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Michigan Fishing Report
Our winter fly shop hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Closed Sundays.
John Gouker reports on December 3: Swinging flies on the Big Manistee was good on Friday. The water temps are falling, but the fish seem to still be willing to chase a fly. The fly colors continue to be olive and black with some flash. There are plenty of fish in the river system, and fishing in December is typically good if the weather stays decent.
Matt Barthels reports on November 25: It has been nice to have some off days, and I have spent the past four days on the Little Manistee River. The fishing was great despite the bitterly cold weather this weekend. Good numbers of fresh steelhead moved in as well as a flood of chrome coho. The water started out with a really nice stain and is now running extremely clear. My top flies were peach and tangerine eggs and a few fish came on PCP nymphs. The Little fishes great through December. Just keep covering water until you find them.
Matt Barthels reports on November 20: Fishing was good on the Manistee yesterday. Fish are definitely starting to move into slower water and are beginning to slow down and fight a bit more like winter fish. We found both bright and colored up fish. Top flies were larger eggs and black buggers. The water is high and holding quite a bit of color, and rose throughout the day. The high water should reshuffle the fish a bit. The river from Bear Creek down will be a mess for a bit yet, so concentrate on some of the upper sections.
John Gouker reports on November 14: Fishing on the Manistee continues to be good using multiple techniques. Nymphing with eggs and buggers using Indy or drift riggs has been effective. Swinging with black or olive patterns has also been producing well. Fishing should remain productive on the Manistee with good numbers of steelhead still pushing up the river.
Matt Barthels reports on November 12: Fishing was tough yesterday on the big river. We had a couple fish that were willing to play, but it was a tough bite. The water has some stain but is clearing quickly. The water temp should continue to drop with some winter weather in the forecast.
Matt Barthels reports on October 27: Fishing was good on the Manistee yesterday. We consistently picked up fish throughout the day. The water temp stabilized and the fish were happy. We picked up fish on peach eggs, pink eggs, and black buggers. The bugger bite is one of my personal favorites due to the violent strike. Look for the bite on bugs and swung flies to start picking up here as the eggs start flushing out of the system.
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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
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!
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.