Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Manistee River In
Michigan (Big Manistee)
The Manistee River is a tributary of Lake Michigan. It
has a good population of trout as well as steelhead
and salmon runs from the lake. The upper river provides
the trout fishing and the tailwater below Tippy Dam
provides the salmon and steelhead runs. Fly fishing the
"Big" Manistee River, as it is called by the locals,
provides year-round opportunities.
The Manistee River begins near Mancelona and flows
about a hundred miles into Lake Michigan. The
uppermost thirty miles of the river produces the best
trout fishing opportunities. It begins as a small stream
and increases in size up to a hundred feet in width. The
uppermost part has mostly brook trout with browns
increasing in population downstream. The lower section
also has a population of rainbow trout.
Access is easy. The Manistee River starts out near
Michigan #38 and flows downstream to Michigan #66.
The stream bottom consist of gravel and sand. There's
lots of cover for the brown trout with logs and undercut
banks plentiful. The flow is moderate with some sharp
bends with deep pools and runs.
The Manistee River has a special regulation section that
located from Michigan #72 downstream to the CCC
Bridge. Only artificial flies may be used. Fly fishing the
Manistee River in this section is excellent for trout with
trophy size fish fairly common. There's plenty of access
to the river from several roads and many bridges.
The Manistee River is most noted for its salmon and
steelhead fishing. It has some huge runs of fish that
enter the lower section of the river below Tippy Dam.
The stream has a rock and sand bottom very suitable
for spawning steelhead and salmon. It's a beautiful
stream with long deep pools, and deep runs and riffles.
It can be fished from the banks, waded or fished from a
drift boat. Fishing from a boat gives one the opportunity
to cover more water and is preferred by most serious
anglers. Some areas are not suitable for wading and
Steelhead and salmon also run up into Bear Creek, a
tributary to the Manistee. The creek provides excellent
water for steelhead and salmon and is a preferred
choice by many anglers. The lower section of the river
can be accessed easily from River Road and East River
Road. Many roads lead off Michigan #55.
The Manistee River is a very versatile river with lots of
fly fishing opportunities year-round. Although it's best
known for its salmon and steelhead runs, don't overlook
the trout fishing above the dam.
Manistee River Fly Fishing Guide:
The thirty miles of the upper portion of the Manistee
provides the trout fishing from Michigan #38 downstream
to Michigan #66.The locals call it the Big Manistee River
which separates it from the Little Manistee River.
The upper section of the Manistee River's bottom
consists mostly of gravel and sand. There's lots of cover
for the brown trout in the form of fallen logs and tree
tops. Undercut banks also provide the browns good
cover. There are many deep runs and deep pools.
The lower section of the stream consist mostly of rock
and sand but much of it is suitable for spawning
steelhead and salmon. The pools are long and deep
connected by deep runs and riffles. The lower section
can be fished from the banks, waded or fished from a
drift boat. Most steelhead and salmon anglers prefer to
fish from a drift boat. You can cover more water and
often, this is the key to finding the steelhead and salmon.
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Photo Courtesy of Stephen Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
For Steelhead and Salmon
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Access to the upper section of Manistee
River can be found near M-38 (Mancelona
Road) Below Mancelona Road you will find
access from several bridges including the
bridge at M-72, the CCC Bridge and the
Sharon Bridge as well as the Three Mile
Access and the Smithville Access.
Access to the mid section of the Manistee
River can be from Coates Highway or the
Hodenpyl Road at Mesick, where you can
follow the stairway to the river below the dam,
to fly fish for the spectacular salmon and
steelhead runs every spring and fall.
The season varies with the species and
Springtime is the best time fly fishing the
Manistee River for trout because of the
numerous hatches. Steelhead can be
caught as late as the end of April
depending on the weather.
Summertime continues to be a good time
Access to the lower river can be found from
numerous side roads off of M-55 as well as
the River Road off of M-31 runs parallel to
the north side of the river. Access is also
available by roads leading to the Tippy
Dam. Below the dam, North High Bridge
Road crosses the river providing access.
Bear Creek is a feeder to the Manistee that
is found on the north side of the river and
can be accessed along River Road near the
junction of the Manistee or to the north
along Coates Highway.
Manistee River Hatches and Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Manistee River and in all stages of life that
are applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
The Blue-winged Olives are probably hatch
over a longer period of time than any of
the aquatic insects. There are several
species and some of them are bi-brooded.
The first hatch usually occurs around the
first of April and last until about the last
week of July. About the end of August they
usually start to hatch again. This last hatch
usually ends by the first of October.
The Hendrickson hatch usually starts about
the middle of April. American March Browns
start to hatch about the first of May. The
hatch last for about a month or longer.
This hatch last for about a month.
