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Michigan Fishing Report
Our winter fly shop hours are Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am until 6:00 pm, and 7:00 am until 2:00 pm Sundays.
Be sure to stop by our fly shop on Saturday, April 26 for lunch to celebrate Trout Opener! Paul will be making bratwursts and pulled pork sandwiches between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. We'd love to have lunch with you!
Matt reports on April 24: Swinging has been productive the past couple of days on the smaller rivers. This can be a very productive method as fish start dropping back out of the rivers. The top color combo today was black and orange.
Amy reports on April 23: The Big Manistee has a much more manageable flow of 3,010, though the water is still not clear. There are a good number of steelhead in the river, and flies of choice are black buggers and bright rag eggs.
April 21: The rivers are beginning to come down. As of 9:30 am, the Big Manistee has come down to 3,240 CFS. However, the water is still quite muddy.
April 15: Our local rivers are still extremely high. As of 8:00 am Tuesday, the Big Manistee has a discharge of 5,390 CFS at Tippy Dam. These flows are hazardous to anglers and boaters.
April 13 Please note: As of Sunday morning, all rivers in the lower peninsula have flood watches, and according to our local weather forecast, areas of the Pere Marquette, the Manistee near Sherman, and Muskegon at Evart and Croton are under flood warnings. As of 7:00 am, the water flows at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River are 3,930 CFS. This heavy flow is very dangerous for wading anglers. Boaters need to exercise extreme caution.
Matt Barthels reports on April 10: Fishing was good on the Manistee yesterday. The water is up and holding a nice stain at the moment. Fish came on larger tangerine colored eggs and flashy leeches.
Matt Barthels reports on April 9: It was nice to be able to spend some time on the Little Manistee River yesterday. The water is up and holding a nice tea stain. We found a couple fish that were willing to play. Top flies were tangarine eggs and black buggers.
John Gouker reports on April 9: Fishing on the Big Manistee was good yesterday with high water and water temperature around 38 degrees. The fish came to mostly black buggers and large black stones. New fish are showing up everyday, and we should continue to see new fish everyday for the foreseeable future. The fishing should continue to improve throughout April.
Brent Borcherdt reports on April 4: The Big Manistee is getting better by the day. We have had a surge of water and fish are on the move. The first push of spring fish have arrived. Clarity is still good in the upper end of the river. Buggers, hexes, stones, fry patterns, and rag eggs are the ticket for fish.
Mark Knee reports on April 1: Spring is in the air. Snow is finally melting and river flows are picking up. Fishing continues to get better with fresh fish moving in daily. Rag eggs, egg flies, buggers, and various nymphs have been taking fish. Don't forget to get your new fishing license for the 2014/15 fishing season.
Brent Borcherdt reports on March 31: Fishing on the Big Manistee is good. We are still catching winter steelhead with fresh chrome spring fish showing up in bigger numbers everyday. Spring is definitely getting close. I saw a robin for the first time today, turkeys are gobbling, and critters of all types are running around the riverbanks. We are probably two to three weeks behind normal this year so there is still time to get up here and have a great day on the water. Also, anyone coming up to fish the Little Manistee for the opener (April 1) should use caution! All two tracks getting to the river are buried with snow and are impassable, even 6 mile bridge is off limits.
John Gouker reports on March 27:Bear Creek is low and clear, and it fished fair yesterday. Fry patterns and rag eggs were the flies of choice. Look for fishing to improve from here on out.
John Gouker reports on March 21: Fishing is starting to pick up on Bear Creek. Hopefully the weather will continue to feel more like spring. The fish have started to become more aggressive, which should continue with increasing water temps. The bite has been on a mixed bag of flies (various rag eggs, little black stones, caddis and fry patterns). The fish have been a mix of bright fish and winter fish.
Our Facebook page has moved! 'Like' our new page at Schmidt Outfitters Fly Fishing to see up-to-date fishing reports, pictures, and fishing articles.
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
Our fly shop is stocked with new gear! We have a great selection of Redington rods, reels, waders, wading jackets, wading boots, and fleece. We also have a great selection of Fishpond gear bags and packs, Mystic fly rods, and Buffs. And, if you're looking for Schmidt Outfitters gear, we have hats, long and short sleeve t-shirts, and hoodies!
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.
With the two handed and swinging scene starting to gain popularity, there have been a lot of new developments in spey equipment. One of the largest areas of development is in spey lines and shooting heads. These are constantly changing and improving in both castability and fishability. Guide Matt Barthels explains the innovations that Scientific Anglers and RIO have recently made for spey lines.
Before we know it, fall will be here and we'll be focusing on salmon and steelhead. Matt Barthels reminds us not to forget about trout fishing in his article, "Egging".
Our Fly Fishing Manual includes a primer on aquatic entomology.
Fly Fishing Travel
Want to see more photos? Check out our photo album of some of the steelhead our guides and clients have landed in 2013.