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


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.