While it’s late September it feels like the dog days of summer. The cool weather we had for a while earlier this month had us thinking that it was going to be an early fall with all the fish that showed up in local rivers. But the past 10 days of bright sun, no rain the unseasonable temps have us reaching for more sun block than we do the landing net.
Salmon fishing has been tougher than it was earlier in the run. Most of the fish that were in the Betsie have progressed further upstream and have hit the gravel to do their spawning ritual. A few fresh fish are still trickling throughout but are not holding so much in the holes as their biological clock is ticking. The Platte River is still getting a near record return of Coho salmon and the anglers have taken note. The Big Manistee has salmon spread throughout it with what seems like more Coho than Chinook salmon. The water is clear and running warm but it doesn’t have as much weed /vegetation growth offering a few more runs and holes to fish this time of year. Streamer fishing for the Cohos can be a blast – they like to eat both a swung and/or stripped fly.
The trout fishing continues to be decent for those looking for solitude on the upper Manistee. The water is running clear but with the sun set a little lower in the sky and a lack of pressure, there are some fish still coming out in the sunlight to eat both dries and smaller streamers. The brook trout are spectacular as the leaves on the bank side trees start to turn. The Boardman too has offered some decent fishing for those presenting terrestrials. Just a reminder – many trout rivers close on Sept. 30 so get your time in on them before we give them a rest. (Note: Most of the Upper Manistee remains open all year.)
Salmon/Steelhead Combo – Early October offers a chance at both species on the Manistee.
Fall Steelhead – October, November and into December, these fish will bend your rod like no other – experience it.
Trout/Steelhead – The lower Manistee offers some great streamer fishing for trout in late Fall as another option.