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 June has us fishing late into the night.  Over the past couple of days a heat wave drove our water temps into the “hot” zone.  With the heat our Hex hatch has started throughout the watershed.   This past week was filled with some great Isonychia hatches and the Brown Drake even made a comeback.  The Great Houdini Hatch best describes the Brown Drake this year. 

Water conditions have been dropping and rapidly warming this week.  With some intense heat and warm overnight temps, water temps have been on the HOT side.  There is some rain in the forecast and a slight cool down coming so keep the temps in mind while planning your fishing trips.  Water temps this time of year are mostly driven by solar exposure so even a cool day can get too warm.  The water temperatures have ranged anywhere from 63 to 71 over the past few days.  Typically water temps will peak around 8pm this time of year as we are in the summer solstice.  A little cool down is coming, but stay vigilant and keep an eye on the temps over the next few weeks.  


Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing

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.

The best streamers have been primarily small baitfish and leech patterns.  The fish have seen a lot of presentations at this point so I’m always looking for something different to throw at them this time of year.  Best colors have been Ginger, Tan, yellow, and Black, but you need to play with color and size as it changes frequently.  

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.

Peak Hatch Season

The Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing with dry flies is at peak now as our Hex Hatch has ramped up over the past couple of days.  Last week saw some pretty solid fishing during the Isonychia hatches.  Anytime the weather cools the Iso loves to show up and provide a great opportunity at some quality fish during the daytime. Most of the Isonychia activity has been light hatching, but there have been times where a few Isonychia spinners were on the water.  The best flies for us during the Iso hatch have been McCoy’s All Day Dun Isonychia- Grey, McCoy’s Boondoggle Grey Isonychia, and McCoy’s Iyso Dun Grey .

The Brown Drakes, which appeared to be finished, made a strong come back with the warmer weather.  As the hot weather arrived the Brown Drakes finished up over a couple of nights and our Hex hatch started to gain momentum.  The Dry Fly fishing has been pretty solid this past week with the warmer weather.  However, with warmer weather comes warmer water temps.  During the past few days water temps have made fishing difficult outside of the early mornings and after dark.  

Hex Hatch

The Hex hatch has been reported throughout most of the watershed.  With the heat, so comes our largest Mayfly.  The size and appeal of this bug is a main attraction for big fish and anglers alike. People come from all over the world to fish our streams during the Hex hatch.  The river can get crowded, busy, and water temps can be on the warmer side for safe trout fishing.  Just remember to check your water temps and respect other anglers space.  If you’re not sure of what to do when you encounter other anglers then just ask them.  They should tell you where they want you to go and do your best to try and accommodate.

This heat will make things go quick and I expect the hatch will fizzle out in typical fashion compared to recent years.  Typically this hatch is about 2 weeks of good hatching and spinner falls.  So far the best flies for us have been the McCoy’s All Day Dun, McCoy’s Boondoggle Hex, Reagan Hex Spinner, and larger Robert’s Yellow Drake.  Remember to be safe, have fun, and take time to adequately revive your fish for release.


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,


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