Tag Archive for: winter steelhead

Manistee River Steelhead Report

Manistee River Steelhead Report below Tippy Dam

Spring Steelhead

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Manistee River below Tippy Dam

The Manistee River fishing report below Tippy Dam for the middle part of March, is off to a cooler start than I would of guessed a month ago. 3″ of snow falling again this morning. Manistee River is in pretty good shape though, water is clear and has a good level to it. Our Spring Steelhead have been showing up in a slow trickle, I mean slow. No big wave, but ever since mid February we have been finding Spring Steelhead migrating up the Manistee River.

Last couple days fishing has picked up a notch so hope that continues, during the past week think we only saw a few hatchery fish, still mostly our wild strain this spring. But with big winds the last few days and river temps warm enough to trigger a spring push. Looks like this week we will learn a lot.

Currently Water Levels are on a slight rise with some much need rain that happened this week. With water temps now at 38.3 degrees, and will climb even more this week. We have started to see Spring steelhead fish behavior, meaning a it’s spawning time. With no Planted steelhead in the Covid years we need to leave spawning steelhead alone.

Below is our list of open dates, with next week giving us some warmer days and possible rain again, now is the time. Contact us or give us a call 231-631-5701 .

Also really excited for some new smallmouth water we will be expanding too. Prime Spring Smallmouth Dates are available.

Open Steelhead , Trout, or Smallmouth Bass Dates

Jon Ray – April – 7, 12, 13, 21, 25, 28 and May 4, 6-9, 11, 14 , 16-18
Ed McCoy – March – 26 and April 2, 6, 9, 12-14, 16-18, 23, 24, 27, 28
Jeff Topp – March – 29 and April – 11, 13, 14, 25, 26, 28-30

Fly Patterns for Spring Steelhead

Manistee River Steelhead Report
Spring Steelhead on the Manistee River

Fly Patterns for Spring Steelhead this week continued to change on a daily basis. I continue to struggle to find a pattern. One day it’s all egg’s then the next day small minnow patterns or Alevin patterns. Once I feel good about my Alevin selection then the next day, can’t buy a bite on them.

Spring Steelhead definitely are more finicky than fall steelhead or winter steelhead. While still the same fish, they seem to have totally different behaviors. At least that is how I feel this week about them. Some weeks of fishing just get you a little more frustrated than other weeks. No matter what I still love these fish, but fly patterns in the fall are really simple in the spring don’t we can’t be afraid to change a couple times in the same run or pool.

Booking a Trip

If you’re looking to book an Early Spring Steelhead on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam give us a call at (231-631-5701) or shoot us an email . Make sure to check out the extensive blog post by Ed McCoy on this thoughts on Didymo and the Upper Manistee. Jeff Topp has been updating the Pere Marquette report as well.

I’ll post some new items for the shop this week. New Sun-shirts are coming in and hope to have a new hat design soon for this summer. Thanks for all the support.

Happy Spring Steelhead fishing

Jon Ray

spring steelhead

Winter Steelhead – Pic of the Day

Kevin Feenstra shares one of his amazing images from a chilly day on the Muskegon River.


Life Cycle Midwest Steelhead

Winter Fly Fishing Video by Todd Men