Manistee River Fishing Reports


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Manistee River Fishing Report – Updated Fishing Reports for the Big Manistee River for Steelhead, Salmon, Trout, and Smallmouth Bass below Tippy Dam.

Spring Steelhead Fishing on the Big Manistee River has been going well.  Lots of new Steelhead on gravel. Tippy to High Bridge has the most fish with bright silver fish showing up daily. Fly Fishing for Manistee River Spring Steelhead has been excellent!  (231) 519-7348

Our best techniques have been float fishing with trout beads, drifting  floats behind and around spawning gravel. This has definitely been the most productive.  Fly Fishing has also been excellent for Manistee River Spring Steelhead. Stone flies and tiny egg patterns have been fishing well.

Manistee River Fishing Reports - Tippy Dam Fishing - MI - Michigan Spring Steelhead
Manistee River Fishing Reports - Steelhead Fishing Guides - Tippy Dam Steelhead Fishing - MI

Starting to see good numbers of Spring Steelhead below Tippy Dam. Water conditions are starting to improve and beginning to warm. Many Steelhead have pushed into the upper sections with some steelhead getting over the coffer at Tippy.  Bobber fishing above the coffer has been excellent!

Jigs tipped with wax worms have been fishing very well.  Trout beads, spawn sacks are also fishing well.  Bright colors like orange and  chartreuse are doing great. Water is stained right now so brighter colors are fishing the best.

Tippy Dam Fall Steelhead - Guided Steelhead - Manistee River Fishing - Steelhead Fishing Tippy - MI
Big Manistee River Steelhead Fishing Reports - Tippy Dam Report - Steelhead Fishing Tippy Dam - MI

During the Fall months, the Muskegon River receives a large amount of Steelhead. Steelhead can be fished throughout the Winter and into Spring Months.

Steelhead Fishing is really starting to get good below Tippy Dam. Fresh Steelhead have ascended the river, feeding on the Chinook (King) Salmon eggs in the upper River. Spawning Salmon provide a good food scource for resident Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Steelhead. Good numbers of both Fall run steelhead, and Skamania Summer Run Steelhead.

There has been a large push of Coho and King Salmon above the coffer below Tippy Dam. Drift fishing with trout beads has been working well for us. Float fishing with small spawn sacks has also been good. We’re doing well on the Coho Salmon casting small Cleo spoons. Blue / silver has been the best.

 

Manistee River Fishing Report – Tippy Dam

 

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report.(231) 519-7348


Fully Guided Spring Steelhead Trips for Michigan Rivers.
Full Day Trips ( 8 hours) $395
Half Day Guided Fishing Tours (4 hours) $250

** All Gear, Tackle, Rods, Reels, Fishing Cleaning Provided**
Super Prime Spring Steelhead Dates & Half days available.

Spring Steelhead fishing is in full swing on the Muskegon River. Water levels have bumped up, making for excellent fishing. Grace with a gorgeous spring Steelhead from today. New fish moving in from Lake Michigan.

Longer daylight is really improving the Spring Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River. Longer days trigger the steelhead to migrate up river into the spawning sections near the Croton Dam. Water levels are perfect. We expect a large, early run of steelhead in later February, early March. Good water conditions help fish migrate and move freely through the Muskegon River system.
Best bites have been on small spawn sacks, trout beads in natural colors, and feather jigs tipped with wax worms. Fly Fishing has also been good, as steelhead key heavily on small black stone flies during early Spring. Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

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Trophy Brown Trout on the White River.

Eugene with a gorgeous Spring Steelhead from the Muskegon River. Steelhead fishing has been very good and continues to improve. Longer daylight brings new fish.

Spring Steelhead Fishing – Steve with a beast! New Bright Steelhead entering the river in good numbers. (1/24)

Kyle with his first Steelhead in Michigan. Warmer weather has improved fishing conditions. Spring is just around the corner.

Spring thaw is bringing more Steelhead into the upper river. Croton Dam Steelhead Fishing has been good. (1/24)

Now Booking Muskegon River Spring Steelhead Trips.