Blue Quills (called Mahogany Duns locally)
will start to hatch about the first of May.
The hatch usually last about six weeks.
Sulphurs starting to hatch about the middle
of May. This hatch can last to the middle of
About the first or second week of June, the
Great Olive Wing Dun, or what locals
sometimes call the Hex hatch takes place.
It can last until the end of July. Brown
Drakes start hatching about the first of
June and last for about a month.
The Slate Drake hatch last about two
months, or from around the middle of June
until the middle of August.
Light Cahills hatches start by the first of
June. They can hatch on into the first week
or two of August.
Caddisflies are plentiful on the Big
Manistee River. There are many species
but the most important are species are the
net-spinning Cinnamon Caddis. They
start about the first of June and can last all
the way until the middle of August.
Green Sedges start hatching around the
first of June also. This hatch last about six
weeks. Their larva, or the Green Rock
Worms, are around all year. Imitations of
them work just about anytime of the year
and even for the steelhead.
There are some Little Browns, and Little
Black Caddis that hatch in the first of the
season around the first of May. There's also
some larger fall sedges that hatch.
The upper headwaters sections of the
Manistee River has some long horn species
that hatch during the summer and early fall.
The river also has a few stoneflies. From
about the first of April until May 15th, early
black or Little Winter Stoneflies hatch.
Yellow Sallies (Little Yellow stoneflies) are
found in some of the faster sections of the
stream. They start hatching around the
middle of May and last until the middle of
Terrestrial insects are important during the
summer months. Ants are plentiful from
about the end of June all the way to mid
October. The flying ants are usually found
from about the middle of August to the
middle of September. Imitations of beetles
and grasshoppers will produce trout during
the months of July, August and September.
Midges are around year-round and
imitations of their larvae, pupae and the
adults will produce most anytime but the
most important times are during cold
weather when few other insects are
hatching. Most of the midges are blood or
red midges. There are a few species that
are a cream color.
Streamers work great for the big brown
trout, steelhead and salmon in the Manistee
River. Imitations of sculpin, baitfish, leeches
produce well The streamers are most
effective on the brown trout under low light
or dingy water conditions.
At "Perfect Fly," we have specific imitations
of everything that hatches on the Manistee
River. If you haven't already done so,
please give our flies a chance to perform for
you. They are not only are the most realistic
flies you can buy, they are the most
effective at catching trout.
You may want to have a large selection of
small egg flies in natural colors such as
gold, orange, Oregon cheese, peach, and
cream in hook sizes #8 and 10's. Our
"Perfect Fly" Giant Black Stonefly Nymphs in
hook sizes 6 also work well. Our "Perfect
Fly" Hex (Great Olive Winged Drake)
nymphs in a hook size #6 also work great.
So do our Green Caddis larvae imitations or
Green Rock Worms in a hook size 12.
Salmon first enter the river and the
steelhead follow. Steelhead begin entering
the Manistee River as early as the middle
of September. The fishing is good
throughout the Fall. Trout fishing remains
good during the Fall.
All but the coldest days of Winter can be
good for steelhead. The extremely cold
water of January and February can make
the fish sluggish but otherwise, fishing
remains good throughout the Winter. .
12/12/13 Extremely cold weather has
hampered the fly fishing opportunities. We
have not received any reports of fish being
caught recently. Wait for a warming trend.
Fishing Report Updated
May 19, 2019
(Bottom Of Page)
12/31/13 Section below Tippy Dam is
fishing okay. Some steelhead have been
caught according to our local contact but
cold weather is hampering the action.
01/07/14 Extreme cold weather has had
the steelhead fishing shut down for the
past few days. This is also true of the
upper Manistee river.
01/14/14 Ice and cold water has the
steelhead fishing going very slow. Few
anglers are even trying. This coming
week should be some better.
01/21/14 More very cold weather in the
forecast for the coming week. Low water
temperatures are hurting the efforts of
anglers. They need a break of warmer
01/28/14 Continued very cold weather
and lots of ice in the water is keeping
anglers in front of the fireplace. Sorry,
we have nothing to report.
02/04/14 The weather has been a little
warmer but not warm enough to help the
steelhead fishing. There water is still too
02/11/14 Same story, tenth verse.
Fishing is very slow due to very cold
Big Manistee River Fishing Report:
02/18/14 Slightly better weather is in the
forecast for this week but still very cold
conditions with some more snow.
02/25/14 Fishing conditions will return to
tough with lots of snow and more very
cold weather in the forecast.
03/04/14 Slightly better weather is on the
way for the coming week. It is currently
snowing but condition should improve
03/11/14 Watch the stream levels.
Warmer weather is expected during most
of the coming week.
03/25/14 The past week started out good
and then cold weather took its toll again.
