Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Streamer Fishing Northern Michigan

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report for the first part of 2021 is off to a pretty good start. With a mild winter so far, seems as if the fish are eager to feed. Water levels currently look good, I will not lie I would take some rain or more snow but beggars can’t be choosers. All in all trout fishing is pretty good.

Streamer Fishing

The go to tactic currently is streamer fishing, not really fishing big patterns. Normally 3-4″ in length mostly with cone heads to lead the fly deeper into the runs. Fishing both with sinking lines and floating lines with cone head type patterns has been the most productive. Does seem if you can slow the fly down you will have better success. Slowing your retrieve gets your fly deeper and leads to more opportunity and interest with the chilly water temps as well.

4 Wheel drive is a must in most areas of the river so please be careful if your brining your own boat, but with 4-6″ of snow you can get into most launches if you know the area. But with the warm up today mid 40’s snow is melting and snow that was once packed pretty good by track could lead to some interesting turn arounds with a trailer.

Water Monitoring Stations

With two water monitoring stations now located on the Upper Manistee River you should add this link here for temp and flow data near the CCC Bridge and you should also book mark the new USGS site at M72 to follow trends in water conditions when planning your next fishing adventure. As guides we use this information daily in aiding our decision making process when planning for our days on the water. Conditions dictate success and understanding what the conditions are before you arrive can help you make smarter choices regarding where and how you fish a certain piece of water.

This new site is going to be a very valuable tool for the longterm. Now that real time data is available at both water monitoring stations, anglers will be able to develop a better understanding of water levels as they relate to depth and how wadable a section of river is to the walk and wade angler for example. When you begin to understand what the actual cfs reading looks like from a conditions standpoint, you will also be able to visualize how high and dirty a piece of water might be. This is an important association to develop when trying to choose the best sections to fish as we move forward with winter.

Trout Guide Trips

We continue to spend most our time on the Lower Manistee River for steelhead , and the Pere Marquette but with access to trout we are all happy to simply get out and fish. We are booking spring trips currently, you can reach us at 231-631-5701 (leave a message) or shoot us an email.

Tight Lines,

Jon Ray

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