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Michigan Fishing Report
Our fly shop hours are 8:00 am until 5:30 pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday we're open 8:00 am until 4:00 pm.
John Gouker reports: The Big Manistee is fishing really well for trout. Streamer fishing and swinging fry have both been really effective. Warm water fishing should also be good with the next warm up in weather.
Matt Barthels reports on May 5: It has been an odd steelhead spring steelhead season thus far. There are still fish around in the Manistee, but not in huge numbers. Most trips now we are targeting both steelhead and trout. The trout fishing has been solid on most area rivers. Larger streamers are moving some nice fish lately. The most consistent colors for me have been white, yellow, and olive. Fish have also been eating swung fry patterns most day. Trout fishing should continue to get better as we continue through the month.
Brent Borcherdt reports on April 22: Steelhead fishing on the Big Manistee is improving everyday, with more and more arriving by day. We are seeing fresh, dime-bright chrome fish with a mix of spawners and post-spawn fish. I can't believe I'm saying this in late April, but I think we are close to peak run with lots of more fish still to come. Natural fresh egg colors, stones, Caddis, and fry patterns have been the top flies. With warmer water temps, the trout fishing is really starting to pick up also. Streamers in a variety of colors and nymphing is the ticket. I have seen a few fish rise to stones and BWOs, but they are not keyed in on dries quiet yet. The trout opener is this weekend and we have everything you need whether your targeting trout or steelhead. See you out there!
Gary Melzer reports on April 20: For those of us that are still in the steelhead mode, Bear Creek is fishing well with fish still moving upstream and going to gravel. The Big Manistee has been slow, but is improving daily. The water is still colored up with about four feet of visibility. The next two weeks should show greater number of fish moving to gravel. For those of you would like to trout fish, the Big Manistee has been fishing extremely well with browns in the mid teens being landed. With trout opener being this weekend, things should heat up. Whatever you decide, just get out and enjoy yourself!
John Gouker reports on April 7: Fishing continues to improve. Bear Creek has been good with new fish arriving every day. The Big Manistee has been a bit hit-and-miss but new fish are showing up. The Little Manistee should see some good fishing in the next couple of weeks. The weir should start releasing fish in the next week or two. Spring should be good just a little later than normal.
Matt Barthels reports on April 5: Steelhead fishing on the Manistee had gotten off to a slower start than usual. However, with the bump in water levels and temps we have received a nice little push of fresh fish. With the forecast this week calling for rain and decent temps I would expect a good push of fish to show up. Top flies have been eggs in shades of orange, peach, and yellow, buggers, and fry/hex patterns.
Brent Borcerdt reports: Steelhead fishing is a little slower on all of our area waters. With a cold start to spring and low clear waters it feels like we are a couple weeks behind. That being said we are finding fish everyday. This run will break loose soon and I expect a great April. Streamer fishing on the upper Manistee is improving everyday and we have been turning good fish most days. Note the awesome rainbow Chris Lessway got and a brown with a 6" half eaten fish hanging out of his mouth that Matt Barthels got on a float we did on the upper Man. Two cool fish, a good day fishing with great friends. Come up and get out with us its a great time of year in Northern Michigan.
John Gouker reports: The fishing is still a little slower than normal but improving daily. It should really pick up as we get some warmer weather to increase our water temps. The fish have been eating a variety of patterns: eggs, buggers, stones, caddis, and pcp nymphs. Look for April and early May to be some really good fishing.
Matt Barthels reports on March 24:
Trout fishing in the upper Manistee was very productive yesterday. Fish were holding in deeper woody areas and were looking to put on some weight after a long winter. Larger yellow streamers such as dungeons and Conrad sculpins were the top producers.
Brent Borcherdt reports on March 10: With the warmer weather, my buddies and I took my raft to the upper Manistee. (Most launches are still snow-covered and impassable for vehicles and drift boats). It was incredible to strip streamers for trout again, and the day was warm and beautiful bringing visions of summer to all of us. Though fishing was slow, we got a fish and turned some good ones. Water temperatures are still low, but with the forecast this week, I believe we will melt most of the snow pack. By next week we should be getting our first real push of spring steelhead. Trout fishing will also improve with fish looking for a meal after a COLD winter.
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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
Linda Heller of Clouser Fly Fishing and Temple Fork will be teaching a Women's Fly Fishing School at Schmidt Outfitters in summer 2015. Call the fly shop today to sign up! 231-848-4191.
Learn to tie Ajae's Polar Daddy by John Gouker.
Add the Trout Gurgler to your summer fly box. Here's the step-by-step fly tying recipe.
2014 Year In Review by John Gouker
A Wander Through the Woods by Amy MacEachern
The Importance of Teaching Youth to Fly Fish by Amy MacEachern
Bass Fishing on the Fly video