Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Little Manistee River in Michigan
As with most trout streams, the Blue-winged Olives are probably hatch over a longer period of
time than any of the aquatic insects. . There's 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. This hatch last for about a
month. Blue Quills (called Mahogany Duns locally) will start to hatch about the first of May. It
usually last about six weeks. American March Browns start to hatch about the first of May. The
hatch last for about a month or longer.
Sulphurs starting to hatch about the middle of May. This hatch can last to the middle of June.
Brown Drakes start hatching about the first of June and last for about a month. 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.
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 Little Manistee River. The pH of the water is perfect for them as
well as most other aquatic insects. There are many species but the most important are species
of the 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 many other species but most of them are not extremely plentiful in terms of numbers
during a hatch. 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 have some long horn species that hatch during the summer and early fall.
The LIttle Manistee River also has some 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 July.
Terrestrial insects can be important during the summer months. Ants are plentiful around the
stream 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
Streamers work great for the big brown trout, steelhead and salmon in the Little Manistee
River. Imitations of sculpin, baitfish, leeches all produce. 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 LIttle 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
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.
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Little Manistee River,
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