Tag Archive for: trout

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

The Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the third week of July has the mid summer programs are picking up.  We have finally entered the “Junk” season when you can fish any and every crazy concoction that comes off the tying vise.  The foam bite has been gaining momentum and we still have a few key hatches getting some fish up.  July is always a fun month and the dog days of summer can provide some relaxed fishing.  This time of year matching the hatch isn’t as critical like we saw in June.  

Overall the Hex hatch was pretty solid during the first week.  Just like in recent years, big cold fronts can stretch the hatch out.  As of right now we are still seeing small windows of hatching and spinning bugs.  The Isonychia is still producing some good fishing.  Recently the Hopper and Terrestrial bite has been our primary focus.  Fishing foam is a great way to just go after an impact bite.  Foam flies this time of year can create lots of action and some pretty savage eats at times.  

Water conditions have been all over the board the past couple of weeks.  We continue to receive decent amounts of rain on a weekly basis which has helped to buffer the river from getting too warm.  The river has been dropping and clearing all week and water temps have been mostly in check with fishable water temps this past week.   The water temperatures have ranged anywhere from 59-68 over the past week.  We have a little cool down coming over the next few days so fishing should pick up.  I’m looking forward to a steady pattern of daytime highs in the 70s over the next week.


Streamer Fishing

The Streamer bite has been put on the back burner for us.  Our focus right now is primarily on the dry fly fishing.  However, if we get a big storm or rain event the streamer could produce more opportunities especially in rising flows.  Smaller streamers have provided the best activity, but the fish are still focused towards the surface when insects are present.  Grinding through the slow periods and keeping the faith is always the key to success.

Warmer cloudy days are always the best, but this time of year I look for a cold front or bump in flows.  With water temps peaking in the low to mid 60s the best times will be early in the morning.  Water temps in the 60s will usually motivate the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing towards the surface.  The fish have shown this shift over the past few days.

Late Summer Programs

The Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing has been pretty good in the mornings and the evenings.  Our Hex Hatch has been past peak and winding down over the past week, but we still have had a few spinner and hatching events.  Over the last few years we have seen the Hex push into August, however the feeding events have always been inconsistent at best.  Isonychia and Light Cahill’s have also been present in decent numbers and the fish will key in on them when they are active.

Fishing in the morning vs the evening can have different experiences, but one must pay attention to the water temps.  Make wise choices based on cooler water temps to decide when to go fishing this time of year.  Usually the middle of the day is the hottest and heat waves can make the water temps get questionable until well after dark on the really hot days.  Mornings will always be the safest bet for water temps safe enough to fish.  Usually the coolest water temps will be found in the morning during July.  


The mornings have been dominated primarily by the Summer Olives, but the Trico’s are making a run for the title of the most abundant food source.  This hatch will test your presentation and your patience.  Tiny size 20-24 mayflies and small trout that require perfect presentation will quickly test your skills and attitude.  Outside of the cooler periods of the day the “Foam” bite has been picking up steam and the Hopper and Terrestrial patterns are getting the most attention from our trout.  This is a fun time of year, somedays the impact bite can be silly, but you can also catch a few nice fish from time to time.  

As the cool weather moves in this week look for the fishing to become more consistent throughout the day.  Stable weather has been the recipe for more consistent fishing this year.  The unstable atmosphere this year has been the most limiting factor for our hatches and consistent fishing.  July is always a fun month to fish, the pressure of bugs or no bugs is no longer an issue.  This time of year you just base your decisions upon when and where based upon the daily conditions and just go fishing.  In July we create our own hatches, no bugs are required!


Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Didymo on the Upper Manistee continues to be a problem with a high level of concern.  I would consider the whole Upper Manistee River System to be contaminated with this Diatom. There was new Didymo growth above CCC bridge and it has been documented as far upstream as Yellow Trees Landing.  The Didymo mats in sections below CCC are still breaking down and to my knowledge there isn’t any blooming like we saw in the 2022 season.  Didymo is considered a very resilient invasive species so you need to educate yourself on safe cleaning techniques.  River Users will need to clean their gear or anything that touches the water.  Didymo can easily be spread between watersheds and can be detrimental to our trout streams.

I would consider the ENTIRE RIVER TO BE CONTAMINATED and treat it as such. Clean, Drain, Dry your gear before entering another Body of Water.  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).

New Shop Items

Check out the latest Mangled Fly T-Shirt plus Flex Fit Hats are back in stock. 

Trout Guide Trips 

We have very limited openings available during the peak hatch season, so make sure to book your dates now!  If you’re looking to book a Trout Guide Trip you can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email.  We are excited for the upcoming Trout Season.   Also make sure to follow along on our social pages and our online fishing report page . for more updates. 


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

A post shared by Mangledfly (@mangledfly) on

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.