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  1. #1

    Default Fishing on the Manistee River in MI

    I am going to the Manistee River in MI sometime in June or July of this year. We go to the same vacation house every year and it sit right on the Manistee River in Fife Lake, MI. As I am just starting to fly fish I have yet to fish the Manistee on any of my previous trips there.

    How should I best prepare for this trip? What do I need to find out? Do I need to figure out what's hatching at the time I plan on being there? Are there specific 'never leave home without it' flies that I should have with me?

    Anyone know what to expect from that part of the Manistee? Might it be fishing heaven or fishing hell?

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan

    Default Re: Fishing on the Manistee River in MI


    If you want a sort of "one-stop shopping" approach to fishing the Manistee River and some of its better stretches, there is a trout angler's guide that's available from the Challenge Chapter of Trout Unlimited here in Michigan, or through any of the fly shops in Grayling-- Gate's Lodge, the Old AuSable Angler Fly Shop and the like. The guide will tell you everything from a bit of history about the river, and also point out best access points, hatch emergence schedules and the like. As I live on the AuSable River, I don't get to fish the Manistee as much as I'd like, but it's a great river with some outstanding fly fishing.

    If you need more info on rounding up a copy of The Trout Angler's Guide to the Manistee, drop me a PM and I'll hook you up. As for flies? Bring along some Adams in multiple sizes-- 10-16 --some Sulphur patterns, and a few tiny white-winged black flies, tied in a spinner formation.

    And, if I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to ask... Jerry, aka hairwing530

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fishing on the Manistee River in MI

    I believe that Fife Lake is very close to the Boardman, as well. The same T.U. group publishes a guide book for it too. Either river is great! I'd love to have a week or two to explore both.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Michigan's U.P.

    Default Re: Fishing on the Manistee River in MI

    Hopefully some help.



  5. #5

    Default Re: Fishing on the Manistee River in MI

    If you are interested in a float trip on the Manistee, p.m. me and I can give you a couple of names of guides who you would enjoy. Just a recommendation... nothing in it for me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fishing on the Manistee River in MI

    I think you're downstream enough that you will be in some pretty big water. The Upper Manistee is a fly fishers Paradise. I fished it from Deward where it's a spring-fed brookie trickle to the CCC. Downstream of that I always floated.
    It would be worth a 35 minute drive to the flies only section of very wadeable water west of Grayling.
    You better have some hex's in your box if you're going in late June, early July.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Fishing on the Manistee River in MI

    Upper Manistee
    Also the boardman near arbutus lake
    I like all of the above mentioned fly shops I also like The Northern Angler in downtown Traverse city. Brian-shop owner is great and willing to give info.

    all great rivers. All get canoe traffic especially near grayling. I have not had a run in with canoers as most have been respectful as I return it in favor.

    Hex, nymphs and dries
    Mouse patterns for that midnight trout experience-just cast over some holes that you scout out in daylight-you never see them coming-great time there.

    For the hex hatch if it goes off-find the muck. they are in the muck and hatch and surface and the browns will snack on them all night long.

    I might not have great advice but it has worked for me.

    have fun and good luck

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