Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the third week of February has us experiencing a very mild winter and mostly lacking snow.  With that being said the Upper Manistee River trout fishing has been good this winter.  The river is currently at or just below average flows and has a slight stain.  The water temperatures have ranged anywhere from the low 30’s to low 40’s. Water temps have been dependent upon ambient temperature and the amount of sunlight we get.  It looks like our area is going to receive another warming trend heading into March and I expect this trend to continue.   

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

Streamer Fishing

The Winter Streamer bite has been decent on the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing, especially during the warmer conditions.  With the unusually mild winter we are experiencing the trout have been more active.  Grinding through the slow periods until the next bite window has been the key to success, but the windows have been somewhat unpredictable.  The streamer bite has been primarily on mid sized baitfish and leech patterns.  Black, Tan, and Yellow were the most productive colors recently, but you need to play with color and size as it can change frequently.  

Normally I would shy away from sunny conditions, but this time of year it can warm the water and inspire short feeding windows. Warmer Cloudy days have been the best, but this time of year you just go when you can.  Water temps have dropped into the low 30’s so you need to slow down your retrieve and fish a little deeper.  Weighted flies are typically more productive for us during colder conditions, but some days the swim flies can get the most lethargic fish motivated to come take a look.  

Upcoming Spring Streamer Season

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

The Spring is typically a peak time to fish Streamers on the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing. However, spring has become sort of an anomaly over the past 5 years.  Our winters have become progressively milder and our seasons have shifted forward over that timeframe.  With that being said our fishing has been ahead of  what we would consider normal.  Based on the lack of snowpack and warmer weather we are having we are probably a solid two to three weeks ahead of that pace.  The streamer fishing in the spring can be productive at times, but you still have to approach the day with a mindset to grind through the slower times.  

It won’t be long and we will be matching the hatches on the Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing.  Early Winter Stones were rolling all afternoon, we didn’t see a rise, but a few more degrees and that becomes more of a possibility.  Spring fishing can be challenging at times, but it is a great time of year to be a trout angler.  Pursuing larger fish with streamers while waiting for an emergence of BWOs and Hendrickson’s can provide a mixed bag of opportunities.  It won’t be long before the hatches start to produce.  The longer days and sunshine are currently turning our thoughts towards the Upper Manistee River trout fishing prospects.


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

Have a few new Items in the Shop, besides the Stickers, we have Night Fishing Leaders,  a new Assortment of Night Flies that is perfect for the wade angler, and coming soon the ultimate boat anglers Night Fishing Assortment (coming soon).


Trout Guide Trip

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.  We have openings for this Spring with limited openings during the prime drake season, so make sure to book your dates now!  Also make sure to follow along on our social pages and our online fishing report page . for more updates. 


Tight Lines,


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