Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report has us entering the second week of June and our Drake Season is under way. Fishing has been inconsistent for most of this week. The weather has been up and down, but we are getting some much needed rain today. Looking ahead, the forecast is for more unseasonable and cool weather this week which will probably stretch out the hatches a bit. The Mahoganies and Isonychia have been the primary focus and I would expect our Brown Drakes to show up with the next warmup.

If you have not heard the news regarding Didymo on the Upper Manistee, please educate yourself on this very resilient invasive species. It can be spread between watersheds very easily and can be detrimental to our trout streams. The amount of Didymo that we are seeing on our floats on the Upper Manistee below CCC Bridge is truly alarming. So far I have found it in every section below the CCC Bridge, but not yet above CCC Bridge. I would consider the River upstream of CCC Bridge NOT TO BE contaminated and treat it as another water body. Clean, Drain, Dry your gear before entering any waters above the Bridge.

Currently, there are no effective methods to eradicate didymo once it is established in a river. To prevent spreading didymo and other aquatic invasive species to new locations, it is critical for users to thoroughly clean, drain and dry waders, equipment and boats upon leaving a waterway.

  • Clean by removing mud and debris from all surfaces.
  • Use a 10% Solution of Dishwashing Soap with hot water for 10 minutes (Example 1 gallon of water is 12.8 oz of Dawn Soap). Then it must dry for 48 hours (mandatory if your fishing different water systems).


Didymo is on the Upper Manistee and it’s sad to to see as I think about the future ramifications for our beloved trout stream. Here is some under water footage of the Didymo that we found near 4 Mile access site – Under Water Video

Please spread the word to all river user groups! We must continue to clean our boats, kayaks, waders, wading boots, equipment, and whatever else makes contact with the water. Mangled Fly guides have already bought designated anchor ropes and anchors for the Upper Manistee and every other river we guide on. We are cleaning our boats and gear with 10% Solution for 10 minutes prior to fishing another river system, I suggest everyone does the same.

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing
Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing has been up and down with the start of our Drake Season. We have had several days of hatching Isonychia and a few fish are starting to take notice. Sulphur’s are winding down and the Mahoganies are still present on most days. Light Cahill’s, Yellow Cahill’s, Gray Drakes and Isonychia have all been present this week. Bug numbers have been variable for most of the week with the fluctuating temps. Some larger Stoneflies are showing up, the Mattress Thrasher and even a few Golden Stones have been active lately. Mattress Thrasher stoneflies have been busy on the sunny afternoons, pay attention as this bug is often overlooked.

Streamer fishing has been much harder in the clear water. With some precipitation today we should have some fish hunting baitfish in the bumping water flows. The Lamprey hatch is in full swing and Lamprey imitations have been the most productive flies on days the fish are willing to play. More rain is in the forecast for today so it should improve the streamer fishing and our water conditions moving forward.


We are into the first week of the Isonychia hatch now. As this hatch builds we should see more fish tuned into the surface activity. So far the hatching has been mostly light, but its that time of year and our larger trout love to graze on this bigger Mayfly. This is one of my favorite hatches of the season as the trout key up on this hatch. Isonychia are very active on the surface and will attract the attention of most of our trout. The fish can feed recklessly at times, but they will test your presentation. Pay close attention to how the fish are rising, large trout will often key in on the struggling nymphs just below the surface and the takes can be violent at times. The McCoy’s All Day Dun and Boondoggle Isonychia have been producing some good fish so far this week.

Mahoganies are still dancing during the warmer evenings. As the Mahoganies start to hit the water fishing a #12- #14 AP Drake or Borcher’s Drake can get you plenty of looks. This hatch tends to be opportunistic at times, but you may be surprised by the quality of fish it can produce. We are still waiting on our Brown Drake hatch to get going, the cooler weather will probably stretch out our timing a few more days. Make sure you are stocked up on the McCoy’s All Day Brown Drake in sizes #12 and #14. The #14 All Day Brown Drake has also been working well during the Yellow Cahill hatches currently happening.

Better Dry Fly Fisherman

Check out the latest video to help you become a better Dry Fly fisherman.

Dry Fly Tips and Tricks

Monitoring Station

The 4 Mile Water Monitoring Station is back up and working! Make sure to click the link. I encourage folks to continue to monitor the stations just to form good habits and a lot can be said by watching flows and gauge heights to help in the decision making process on where to fish. Please continue to use the USGS site at 72, USGS at Sherman, and the Monitoring Station at 4 Mile Access.

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 Summer trout trip we still have a dates open. Prime June dates are quickly filling up as well, so get in your requests now. Make sure to check out our new sun-shirts in the shop area and get a few All Day Brown Drakes for this Upper Manistee river trout fishing dry fly action


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.

IMG_7066 IMG_7097


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.