Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Little Manistee River,
This beautiful little stream starts from springs near
Luther and flows for about forty miles to Lake Michigan.
In its headwaters, the stream is relatively small with lots
of streamside trees and brush. It almost never floods,
rarely freezes and never is affected by a drought. The
trout are mostly brook trout with a few brown trout. The
stream gradually increases in size the farther
downstream you travel. At Irons it is about twenty-five to
thirty feet wide. The trout are mostly browns in this area.
From Irons downstream to Lake Michigan, a distance of
about twenty miles, you will find brook, brown and
rainbow trout. This is also the section of the stream that
is famous for its steelhead fishing. The river is much
wider, ranging from about fifty to seventy feet wide.
Salmon also migrate up into this area to spawn.
This river has a gravel and sand bottom. Some areas
have some silt and a good population of burrowing
mayflies. The entire stream is mostly smooth flowing
water with a few moderate runs and riffles. There are
lots of deadfalls in the river, undercut banks and deep
holes for the trout and steelhead to hide.
The steelhead are all wild fish in the Little Manistee
River. Their eggs are used by hatcheries to stock other
The season varies for trout, salmon and steelhead.
There is a spring run of steelhead in April. Spring also
provides the best dry fly fishing for trout because of the
Salmon enter the river in July and early August. Trout
fishing is good during the evening drake hatches and in
the cool spring water.
Early fall is great for brown trout fishing. It is also the
time the steelhead come back into the river.
November and December is the best time for steelhead.
Fly Fishing Guide to the Little Manistee River
Fly fishing the Little Manistee River is very diverse and
varied. (Click Here To Continue)
Little Manistee River,
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