It should be warming up at the end of the
04/01/14 No reports from anglers. Two
customers purchasing trout flies getting
ready. Conditions should improve this
week with warmer weather in the forecast.
04/08/14 The water has warmed a little
and steelhead fishing improved. The big
brown trout should begin to wake us soon
as well. Some good reports have come in
04/15/14 The river is flowing at a very high
level and more rain expected this week.
04/22/14 The levels are still high but getting
in much better shape. There is some slightly
warmer weather in the forecast.
04/29/14 Rain is in the forecast everyday
for the next six days so expect high water
levels for the next week.
05/06/14 Stream levels are high but
falling. Much warmer weather is in the
05/13/14 Stream levels are still high with
more rain in the forecast for the next week.
05/20/14 Stream levels have remained
high for the past week and we didn't
receive any reports from anyone fishing.
They have dropped some, but not enough.
05/27/14 Some very large brown trout
have been caught by our customers using
streamers, especially our Brown Sculpin.
Water is getting back near normal and
much warmer and you can expect many
hatches to start taking place.
06/03/14 Customers ordering flies and
reporting good fishing conditions. The
river has dropped down into good shape.
06/10/14 Stream levels are in good shape
and water warming. A few trout are being
caught. Hatches are beginning.
06/17/14 Stream levels are currently high
but falling. Hopefully, the fishing
opportunity willl improve later in the week.
06/24/14 The stream is still a tad high but
getting in very good shape fast. The big
Hex's should show up any time now. Slate
Drakes are beginning to hatch.
07/08/14 Two customers calling in some
very good reports. Stream levels are much
better and hatches are plentiful. Trout are
being caught consistently.
07/2214 Stream levels are in good shape
and trout are being caught from the
headwaters to the lake.
07/29/22 More good fishing reports came in
this past week. Terrestrials have begin to
work good. Water levels are slightly high
right now but in good shape.
08/12/14 Conditions have been very good
but the river is currently on the rise with
more rain forecast. It may take a day or two
to settle down.
09/02/14 Three customers reporting good
fishing. Terrestrials and Slate Drakes
working good. High water levels have been
a problem at times.
09/16/14 Salmon have just begin to enter
the river. Check out our Salmon flies. Trout
fishing is much improved with the lower
09/23/14 A few Kings are in the lower river.
It is brown trout time in the upper river.
Take your choice but the upper river will be
hard to beat right now..
10/07/14 Good numbers of Chinook salmon
and Coho salmon are in the river spawning.
Decent numbers of steelhead are in the
middle section and conditions are excellent
for more fish to show up.
10/14/14 Salmon and steelhead fishing has
been very good. Lots of rain is in the
forecast and that will help but levels will be
high for a few days.
10/21/14 The river is still a little high but will
be falling all week. Steelhead and salmon
are in the river and fishing should be good.
10/28/14 The stream levels are 8.78 and
1860 cfs, or still a little high. It is bringing
lots of steelhead in the river but fishing for
them has been limited.
11/11/14 Stream levels are back high with
lots of rain and snow in the forecast.
There's plenty of steelhead in the river.
12/16/14 Sorry for the lack of reports. Our
local contact has been out of town. Some
steelhead are being caught. Fish the slower
pools and use nymphs: Some are swinging
12/23/14 Customers catching steelhead
using mostly nymphs. Water is cold, about
35. There are more fresh fish in the system.
12/29/14 No reports from the past week.
Weather will be colder this week.
01/12/15 Still no reports from the past week.
01/19/15 Two good reports on steelhead
catches. Fish the warmest part of the day.
Nymphs are working the best.
01/26/15 No reports from the past week. The
water is very cold or frozen top to bottom.
02/02/15 Still no reports. The water either has
ice of very cold in the low thirties. Stream
levels are okay but warmer weather needed.
02/09/15 Customer reported catching one
steelhead below Tippy Dam but water is still
cold. He used our Black stonefly nymph.
02/16/15 No reports from last week with very
cold weather ahead this coming week.
03/02/15 Still no reports from anyone fishing
but much better conditions are on the way
and fishing will improve greatly.
03/23/15 The ice is breaking up below
Tippy and less rain/snow and warmer
weather is forecast. Conditions are
improving and it won't be long.
04/26/15 Steelhead are being caught below
Tippy. Drop backs fishing is beginning. The
upper river water temps need o rise about 4
more degrees to about 50 and several
insects will begin to hatch.
05/18/15 Sorry for the late report. The river
is producing several hatches of Blue Quills,
Quill Gordons, BWOs,
05/25/15 Levels are on the rise, so be sure
to check them. Much warmer weather
forecast for this next week.
06/29/15 Trout fishing is excellent, with lots
of hatches taking place. Good stream levels
as well. The fishing below Tippy is also
good with a few summer runs being caught.
