  Feel free to click on the photo and you will go to my Smug Mug page as well, to see a larger size.

First Day with Scott Radian 907

Will do a little more talking about the Scott Radian 907 in the future , but just wanted to post a couple quick pics from a personal trout streamer day with Ed McCoy yesterday.  Was my first day with 907 and so glad I bought one, great rod for the Michigan trout scene.  Perfect with my 250 SA sink tip.

 Perfect streamer rod for Michigan trout streams.

Lamprey match the hatch

With the official start of lamprey season (chestnut lamprey),  the biggest match the hatch we have here in Michigan for our streamer program.  Not that there is really a season for lamprey, but I just happened to notice they the crawled out of the mud this week. Some people have told me trout don’t eat lamprey.  Okay.  If they don’t eat them, I’m fine with that, but they sure don’t like them.  Pictured below is a trout we caught this weekend on an imitation lamprey streamer pattern.  This trout had 11 different lamprey attached to him and out of anger destroyed my simple fur and feather pattern.

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Trout season has started

IMG_6752A great way to start the trout season with a true yellow belly.  Jon B scores a great michigan trout, while streamer fishing on the Upper Manistee.  All indications point to a great trout season ahead of us.