There’s no question that the Muskegon river offers the best Steelhead fishing in the Great Lakes region. We have prime Spring Steelhead dates available for Steelhead during March, April, and May for the Muskegon and Big Manistee Rivers. Guided trips are all inclusive. (All gear, tackle, bait and flies provided) Fish cleaning is also included at no charge. We look forward to fishing with you this Spring season!!
Text to book>>> (231) 519 7348

Michigan Winter Steelhead – The Muskegon River offers the best steelhead fishing in Michigan. Because the Muskegon River is a mid draw dam, the Muskegon River never freezes, allowing anglers an opportunity for good steelhead fishing throughout the winter months. Trout fishing is also excellent. Trophy Brown Trout spawn during December, offering shots and some very big trout. (231) 519-7348

It looks like we’re finally going to get a reprieve from these brutal cold temperatures. It’s finally tolerable to get out and fish! This weather feels a lot warmer, almost mild temperatures. The good news is, that nobody has been on the water bothering the fish! Steelhead and Trout should be unmolested and biting well.
The Muskegon River is a tail water fishery which means, Consumers Energy takes water from the river about ten feet below the ice on Croton Pond. The water for the river is several degrees warmer. This means that the Muskegon River never freezes below the Croton Dam. Warmer water temperatures allow us to fish – guide through out the winter months. Unlike the Pere Marquette, White, Rogue, and Grand Rivers, the Muskegon River Never freezes. Offering very good Trout and Steelhead fishing all winter long.
Steelhead and Trout fishing has been consistently good throughout the winter. Good numbers of Steelhead in the upper stretches of the main stream.
Best techniques during the winter months are presentations that slow the bait down a bit. Back bouncing spawn sacks, back trolling plugs, drifting trout beads under a float, or chuck and duck fly fishing are all productive methods that we use when the water is cold. Steelhead metabolism is slow this time of year, techniques that keep the bait in their face, are the best producers.

Guided Winter Trips for Michigan Rivers. Full Day Trips ( 8 hours) $350
Half Day Guided Fishing Tours (4 hours) $250

** All Gear, Tackle, Rods, Reels, Fishing Cleaning Provided**
Super Prime Spring Steelhead Dates & Half days available.

Don landed this gorgeous West Michigan Muskegon River Brown Trout. Winter time can offer some outstanding Trout fishing. Trophy Browns spawn during December.

Casey with a gorgeous bullet hen. Recent rains helped shuffle the deck – Bring Chrome fish.

Top 5 Tips for Winter Steelhead.

Staying warm and comfortable is by far the most important thing while fishing during the winter and early spring. Basic components such as keeping the head and feet warm is key. Don’t skimp on a good hat. Insulated is the key. A hat that is insulated with a bill goes well with polarized sunglasses. You get twice the glare in the winter. (Sun & Snow) Another major wicking socks go on your feet first, then your heavy wool socks. These socks wick moisture away from your skin. If you haven’t tried them, they’re seriously a game changer. Part of staying warm is good boots. Muck Boot Artic, Sorrel Blizzard, and Mickey Mouse boots are some good ones, notice I did not say waders. Wicking socks (Polycapilene Socks) resemble woman nylons, usually black and thin, wicking socks go on your feet first, then your heavy wool socks. These socks wick moisture away from your skin. If you haven’t tried them, they’re seriously a game changer.
Gloves are another major deal with fishing steelhead in the winter. There are a million brands and styles out there. I’ve tried all of them and settled on old school military style fingerless rag wool gloves. These stay warm even when wet, and lead into another key. Hot Hands shakable hand warmers. There things are phenomenal!!
Rag wool gloves keep the hand warmers exposed to oxygen. I put hand warmers on the back side of my gloves (Not the palm side) This allows the hand warmers to warm the blood flow going into your finger tips, and stay out of your way while casting. Use the Hot Hands brand, the Grabber brand just plan suck, barely warm up and are dead in a few hours. Hot hands get very warm and last 10 plus hours.
For hardcore Winter – Spring Steelhead fishing I love to wear a water proof shell. Snow boarding pants or snow pants work exceptionally well for fishing. They repel some water and trap a lot of air to keep you warm. I wear heavy duty fleece pants under snow pants. I layer the hell out of my upper body. I want to stay warm but also need range of motion for fishing. I start with long sleeve under amour against my skin, then a synthetic thin hoodie, (Patagonia or Outdoor Research) with a regular cotton hoodie over everything. Last but not least, a down vest. Down keeps my core warm and I can cast and row well.
Guiding and being on the river every day, I get to watch clients not dress properly and freeze while they’re fishing. Most anglers or clients, don’t really understand that while steelhead fishing, you’re not super active, and the river always seems about 10 degree colder than the main land. Also the air above the river is very damp, making things feel colder . Before each guide trip, I text my clients a list of warm clothes to wear on their fishing adventure. People hook and land a lot more trout and steelhead when they’re warm.

