The weather continues to be a little warmer than usual for this time of year making for comfortable fishing most days and decent catching along the way.
We are well past peak salmon fishing on all local rivers as the fish are determined to get their spawning accomplished despite the warm water temps. The recent rain should drive up any last salmon holding in the lake/river mouths including the Betsie and Manistee but don’t expect too many fresh fish. Cohos continue to dominate on the Platte River and up by Tippy Dam where they are congregated.
Some steelhead have moved into the river systems and can be found close to any spawning salmon as their eggs serve as a natural chum line for the protein loving fish. Egg patterns that closely resemble natural eggs are your best bet especially in the clear water. Jump up a size and go to a brighter/bolder color in low-light or stained water and as the leaves drop into the water, fish even bigger egg patterns to stand out. The dark pockets, holes and runs directly downstream from spawning salmon are great places to target. With the water being so warm, hold on tight – they have been hard to land. Try to get them in as quick as possible and revive them to ensure survival in water temps in the upper 50s. You can read more about fishing egg patterns here.
Trout fishing has been tough with the clear water of the upper Manistee. Despite little angling pressure, these fish have been elusive as we approach the time of year that brown trout move to do their spawning. With the water temps being in the mid 50’s dry flies are pretty much done although you will want some small flying ant and BWO patterns just in case. Big wet flies, twitch flies and mid-sized streamers are a good approach this time of year and look for fish to be on the structure on inside bends as much as they are on the usual and likely places.
Fall Steelhead – October, November and into December, these fish will bend your rod like no other – experience it.
Trout/Steelhead – The lower Manistee offers good streamer fishing for trout in late Fall for a combo of species.