A cooler end of summer had kicked off the salmon fishing on local rivers, but things are starting to slow down with some nicer weather. Fish are scattered and spread throughout river systems with pretty much all rivers having fish in them including the Betsie, Platte, Bear Creek, Big Manistee, Pere Marquette.
With the fish running bigger this year, they have been hard to handle. Crowds have been unprecedented and some “angler’s” tactics to hook these fish have been unconscionable. With the DNR’s realization of high natural reproduction rates and their decision to reduce stocking – it’s imperative that we respect the future of the fishery. If you witness illegal activity, let them know and/or call/text the DNR’s RAP hotline: 800-292-7800. While the fish are around, we are losing our fishery to the heavy-handed approach of disguised snagging.
The salmon fishing has been making a case for late season trout fishing. The late summer terrestrial bite has been pretty good for brook and brown trout on the upper Manistee where it’s rare to see another angler on a miles-long float. The brook trout are vividly colored as we approach spawning season and remind us why they are the State Fish. Ants, hoppers, and smaller streamers fished on floating lines have been effective and as we go a little further into fall, have some larger streamers nearby with short sink-tip fly lines for the pre-spawn browns.
Salmon/Steelhead Combo – Late Sept. through 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.