Here ‘s a quick list of the best clothing for Winter – Spring Steelhead.
Warm Winter boots, Snow pants, Polycapilene socks. wool socks. Hot Hands hand warmers. Under armor shirt, quality synthetic hoodie, XL Regular hoodie, down west. Rag Wool fingerless gloves.
Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

I haven’t had too much time to update the report with the artic weather last week. I’ve been getting a lot of texts as to, How are the boat launches? I took a drive this morning, here’s what I found. Croton Dam Launch (Just below the dam) Croton Launch is plowed shut so it’s not usable. Pine St Launch is plowed completely for parking. The boat launch itself is clear but very icy. Salt, sand, or ash is a must for Pine St. but overall it looks good. Thornapple Launch is in excellent condition. Plowed with a bare spot to launch. Maybe a bit of salt. Henning Park launch is excellent. Plowed and sanded. Didn’t get a chance to hit Bridgeton but usually that is usable but shelf and pancake ice down there.

Chad Schaub and Zack are doing guided ice fishing trips for those who are interested. Ice conditions are excellent!! Clear blue ice. 4″ – 6″ in most areas. Ice fishing guides are doing very well on Blue gills, Specks, and Pike. Not much going so far for Walleye and Perch yet. Jake and I are still doing Steelhead and Trout Trips on the river. Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

Good numbers of fall – winter steelhead throughout the system on the Muskegon River. New fish coming in from Lake Michigan.

After a few days of some wild weather, steelhead fishing has returned to normal. There has been several decent pushes of steelhead moving in from Lake Michigan. The lower sections of river have been fishing well as steelhead move into the winter lies. Water temperatures are beginning to cool, so slower techniques have been fishing the best. Drifting spawn sacks along the bottom has been working well, along with back bouncing, drifting beads, and jigs tipped with wax worms.
There’s been a good mix of chrome and winter hold over steelhead in most of the sections. Lake Run Brown Trout are starting to become a big deal. Brown’s spawn during December so this is an excellent time to look for a trophy Brown Trout. Pine St to Henning park holds the best gravel (slower, deeper, and a bit more fine than steelhead prefer) for these beautiful fish. Streamer fishing has been best for big Brown Trout.

Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

Trophy Lake Run Brown Trout Spawn during December. Both the Big Manistee River (Above Pic) and the Muskegon River, get a decent migration of big Brown Trout through out December and early January.

Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing How To Techniques


Michigan Spring Steelhead

Choosing the correct river for Michigan Spring Steelhead can pay big dividends. Croton Dam Steelhead

Late Febuary and March offer some of the best Fishing the Michigan has to offer, before the crowds arrive.

As for being a fishing guide in Western Michigan for nearly 25 years, there are always several reoccurring questions that I often get from clients that are interested in Michigan Spring Steelhead fishing. Probably the most resounding question I get the most often is, What is the best river to fish, and when?
That is a That is a very legitimate question for sure!

Typically, the rule of thumb is to fish from South (Michigan) to North. As a general rule, the rivers in the southern portion of the Michigan warm first, getting the first migrations of Spring Steelhead. Generally the St. Joseph and the Grand River kick off our Michigan Spring Steelhead. This is most often associated with water temperature. Most Steelhead migrations begin around 36 – 38 degrees. Active spawning begins near 42 degrees.

Based on water temperatures, the White River in Hesperia, Rogue River in Rockford, and the Pere Marquette River located in Baldwin, are going strong by late February and early March. I have often witnessed steelhead spawning in these rivers on valentines day if we’ve had a couple warm, sunny days. These rivers are smaller and warm more quickly than the larger rivers, offering early Spring Steelhead fishing.

Spring offers some of the best steelhead fishing in Michigan. Its short but sweet!

Warm sunny days are the best! Ashley with a gorgeous Spring Steelhead in Michigan Muskegon River.

The second set of rivers is a big more complicated, the Big Manistee River, and the Muskegon River located in Newaygo, are a bit more difficult to pin down. Because these rivers are tail water fisheries, the reservoir that holds the water generally has a thick layer of ice on the back water. The ice keeps these rivers much colder than others. Basically, ice cubes in your glass of water keep it cold until the ice melts. These rivers predominately get a big push of steelhead in later march, with peak being later April. The Big Manistee River and the Muskegon River usually have a fishable number of Steelhead until mid to late May, often until Memorial Day.

The third section of Michigan Spring Steelhead rivers are your most Northern rivers, Betsie river, Platt, Borgman River, Elk Rapids, and the St. Mary’s Rapids. These rivers always have later runs of steelhead. The water is clear and cold. The St. Mary’s Rapids has Steelhead well into June. Peak times are just after Memorial Day.

