The past week has been really nice weather wise extending the “comfort” season well into November. Daytime temperatures and sunshine have made being on the water a r4eally nice way to spend your day while in pursuit of trout and steelhead. No doubt this recent weather is making up for a cool and wet October that brought steelhead into the river to catch today. Looking at the forecast we have more in store so get out there yourself!
The Big Manistee is fishing well from the dam to the lake with some days being better than others. Since we haven’t had any rain in over a week, their aren’t many new fish in the upper river, but there are good numbers of fish but have seen some flies and spawn bags the past couple of weeks so bring your better presentations. Fish the slots, smaller holes and runs and mix up your patterns right now. Some day’s it‘s strictly an egg bite but other days a nymph is what they are looking for. Oregon Cheese, “Grapefruit” and Light Yellow/Cream egg patterns are doing a good job of imitating the natural eggs floating down the river.
Once the sun gets up and a little too bright, consider trading your 8-weight steelhead rod in for a 6-weight and go trout fishing. The streamer bite below Tippy Dam is very strong right now with lots of fish coming to the streamer. The bite itself isn’t overly aggressive so be sure to maintain a tight line with your slower retrieval and set on those soft tugs. Mid-sized streamers in olive and black have been real good but bring your streamer selection and be prepared to mix it up before finding their daily preference. Being a tail water, there are some decent bugs coming out in the afternoon so for you technical dry fly guys, grab your box of midges and have fun.
The Betsie continues to have a decent run of fish this fall. Cover lots of water, fish thoroughly and make your first presentations count as the water is getting lower and clearer. A little rain during this warm up would really be great sending more fish up and give us some color to the water. Egg patterns continue to take majority of the fish, but smaller nymphs like hare’s ears and small hex nymphs have been taking fish.
Sunday the 15th marks the opening of the 15 day Firearms Deer Season – wear some hunter’s orange while on the water to be safe. Good luck in the woods and get back to the water soon.
Ted Kraimer is a professional guide and fly tier, owner of Current Works Guide Service, and field editor for True North Trout. His fishing reports will continue to appear in T|N|T and on his website.