07/13/15 Trout fishing has been very good.
Watch the stream levels. Lots of hatches are
07/20/15 Two good reports from customers
fishing mostly with Sulfurs, nymphs/duns.
08/03/15 Several good reports from
customers this past two weeks. Good stream
levels. Terrestrial working good.
08/10/15 Tricos are hatching in large
numbers. Terrestrials working and lots of
trout being caught.
08/17/15 Don't forget about White Drakes,
or White flies. They are starting to hatch.
Mahogany Duns are also hatching.
08/24/15 Trout fishing should improve with
much cooler weather in the forecast. Stream
levels are good and a few summer steehead
are being caught below Tippy.
09/07/15 Great conditions in the upper
Manistee. Good flows and there are still
hatching tricos, BWOs, Cinnamon Caddis,
Little Yellow stones and others.
09/14/15 All three USGS stations are showing
stream levels just above normal and that is
good. It should bring in more fish from the lake.
09/21/15 Seeing (below tippy) a few more
Kings, some browns and every once in a
while, a steelhead.
09/28/15 Reports of some nice browns being
caught in the upper river. More Kings and
steelhead moved into the river this past week.
10/05/15 The numbers of Chinook (King
Salmon) in the river has increased
substantially with the higher water levels the
Map of Manistee River
10/19/15 Kings are being caught but mostly
by non-fly anglers. Only a few steelhead have
showed up. Normally there would be more.
Maybe this is the week.
10/26/15 More steelhead are in the river and
anglers are beginning to catch more of them.
The rain we get later this week should
improve the numbers. Some very large brown
trout are being caught on our Brown Sculpin
11/02/15 More steelhead are in the river
thanks to the recent rain. This should be a
good week, with good weather and more fish.
The Kings are about done. There are still
some lake run browns. Brown trout fishing
upriver should be great.
11/09/15 More steelhead are being caught and
more rain this week will bring more in. Trout
fishing has been excellent. Many Brown trout
are post-spawn and feeding heavily. It is finally
getting a little cooler.
11/16/15 Steelhead fishing has been good and
the higher water has brought a lot more fish
into the system. Swinging and nymphing is
working. Trout fishing is off due to water levels.
11/23/15 We are still getting good reports from
steelhead anglers. They are using just about
everything but our Giant Black steelhead fly is
working great and worth mentioning.
11/30/15 Stream levels are up and should
continue to rise through Wednesday. Steelhead
are being caught in good numbers. The water
temperature is getting lower but still okay.
12/07/15 The stream levels are back in good
shape and the weather forecast for the coming
week a good one. Steelhead fishing is good
and trout fishing should be good this week.
12/15/15 The fishing for trout and steelhead
below Tippy remain good. Swinging should
work with the rain coming down today. Snow
showers will return later this week.
12/21/15 Very warm conditions continue with
lots of rain and snow in the forecast. The water
is stained and streamers swung below Tippy
dam is the best bet for trout and steelhead.
12/28/15 The water is averaging about 39
degrees which is a little on the cold side. There
are a few fish, trout and steelhead, being
caught below Tippy.
01/04/16 The levels below Tippy have been
high and the water averaging 36 degrees. A
few steelhead have been caught and hopefully,
the levels will be better this coming week.
01/11/16 Same story, second very verse and
yes, the weather did get worse. It isn't bothering
the steelhead below Tippy. Swing a Perfect Fly
Steelhead fly and hit one in the nose and you
will forget the weather.
01/18/16 The water temperature below Tippy is
34-35 degrees. Nymphs is the only good
option. There are a lot of steelhead and trout,
it just takes dealing with the weather.
01/25/16 There is a chance of snow everyday
for the next week. Highs in the low thirties and
lows the twenties. Below Tippy is the only option.
02/01/16 Snow is forecast every day but today.
There is some slush ice and lots of bank ice
below Tippy. It is slow, but not impossible.
02/08/16 Our Perfect Fly steeelhead nymphs
fished under and indicator is catching some
steelhead. The water is a cold 35 degrees and
a little high. Two were caught swinging this
past week by our customers.
02/15/16 It is still winter but the weather will
warm up.and get rid of some ice. Just two or
three degrees of warmer water would make a
02/22/16 No reports from anglers fishing this
past week. A lot of the ice did melt but the
water is still barely above freezing.
02/29/16 The Big Manistee is still high and cold.
Still no reports. The weather has been very
cold. More snow is forecast with very low temps.
03/07/16 The weather is much warmer and
melting snow big time. It is staining the water.
Steelhead are in the lower river in good
number and conditions great today, but watch
03/14/16 The stream levels are all still high and
there are new steelhead in the river with a few
being caught by boat. There is more rain in the
forecast but part of the high water is snow melt.
