Fall is here!! The past few weeks have been seeing more and more salmon hitting the local rivers with steelhead following them in to feast eggs and flesh. Good numbers of kings and cohos continue their journey to the upper reaches of local rivers and tributaries. The salmon have been big in size and plentiful in numbers, this is the largest number of fish that we have seen in over 10 years in the Manistee. It is really nice to see such a healthy fishery. Egg patterns in bright colors and Oregon cheese mixes have been most productive with the recent rains. Our guides have also been getting steelhead on green caddis, steelhead buggers, and pheasant tail style nymphs. For you two handed anglers, get ready to swing in the next few weeks, it should be a fantastic November and December if the weather and runs continue like they have in the past three weeks.
Cooler temperatures have really helped the fishing as water temps hover in the mid to upper 50’s and overcast days have been a bit more productive, but the sunny days have been giving up a fair number of fresh chrome steel as well. One thing we have noticed is that there are not very many “skippers” or first year steelhead hitting the rivers this fall, which is understandable since there were no steelhead planted during Covid, so we need to make sure we properly handle and safely release the fall steelhead.
The Betsie is continuing to produce fresh Chinook and now some Coho are showing up with a mix of steelhead. Look for rains and cooler temps to continue this trend. Manistee River below Tippy dam has been fishing really well since the end of August for Kings, and we have seen a small first run of the Cohos and the fall steelhead have now scattered through the system. Look for steelhead hanging in the soft water above and below the salmon redds. The fall steelhead have been super hot and a ton of fun so far. We still have a few guide dates open.
The trout waters of the upper Manistee have been producing a few trout with streamers and it is important to remember to let the browns and brookies spawn successfully. Spawning should be happening in the next couple of weeks, so hit the grouse woods, or take some time and hit the tree stand if you are not inclined to fish for migratory species.