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Michigan Fishing Report
Our spring hours are 8:00 am until 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Matt Barthels reports on September 16: Trout fishing is still going strong. The Manistee and Pine are fishing well with both nymphs and streamers being viable options. Bigger fish are starting to move around more and the trout sections are void of traffic with many chasing salmon.
Gary Melzer reports on September 9: The Salmon are increasing in numbers everyday. With rain and lower temperatures, the salmon fishing is picking up. Large streamers are working well early in the morning at daylight. As the fish settle for the day, drift fishing with egg-sucking leeches and egg pattern combinations is picking up with the larger number showing up. On the Big Manistee from High Bridge down is showing better numbers than near the Tippy Dam, but that will continue to change with each day. If you are considering a trip with us it would be best to call soon as the our calendar is filling up fast. Either way you fish, go out and enjoy. It will be a great time for all.
John Gouker reports on September 4: Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent on the Big Manistee. The fish are eating mostly subsurface flies in copper/olive and white. The fish are larger than most years with 20 inch fish being a good possibility each day.
John Gouker reports on August 21: Trout and smallmouth fishing continues to be good on the Manistee. Trout below the Hodenpyl Dam and Tippy Dam are being caught on caddis and trico patterns, as well as soft hackles and nymphs. Smallmouth are being caught on top water and subsurface flies in olive, brown, and copper. Salmon are beginning to show up in larger numbers. Their numbers should be large enough now to consider them at least for potential early morning targets. Have fun out there and enjoy the fishing. It should just get better from now through fall.
August 19: Stimulators and hoppers continue to be the key flies for trout on the Pere Marquette River, especially close to the shore. There are a few salmon showing up on the Big Manistee River, and they tend to be best fished in the mornings or evenings.
August 3: Hopper and stimulator fishing is heating up on the Pere Marquette and the trout are playful!
Brent Borcherdt reports on July 22: Fishing Remains good, with trout looking up for dries during all hours day and night. I actually got out last night just to see if any big bugs that were left would pop with the hot temps we had. Not many bugs hatched but a few were around and a couple of fish were feeding. I hooked this rainbow a few weeks ago and lost it. Well I got another chance at it the last night of hexing for the year. Sorry for the goofy face but I was pumped. This is the largest resident rainbow I have caught in the lower forty eight. Yes, this is a resident not a steelhead.
Brent Borcherdt reports on July 8: Fishing on all rivers remains great with the hex hatch in full swing. The upper Manistee just started getting hex and should continue until mid-July.
Mark Knee reports on July 1: It’s Hex time! There a couple weeks a year when the hexagenia limbata (hex) hatch happens and that time is now. It’s been a slow start but the hex hatch is in full swing right now. We have been chasing the hatches around various rivers and catching some great trout. The fish are looking up for the big bugs in the evenings. The hex emergence begins at twilight and often provides fishable action past midnight. Warm muggy nights produce the best hatches. This hatch will only last a couple more weeks, so come on up and have some fun.
John Gouker reports on June 25: Fishing on the Manistee below Tippy is great for smaller trout in the 8 to 11 inch range with the occasional larger fish. Smallmouth fishing is good and should improve with more stable weather. The Pine has been fishing well with dries and nymphs. It is a great time to bring new fly fishers and kids up to fish.
Guide Brent Borcherdt reports on June 17: The fly fishing world has a new member. My daughter Brooke caught, kissed, and released her first brown trout with me on Father's Day (left). Then on Monday, Jim caught this monster 24" brown on a streamer (right). Fishing is still great on all area rivers. Now is the time to get up here and fish.
Matt Barthels reports on June 17: The Pine fished rather well earlier this week. We moved fish consistently on streamers throughout the day. They wanted either white or yellow.
John Gouker reports on June 11: Smallmouth fishing is going strong with fish eating a multitude of flies. Surface fishing is really good with flies in white, yellow, or chartreuse. Trout fishing is also going well; streamers and dries are both working. Hatch fishing should continue to improve through the month.
Brent Borcherdt reports on June 9: Fishing on all area rivers is excellent. We have a mix of mayflies hatching right now, as well as mahoganies, iso's, brown drakes, caddis, and yellow sallies. Streamer fishing is still going well, especially on the Pine. We have even had some good luck playing around well into the night.
Matt Barthels reports on May 31: On Thursday the Pine was a bit moody. We moved plenty of nice fish, but they were reluctant to fully commit. Yellow streamers moved all our fish. On Friday we fished the Little Manistee. The morning bite was decent and we put a couple nice ones in the net. The sunny afternoon was tough. We moved a few nice fish that weren't willing to eat. The top fly by far was a white Madonna with all the fry around. The mosquitoes and ticks are out in full force now and unfortunately bug spray is must if you head out.
Matt Barthels reports on May 29: The Pine fished well yesterday. The day started off slow, but picked up as the water warmed in the afternoon. Yellow was the only fly color they wanted yesterday.
Brent Borcherdt reports on May 22: Fishing throughout Northern Michigan is really good right now. Streamer fishing is still going strong with many articulated patterns in a variety of colors working. BUGS are here! Hendricksons are hatching daily, along with blue wings, caddis, and a few larger stones. Fish are looking up so always watch for rising fish while throwing streamers. Just a note, these next 6 weeks are prime time for hatch fishing and it progresses very fast from here out. We have sulfers up next, iso's, drakes, then the hex hatch. So like I said, this happens fast so don't wait! June is prime time trout fishing.
Matt Barthels reports on May 12: Trout fishing remains solid on the upper Manistee. Top flies yesterday were black dungeons and black boogiemen. There was a good number of hendricksons around this evening. Watch for a rise in water levels and some dirty water if the storms they are calling for hit us. (Update: it's storming this morning.)
John Gouker reports on May 11: Fishing on the Manistee continues to be good for trout and steelhead. Trout fishing should continue to improve throughout the month. We still have higher than usual water so use caution when wading. Eggs and fry patterns are working well for steelhead and trout below the dam. Streamers in white, yellow, and olive are working for trout in the non-migratory waters. Hendricksons are starting to hatch, so there is potential dry fly action available on some rivers. Enjoy May. This is one of our best fishing months of the year.
Matt Barthels reports on May 1: I was able to hit the Upper Manistee trout water this week with a couple of other guides, and the fish were rather cooperative. We turned a good number of really solid fish and a couple of true trophies. Pretty much the only flies they wanted were burnt orange-colored streamers. The water was up a touch and was holding a perfect tea stain.
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Water flow information, graphs, and charts from USGS
- Pine River: waterdata.usgs.gov/mi/nwis/uv
- Big Manistee River Water Flow Data (USGS) for detailed water flow information, graphs and charts. We also have an information page on the Manistee River
- Pere Marquette River: The Streamer fishing remains fair! Steelhead numbers are fare. Check PM river flows at this link waterdata.usgs.gov/mi/nwis/uv
Add the Trout Gurgler to your summer fly box. Here's the step-by-step fly tying recipe.
Let Amy keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening at the fly shop.
Worried about fishing in high water? Matt Barthels lays down some advice for fishing steelhead in high water this spring (when it finally warms up.)
Swinging flies is a popular fall fishing method for steelhead, but why not try it during the fall migration of salmon? John Gouker explores the idea of using switch rods for salmon in northern Michigan.