03/21/16 Stream levels are still a little high but
much better. Steelhead are being caught in good
numbers - new fish and dropbacks. PF Estaz and
beadhead Crystal Egg flies are working.
03/28/16 Our customers were catching some
steelhead between the high bridge and the
dam but you will have to watch the discharges.
There is a lot of rain coming this week.
04/04/16 The river is flowing a little high now, too
high to wade, but okay to fish by boat in most
places. Snow is forecast Wednesday.
04/11/16 Stream levels are back down just a
little above normal, which is good. The forecast
looks good for the coming week.
04/25/16 The steelhead fishing is about over.
Trout can be caught on midges and nymphs.
The water will warm up very soon and several
hatches will begin.
05/02/16 Stream levels are just above normal.
Rain tomorrow and clearing, so they should be
good later this week again. Water is 51
degrees with Quill gordons, Blue Quill, Little
Black Caddis, little Brown stones and BWOs..
05/09/16 The stream is still just a little above
normal with some more rain forecast. Lots of
hatches taking place with much warmer water.
Send us an email for a list of flies.
05/16/16 Hendrickson/Red Quills are hatching
along with lots of others, Quill Gordons, Blue
Quills, BWOs, Little Black Caddis, Green
Sedges, and American March Browns.
05/23/16 The stream level are down and the
water mostly clear. The weather is going to
be much warmer and conditions excellent.
05/30/16 The stream is in very good shape with
good stream levels and clear water. The upper
freestone has a lot of hatches going on and our
customers are catching some nice trout.
06/06/16 The stream conditions are as good
as they get for the Big Manistee. Lots of
hatches are taking place including some of the
big drakes. Customers are giving good reports.
06/13/16 There are some very good Sulphur
hatches taking place. There are still some
Brown Drakes and several other insects
hatching including Cinnamon caddis.
06/20/16 Two good reports from the past week
from customers fishing the Sulphur hatch.
Stream levels are back down in good shape.
06/27/16 The Manistee is in very good shape
stream level wise with lots of hatches taking
place and lots of trout being caught by our
07/04/16 Good conditions exist and customers
are catching lots of trout. The Big Olive Wing
duns (Hex's) are starting to hatch.
07/11/16 Good conditions continue. Good
water levels, good weather forecast with some
rain and lots of insects hatching.
07/25/16 The stream levels are in good shape
and our customers are reporting good fishing.
Sulphurs, light Cahills, Green sedges, Little
Yellow stones, and other insects are hatching.
08/01/16 Good stream levels and several
hatches still exist and our customers are
reporting some good catches. Terrestrials are
also beginning to work good.
08/08/16 There are a few Summer run steelhead
being caught below Tippy. Trout fishing is slow
due to the warm water. Please don't fish for them
if the water temp is over 68 degrees F..
08/15/16 More summer runs are being caught.
Fish early mornings for trout.
08/22/16 The stream levels are all a little high to
high but this isn't all bad. The water is warm but
the weather will be cooling down some this week.
08/29/16 More summer runs are being caught.
The water and weather is cooler. Trout fishing
should be very good with lots of caddisflies
09/05/16 Chinook salmon are entering the
river. Most of them are in the lower stretch
between Rainbow Bend and the M-55 Bridge
09/12/16 The Kings (Chinook) are moving in
the lower river in good numbers. The water
temp in the upper river is falling and trout
fishing will improve this coming week.
09/19/16 The Kings are in the river and being
caught in good numbers. Trout fishing has
been excellent this past week. Mahogany
duns, Slate Drakes, Sculpin, BWOs and Tricos
are working as well as terrestrial imitations.
09/26/16 The stream levels are up just a little
above normal in most sections. The Chinook
are still running strong and trout fishing has
been excellent. Watch the levels, more rain.
10/03/16 The levels are staying up a little high.
Chinook are being caught and some large
browns. The entire upper and middle river has
good hatches and pre-spawn brown trout.
10/10/16 Good conditions continue. Water
levels are fine and the water cooler. Trout are
being caught in good numbers along with
Coho and Chinook Salmon. A few steelhead
were caught this past week. Steelhead flies.
10/17/16 Conditions remain good with a good
many steelhead being caught upriver from
Bear. Upriver brown trout fishing is great.
10/24/16 More good reports came in this past
week on steelhead and some on large brown
trout being caught in the middle river. Stream
levels are good right now.
10/31/16 The recent higher water levels
should bring more steelhead in the river.
Brown trout fishing continues to be good with
mostly spawning and post-spawn browns. The
levels should drop by the end of the week.
11/07/16 There are steelhead throughout the
river and a good many being caught. Our Estaz
and Veiled beadhead egg flies are catching
plenty as well as nymphing under indicators.
