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,


Digital Camo Hat

Camo Hat still working

A couple impressive fish from a few Mangled Fly customers.  First is Bob H. who was fishing with world famous Muskie Guide Blane Chocklett and scores a dandy muskie on the fly.  Nice work Bob!  Bob wearing one of the old school Digital Camo Hats with the old hook logo.  Great to see the hat is doing you well!

Digital Camo Hat

Kean also sent in this impressive trout pic from his latest journey to Chile.  Kean who has always been a believer in the power of the Digital Camo Hat scores another impressive trout while wearing his lucky charm.  Great fish Kean!  Fish was caught on a circus peanut we tied for Kean, with a special blend of southern hemisphere colors.

circus peanut

brown trout picture

Few Different Pics

First need to apologize for the lack on content, nothing but excuses but hope to find some time and create some interesting content in the coming weeks.  Here are a few images to help scratch the itch.

Kean hunting his first Pike on the fly, it was pretty exciting to watch this predator hunt down our dying bait fish pattern.  Using the Scientific Anglers Intermediate Titan Taper with a Essox Leader we had a few chances at Pike and caught multiple nice smallmouth bass on the Manistee River this past weekend.

pike on the fly

Jerome joined me for a day time adventure and scored some really nice trout on dry flies, Jerome has to believe in the good luck his new Mangled Fly hat provided him.  Great day Jerome and impressive trout on the dry fly during the day.

brown trout picture

Had a chance to spend a few days along the west coast on a family vacation and shot this sunset picture. Always impressed by the size of Lake Michigan and how much it reminds me of the east coast.  Just missing a little bit of salt.

Sunset closing out an amazing family vacation #puremichigan #sunset #familytime

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Moon and Mouse

Have some exciting things in the works with Snap T Pictures again.  As Erik Rambo and I contiunue to combine forces on projects.  We have been bouncing around in the dark, and are excited about the latest project that should be done this fall after all the editing.  Stay tuned to see what night vision camera’s saw in the dark.


The hunt for browns in the dark leads to seeing the moon rise above the sky line.