Fishing Report 9/21/20


Boardman River

Upstream Trout Water 

  • Where: Boardman River Nature Center - The Forks Campground
  • When: Mornings & Evenings are best untill we get some cloudy days
  • Dries: Patriots, Caddis, Beetles, Ants, Hoppers
  • Nymphs: Prince Nymph, Red Tags, Pheasant Tails, Stoneflies
  • Streamers: GO SMALL! Sex Dungeons, Zoo Cougars, Wet Skunks 

Trout anglers on the Boardman have been reporting mixed success days which is not all that uncommon. Although we're still expecting a early jump into streamer season this year with cooler temperartures, there are definately trout still willing to eat topside. The real battle is with the bright sun we'll have throughout this week so it may be worthwhile to seek out shady sections or fish at dusk and dawn. 

Nymphing has been about the only consistent tactic in the trout water lately. Part of that is the presence of small rainbow trout throughout the system that seem to always be willing to eat. They've certainly made some days on the water more entertaining with a two or three weight rod. 

Be sure to mark your calendars for the end of trout season! 

Downtown Salmon:

  • Where: Union St. Dam - The Mouth
  • When: Anytime
  • Flies: Eggs, Beads, Nymphs, Streamers

The Boardman has Kings and Coho downtown and anglers are occasionally catching a few fish. We've seen more Coho than anything else so far this year and some anglers are wondering where the Kings are. 

If you're headed downtown, be mindful of a few things this year:

  1. Our high water levels has actually flooded some of the boardwalk areas on the river and drastically reduced access to the river.
  2. The weir is in place which means there are restrictions on how close you can fish. There are posts/markers in place to help you stay legal.


Betsie River

  • Where: Homestead Dam to US 31
  • When: Anytime (fish are constantly moving in)
  • Flies: Eggs, Beads, Nymphs, Streamers 

If you've never fished The Betsie, you better prepare yourself. It is not a secret spot and it can get quite busy during salmon season. If you're willing to hike a ways, you can usually carve out a spot for yourself. 

Unfortunately this year we're not yet seeing the full potential of the Betsie fishery and several of our guides have called off trips due to low numbers in certain sections. There are always fish in the Homestead section however as they move up stream and stage here below the dam before continuing upstream to smaller water.

Please know that the DNR has changed how close you can fish to the lamprey barrier this year. Also, please check the regulations pertaining to this river, there are restrictions on the size of hook you can legal use.


Platte River

  • Where: Off M22
  • When: Anytime (fish are constantly moving in)
  • Flies: Streamers, Nymphs, Eggs, Beads

The Platte has plenty of Coho but a constant complaint we hear is they all stack right below the weir in the restricted zone. This is why it's so important to put time in and find fresh fish that are just moving into the system. 

Unfortunately, high water has reduced the places that are comfortable to wade this year making the river feel even more crowded. Be willing to get out there are inconvient times and you might just find some fish willing to play. 

Please know that the Platte is subject to special regulations. It's your duty to stay legal out there!


Manistee River

Upper Trout Water

  • Where: CCC Bridge Campground
  • When: Mid-day & Evenings
  • Dries: Patriots, Flying Ants, Hoppers, Beetles
  • Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Stoneflies, worm patterns
  • Streamers: Wooly Buggers, Skunks, Sex Dungeons, Lunch Money

Cold mornings have us taking our sweet time and drinking a few extra cups of coffee before hitting the river lately. We're still seeing the occassional fish chasing topwater so pick your days and be prepared. General attractors, terrestrials, and flying ants being the way to go especailly in this nice weather we'll have this week. 

Streamer season is upon us and many anglers are starting to pound the banks. Be sure to pay attention to the light as we don't see many quality fish chase on the bright days.