11/14/16 The stream levels are getting low and
that has slowed the steelhead action down but
some are still being caught on egg flies and
nymphs. Trout fishing is very good.
11/21/16 The stream levels are about normal
levels but more rain in needed to bring in more
steelhead. Some are being caught. The water is
much colder and snow forecast later this week.
11/28/16 The stream levels are still up in good
shape and a few more steehead were reported
caught this past week. Veiled beadhead egg
flies, Estaz egg flies, Black Stonefly SH nymphs.
12/05/16 Higher flows has brought a lot more
steelhead into the river. Swinging and nymphing
is working good. Conditions are very good right
12/12/16 Steelhead are being caught in good
numbers. The levels are fine but the water
getting colder, in the mid to high thirties. Fish
the slower water with steelhead nymphs.
12/19/16 The water is a little colder than the
past week but there are still a few steelhead
and coho being caught. Fish SH nymphs near
the bottom of the deeper water.
12/26/16 Stream levels are still okay but there
is a lot of slush ice in the water. A very few
steelhead were reported caught this past
01/02/17 One reports of one steelhead
caught this past weekend but we feel sure
there was more. The water is very cold and
you will need to use SH nymphs.
01/09/17 The very cold weather all but
stopped the steelhead action. It just needs to
be a few degrees higher. Fish are scattered
throughout the system. Use SH nymphs.
01/16/17 The weather is much warmer and
lots of the ice gone. No reports yet, but
steelhead fishing should be good.
01/23/17 They are catching a few steelhead
below Tippy. The water has little ice but is
running a little high. Our Spey flies, Veiled BH
crystal egg and Estaz flies are working.
01/30/17 More steelhead are being caught
but the water is getting colder and we are not
sure how long it will last. Nymphs and Eggs
will be the best fly choice at this time.
02/06/17 The water is a little off color and
cold. A few steelhead are being caught, some
spring run and some with color. Nymphs and
Eggs are working.
02/13/17 More decent reports are coming in.
The lower river has more bright newly run
steelhead. The coming week looks good.
02/20/17 Excellent conditions, warm weather
and water and good levels. Lots of steelhead
are being caught on our SH nymphs, and
swinging Spey flies and streamers.
02/27/17 The streams are all high but mostly
fishable from drift boats. There are still plenty
of steelhead being caught, mostly swinging.
03/05/17 The river levels are still high and
wading not possible. We received no reports
of catching. The rain should end tomorrow.
03/13/17 The stream levels are near normal
to a little high but cold. There is some ice in
the river. The steelhead are a little sluggish.
We recommend fishing SH nymphs and eggs
under an indicator.
03/2017 The stream levels are still near
normal and the water a little warmer. The are
some steelhead being caught. We had one
report of trout being caught as well.
03/27/17 Our customers are catching
steelhead from the High Bridge to Tippy Dam.
Steelhead Hex nymphs, Crystal veiled eggs
and other eggs/nymphs are working best.
04/17/17 The section below Tippy is still
turning out some steelhead, mostly
dropbacks. The upper river is getting warmer
but still a little high. Spring hatches should
begin very soon.
04/24/17 The water is about 52 and Quill
Gordons, Blue Quills, little Black Caddis,
little Brown stoneflies and Blue-winged
olives are hatching.
05/01/17 The Hendricksons and Red Quill
should be starting to hatch very soon.
Stream levels are a little above normal.
05/08/17 The stream is still too high to wade
but falling fast and should be in good shape
within a couple of day. Steelhead are being
05/15/17 The stream levels are down near the
normal level and in good shape throughout
the river. There are a lot of insects starting to
hatch and trout being caught.
05/22/17 Excellent conditions with good
stream levels and clear water in all sections.
Lots of trout being caught by our customers.
05/29/17 The conditions are still good and
we are still getting good reports of trout
06/05/17 Good wading levels and lots of
insects are hatching including the big
drakes. Conditions are great.
06//12/17 More good reports of trout being
caught. Sulphurs, two species of caddis and
other insects are hatching.
06/19/17 More good reports on the trout
fishing. Good stream levels and clear water
with lots of hatches going on.
06/26/17 The river is running a little above
normal levels in all sections. It is too high to
wade safely in some sections and okay in
others. There are lots of hatches taking
07/03/17 The stream levels are in good
shape for wading and there are lots of trout
being caught. Terrestrials are working.
07/10/17 The stream levels are in good
shape in all sections of the river. Our
customers are reporting a lot of trout being
caught. Good hatches and terrestrials work.
07/17/17 Stream levels are running just a
little high in all sections. There are lots of
trout being caught. There are lots of hatches
taking place and terrestrials are working.
07/24/17 Smallmouth bass fishing is good
below Tippy dam. Trout are being caught in
the upper river in good numbers.