There are no hard, fast rules on choosing what river will be best for Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing, however, these tips may certainly improve your odds. Paying attention to Spring run off, and water temperatures are your best bet but this list of rivers should also help.

Here are a couple links for Fishing Reports for Michigan Spring Steelhead fishing as well.

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Reports

Muskegon River Trout – Smallmouth Bass – Salmon


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Beat the Heat with Giant Muskegon River Smallmouth. Hot days means the action is heating up for Big river Smallmouth Bass. Light Spinning Tackle or Fly Fishing.

Mark with a gorgeous rainbow trout from the upper Muskegon River. Excellent Caddis hatches and nice trout. Rainbows doing well on small soft hackle flies.

Michigan King Salmon have started to show up in the few rivers so far. Salmon this year are HUGE compared to the last few years. Larger sized like 2013. Should be an excellent year for big Salmon on the Manistee and Pere Marquette Rivers.

John displays another beautiful Rainbow Trout taken on a Caddis dry fly. Trout Fishing is outstanding during June and July. ($250 – $350 – 2 people)

Dry fly fishing has been excellent in the evenings on the Muskegon River. We are experiencing three really good hatches right now. Gray Drakes spinner falls, Isonychia emergers and adult dries, and of coarse, our favorite, Cinnamon Caddis Super Hatches! The Muskegon River is known throughout the Mid West for our ledgenday caddis emergence that happen each evening. Lots and lots of resident trout rise to our caddis.

We are offering evening hatch trips every afternoon from 4:30pm – 10pm. Evening “Hatch Master” Specials are $250 for 2 anglers. Includes all Gear, Tackle, and Flies. We offer easy to learn casting techniques, innovative fly patterns, and teach basic aquatic insect hatch information to our guests on these trips. Hatch trips are a fun way to learn about fly fishing, brush up on techniques, and enjoy a great evening of catching quality trout on dry flies. Call or Text for available evenings. (231) 519-7348

Muskegon River Trout Fishing & Sucker Spawn


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Hatch fishing has been excellent on the Muskegon River. Great hatches of Gray Drake, Sulphers, and Isonychia Bicolor. Fantastic dry fly fishing. (6/2)

Nymphing by day – Prolific hatches by night. Trophy Brown Trout on the Muskegon River. Mega Trout! (6/1)

Trout fishing on the Muskegon River has been exceptionally good for the past two weeks. Incredible Gray Drake and Isonychia spinner falls. Dry fly fishing at its finest!! Don’t get put off by the whole fly fishing thing, we offer casting instructions, simple casting techniques, and easy fishing methods for catching lots of nice trout during the summer months. Casting small crank baits is also available and easy, available way to catch nice trout. The Muskegon River offers great trout fishing year around!

Send and email or Text >> (231) 519-7348

Linda & Chuck with one of many very respectable Trout from today. Summer will offer excellent trout fishing. (5/26)

Miles with a gorgeous trophy Brown Trout landed on the Muskegon River – Sucker fry pattern. (5/14)

John with a stunning Muskegon River Brown Trout taken on a small bead head nymph. (5/26)

Toby with an absolute BEAST of a Brown Trout. Our person best resident river trout. 27″ Trophy Brown Trout. (5/14)

Sucker Spawn Trout fishing has been phenominal – One of the best in years! Lots of really nice resident Trout. Dry fly fishing (Gray Drakes, Isonychia) has also been great. Hatches in both mornings and evening. Fishing should continue to be excellent through early July for Muskegon River Trout.

Spring is here and it’s finally Trout season on the Muskegon River. Trout season is our favorite time of the year! Warm weather, birds chirping, and outstanding fishing opportunities! Muskegon River Sucker spawn is with out a doubt, our most productive time of year for trophy trout. Large wary Brown Trout feed during the day when Red Horse, and White Suckers begin to spawn. Eggs are at a premium this time of year, and Trout go crazy for this food source! 30 – 50 Trout per day are common during the Michigan Sucker Spawn, usually several trophy trout (20 inches or above) are also landed each day.

We use free style nymphing techniques when fishing the Sucker spawn. 9′ – 5 weight fly rods are our weapons of choice, spooled with running line. This technique is incredibly simple to learn. It’s a great technique for introducing children or novice anglers to fly fishing. Usually anglers can cast free style nymphing within 15 or 20 minutes, making 30 foot casts is easy and incredibly productive landing MANY nice trout!

We offer both full and half days, morning or evening. We love to fish Sucker spawn so we can guide you anytime, our schedules are flexible. Full Day trips (8 hrs) are $350 for two anglers. Half days (4.5 hrs) are also available for $250 for 2 anglers. ALL gear, tackle, and flies are also included in all fishing trips.

