Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing

Manistee River Trout Report

Upper Manistee River Trout Fishing report has me a little more optimistic this week. Now that the heat wave is gone, we are starting to catch up with our hatch progression. We are seeing the end of the Hendrickson hatch and the Light Hendrickson, or Sulphur, is getting started. Fishing has been much improved the last couple of days with more seasonable weather.

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 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.

Trout Report

Upper Manistee Trout Fishing Report
Manistee River Brown Trout

Trout fishing hasn’t been easy by any means this spring. With a slow Spring warmup, we suffered from a long cold and high water cycle. The Hendrickson’s hatch is coming to a close and we had a couple of decent spinner falls heading into the weekend. Black Caddis numbers have been building all week and fish are starting to take notice. Skate it, twitch it, dead drift it! Caddis are very active and sometimes it takes a bit of movement to elicit a strike. The Streamer fishing has been much harder with the dropping and clearing water conditions. A good rain event and bump in flows could spark another streamer bite, but for now we are focusing on the strengthening hatch fishing.


Next man up! The Sulphurs are starting to hatch now. With the next bug showing up the fish are getting a little more tuned into the surface activity. So far the hatching has been mostly light, but this little yellow bug can show up in numbers. This is one of my favorite early hatches as the trout can get keyed up on this hatch and feed recklessly at times. Pay close attention to how the fish are rising, large trout will often key in on the struggling nymphs just below the surface. This hatch should help to improve the dry fly fishing moving forward as the Mahoganies aren’t too far behind now. For now keep an eye out for hatching sulphurs, black caddis, and the last few Hendrickson spinner falls.

With the Sulphur stealing the show, its time to focus on the size 16 and 18 yellow bugs. Here is one of our go to patterns.

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 Spring trout trip we still have a dates open. Prime May and June dates are quickly filling up as well, so get in your requests now. We look forward to another great trout year, and was great to get back up on the water.


5 replies

Comments are closed.