08/07/17 The discharges and stream levels
are all just a little above normal. Most sections
can be waded safely with caution. There's lots
of hatches and trout being caught.
08/14/17 More good reports are coming in.
Good stream levels and still plenty of
hatches. Don't go to terrestrials unless
nothing is hatching, but they will also work.
08/21/17 Conditions are still good with good
stream levels and easy and safe wading
08/28/17 No reports of salmon below Tippy
but September is the time they will show up.
The upper river is in good shape with some
good numbers of trout being caught.
09/04/17 Salmon are entering the lower river
but we didn't receive any "catch" reports on
them. Trout fishing is excellent in the middle
and upper sections. Good stream levels.
09/11/17 Trout fishing is stll very good. There
are some good hatches taking place. BWOs
are showing up again. Salmon are in the lower
river and should be showing up at Tippy soon.
09/18/17 There are a lot of Chinook or King
salmon in the river below Tippy. Trout fishing
continues to be good in the upper river as well.
10/02/17 More good reports of salmon being
caught below Tippy. Some big pre-spawn
brown trout are being caught in the upper
river. Lots of BWOs and Mahogany duns.
10/09/17 The river is flowing just a little above
normal and in good shape. We received two
good reports on trout. There are lots of
salmon being caught below Tippy.
10/16/17 The stream levels are in good
shape in all sections of the river. Some big
browns are being caught on Sculpin
streamers. Excellent conditions exist
10/23/17 The stream levels are all on the
way up due to today's heavy rain. Salmon
fishing continues to be good below Tippy
and some very nice brown trout were being
caught in the middle river.
10/31/17 There are some steelhead being
caught in the lower river below Tippy. Send
us an email for a fly list.
11/07/17 Stream levels have been high but
down now to not much above normal levels.
We didn't receive any trout reports.
Steelhead are being caught below Tippy.
11/15/17 We received one good report on
trout fishing and several on steelehead
below Tippy. The stream is a little high now
and on the way on, so be sure to check it.
11/22/17 The river is very high, too high to
fish for trout. Discharges below Tippy are
high as well. No reports on trout or
12/06/17 Our customers are catching
steelhead on a regular basis. Swinging,
nymphs and eggs work. Send us an email
for a recommended fly list.
12/13/17 Stream levels are a little high in all
sections. Steelhead are being caught. Water
temperature is low, about 36 degrees.
12/20/17 There are a few steelehead being
caught. The cold water and few anglers is the
reason. We recommend SH nymphs.
12/27/17 Stream levels are in good shape,
but the water is colder. Steelhead are still
being caught in spite of the cold weather.
01/11/18 The very warm weather is bringing
the water temperature up and steelhead
fishing should greatly improve this coming
01/18/18 The stream levels are in good
shape, running about normal but cold, of
course. This coming week will be warmer.
Fish the lower river.
01/25/18 The stream is up in the lower river.
Fish below Tippy dam above and below the
coffer. Steelhead and trout are being caught.
02/01/18 Both trout and steelhead are
being caught below Tippy. There's a cold
02/08/18 The river is high and cold. We
didn't receive any reports from anyone
this past week.
02/15/18 The river is down but still very
cold. The good new is the weather is
warming up some and conditions should
change for the good very soon.
02/22/18 The stream levels are up very
high and there's more rain and snow
forecast. The weather and water is
warmer and trout and steelhead should
be more active. Fish when it drops.
03/01/18 The stream levels are still high in
all sections but dropping and should be
down normal within two or three days.
03/08/18 Stream levels are down in all
sections and the water clear. It is still
03/15/18 The water is a little warmer with
no rain or snow forecast. Conditions
should be much better this coming week.
03/22/28 Steelhead fishing is a little
slow. Trout can be caught on midges
and winter SF nymphs.
03/29/18 The stream ls in good shape with
steelhead and trout being caught. Levels
04/05/18 The river is very low and clear.
Rain in needed to get the steelhead going
below Tippy and otherwise. The water is
also still around 40, which doesn't help. A
few fish are being caught.
04/12/18 The water level is up some and
should come up even more. There is rain
or snow forecast everyday. Steelhead are
being caught in good numbers.
04/19/19 The stream levels are in good
shape and the water clear. Steelhead and
trout are being caught. The water is still
cold but should start warming up soon.
04/26/19 The river is down near normal
levels, but still a little high. The water is
getting a little warmer but will probably
come up a lot this coming week. Look for
Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, Little Black
Caddis and Little Brown stoneflies.
Steelhead are still being caught.
05/03/18 There are still some steelhead
being caught. Trout fishing has picked up
and some large browns are being caught.
05/10/18 The stream is down but still a little
high and stained. Hendricksons and Red
Quills should start hatching anytime now.