Please send us a text (231) 519-7348 or reserve a date online – Rates Tab listed above.

Salmon Season in full swing – Steelhead coming soon!


Fishing behind spawning salmon has been fantastic for trout.

Salmon Update II – The Muskegon River, Pere Marquette, and Big Manistee now each have good numbers of salmon. Everything seems to be several weeks behind schedule with above normal Fall temperatures. Salmon is center stage and prime time right now and should go into early November with bright fish showing up periodically.

Fall Steelhead, and Lake Run Brown Trout have also been showing on occasion. “By catch” , often showing up on guide trips. The Manistee especially, has been showing signs of a decent migratory brown trout fishery. The new Sturgeon River strain of browns should certainly be exciting!

Fall Steelhead of coarse, have been showing up behind spawning kings anywhere deep gravel is to be had. No numbers yet but, some are being caught each day now. Middle to lower sections of both the Manistee and Muskegon Rivers. Resident trout fishing has also been excellent over the last 10 days.
( Big Shout out to the DNR – Planted our first fall planting of 10,000 runt brown trout. Every bit helps! )

Salmon Update: Big rains last night on the Big Manistee & surrounding rivers! Cold nights and rising water levels are bringing in the salmon big time. Salmon have been waiting in the big lake for cooler temperatures.

Today: We had much better fishing for salmon today. Fly fishing for Kings has now taken center stage with lots of big fish finally showing up! Cold nights and rain making for the big push of Kings in the Pere Marquette River, (Custer – Scottville) and Big Manistee River (Wellston) now has lots of salmon on the move with spawning on the gravel now in full swing. We also landed a gorgeous Fall Steelhead today on an egg pattern. Trout fishing is also excellent for Brown Trout. If you want a memorable guided fishing trip, now is the time to fish! (231) 519-7348

Salmon Update II – The Muskegon River, Pere Marquette, and Big Manistee now each have good numbers of salmon. Everything seems to be several weeks behind schedule with above normal Fall temperatures. Salmon is center stage and prime time right now and should go into early November with bright fish showing up periodically.

Fall Steelhead, and Lake Run Brown Trout have also been showing on occasion. “By catch” if you will but, often showing up on guide trips. The Manistee especially has been showing signs of a decent migratory brown trout fishery. The new Sturgeon River strain of browns should certainly be exciting!

Fall Steelhead of coarse have been showing up behind spawning kings anywhere deep gravel is to be had. No numbers yet but, some are being caught each day now. Middle to lower sections of both the Manistee and Muskegon Rivers. Resident trout fishing has also been excellent over the last 10 days.

( Big Shout out to the DNR – Planted our first fall planting of 10,000 runt brown trout. Every bit helps! )

Salmon Update: Big rains last night on the Big Manistee & surrounding rivers! Cold nights and rising water levels are bringing in the salmon big time. Salmon have been waiting in the big lake for cooler temperatures.

Today: We had much better fishing for salmon today. Fly fishing for Kings has now taken center stage with lots of big fish finally showing up! Cold nights and rain making for the big push of Kings in the Pere Marquette River, (Custer – Scottville) and Big Manistee River (Wellston) now has lots of salmon on the move with spawning on the gravel now in full swing. We also landed a gorgeous Fall Steelhead today on an egg pattern. Trout fishing is also excellent for Brown Trout. If you want a memorable guided fishing trip, now is the time to fish! (231) 519-7348

Things are running way behind so far this fall. October should offer the best salmon fishing. Salmon season is however, in full swing, new fish entering the river daily! October is going to be incredible!

Salmon season is now in full swing with catchable numbers of Chinook Salmon available in the Pere Marquette & Big Manistee River. Cold nights and some rainfall has greatly improved the migrations over the past week with new fish entering the river daily.

We are now catching fish consistently everyday. A mixed batch of bright Kings and some starting to show the carmel phase of coming into the river. Some larger pods have been showing up as well.

Best techniques have been throwing crankbaits, (Thundersticks) early in the morning. Drifting skein under a float has been very productive, especially on sunny days. Early salmon bite very well with the right offerings.

Our available dates are limited, October dates are available and should be excellent with things being so late. Afternoon guided trips are available almost every day, and are also fishing well.

(3:30pm – 7:30pm) $250 for two anglers.

Afternoon’s are fishing well.

Due to everything being late this fall, October should offer exceptional late season salmon. Last Fall, October dates hooked the most fish per day by far. Chinook salmon run well into late October – November, for great fishing!