05/17/18 The stream levels are near
normal and the water mostly clear. Good
hatches are taking place and good
numbers of trout are being caught.
05/24/18 The stream levels are a little high
but otherwise in good shape., There are
lots of insects hatching and good numbers
of trout are being caught.
05/30/18 Conditions are very good with
good stream levels in all sections of the
river. There are some very good hatches
06/07/18 The river is in excellent
condition with lots of insects hatching
including the big drakes.- Easterns Green
drake, Brown drake and Great Olive wing
drakes. This week should be a good one.
06/14/18 The stream levels are in good
shape and there are lots of hatches
taking place and lots of trout being caught.
06/21/18 Excellent conditions remain in all
sections. The upper and middle sections
are turning out good numbers of trout.
Lots of hatches are taking place.
06/28/18 Excellent conditions continue.
Lots of hatches and lots of trout being
07/05/18 The river is in excellent
conditions. Stream levels are a little below
normal but okay. There are still plenty of
hatches taking place and terrestrials are
also working good.
07/19/18 Stream levels are a little below
normal but otherwise in good shape. We
are getting some good reports. Fish the
middle and upper sections of the river.
Send us an email for a fly list.
07/26/18 The stream has been high but
back down to normal and in good shape.
08/02/18 Conditions are very good with
good reports on trout coming in regularly.
There are still good hatches taking place
and terrestrials are working.
08/16/18 Trout fishing is still good in the
middle and upper river. Salmon are just
starting to come into the lower river.
08/23/18 We are starting to get some
reports on salmon being caught. Trout
fishing is very good.
08/31/18 The river is high but good
number of trout being caught. The
higher levels should push more salmon
into the river.
09/13/18 The river is down to a normal
level and both trout and salmon are
being caught in good numbers.
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stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
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you decide which flies you need.
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with a budget for flies and we will select
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09/30/18 The river is in good shape with
good stream levels. Salmon are being
caught in the lower river. Trout are being
caught in the middle and upper river.
Sculpin streamers and Terrestrials are
10/07/18 Conditions remain good with
stream levels near normal and trout and
salmon being caught.
10/17/18 The stream levels are in good
shape in all sections. Trout are being
caught in the middle and upper sections
and a few Atlantic salmon, steelhead and
Chinook (about done) were caught.
10/24/18 A few steelhead are being caught
on the lower river. It is low and clear. No
reports up near Tippy dam yet. Trout
fishing is still good in the middle and upper
10/31/18 There were more steelhead
caught, and a few Atlantic salmon again.
Salmon are done. Trout fishing should still
11/07/18 There are steelhead being caught
in the lower river and near Tippy Dam.
Swinging and nymphs are turning up the
11/19/18 Steelhead fishing below the dam
continues to be good. Send us an email for
a recommended fly list. Perfect Fly
11/26/18 No reports on trout - water is in
the high thirties in the middle and upper
river. Steelhead are being caught below
12/02/18 Some trout are being caught on
sculpin streamers in the middle river.
Steelhead are still being caught below the
dam. Use SH nymphs like our Giant black
12/17/18 The water is cold and the fish a
little sluggish but steelhead are being
caught. Spawn and steelhead nymphs are
12/24/18 We received several good reports
of nice steelhead and some coho being
caught. Conditions are better.
01/02/18 The river is in good shape with
good level. Steelhead and trout are being
caught in good numbers. This coming
week should be a good one.
01/09/19 The stream levels are in good
shape and both steelhead and trout are
01/16/19 Steelhead are being caught in
decent numbers. Our customers are using
our Perfect Fly nymphs mostly.
01/24/19 The colder weather has the
water a little colder and the steelhead a
little sluggish. Fish our Perfect Fly
steelhead nymphs, deep and slow.
02/06/19 We haven't received any
reports from anyone fishing this past
week. Lots of shelf and slush ice.
02/20/19 The flows are down and the
water cold, about 33 degrees. Steelhead
are being caught but they are sluggish.
You our steelhead nymphs.
03/01/19 The stream levels are fine but
the water cold. Some streelhead are
being caught below Tippy dam. Fish egg
and our steelhead nymphs.
03/08/19 There are still plenty of
steelhead beloow Tippy and the coming
warmer weather this next week should
help the "catching" a lot
03/25/19 Steelhead are being caught in
good numbers below the dam. The water
is a little warmer and the fish more
04/24/19 Steelhead are still being caught
below the dam. Mostly eggs and nymphs
are working best.
05/05/19 The stream levels are
running a little high, too high to wade.
The water is getting a little warmer and
should drop and clear soon.
05/19/19 Stream levels are still a little
high in all sections but should be fine.
There are some trout being caught and
lots of hatches starting to take place.