The Manistee River Fishing Report has us talking about Fall Steelhead as the next six weeks are our prime time for these amazing fish. Steelhead are transitioning into classic late fall holding water and feeding lanes while it seems they are traveling less each day. Water is up and slightly stained after some much needed rain this week.
The best way to describe the Fall Steelhead run so far is Quality over Quantity. The average size is tipping 2-3 pounds bigger which has been testing our angler’s skill when hooked up. Fish movement has slowed some this week with an early blast of winter weather hitting the region. Fish have started to setup in some of their favorite winter lies and going deep on others. You have to mix up the water you are fishing everyday right now until you find what their flavor is. While fishing this week wasn’t easy, we still had some amazing steelhead were brought to the net.
Like the tree canopy throughout the landscape the preferred egg colors this week continue to be washed out patterns. Pale oranges and yellows were working the best. Steelhead buggers have also been grabbing some attention from time to time. I have been going brighter in the morning and dulling the color as the day progresses. Just understanding color changes need to occur through out the season. Also brining your offering off the bottom and working the Indicator Rig has been very successful. Slower currents having been getting more fish then the traveling early season seams.
Swing and Streamers
The swing bite this week has been tough, but the steelhead that we found were primed up for the streamer presentation eating it on the strip and on the swing. With more fish setting up in the slower runs, the swing bite should continue to produce opportunities. Right now you have to get the fly down deeper and swing it slower. Downsizing your presentation is also needed as the water temps continue to fall quickly right now. We have been playing around with some new patterns tied with new materials, but based on the same templates. Chartreuse heads in this water a great place to start if your up for the swing challenge.
Northern Michigan Fishing
We will continue to update the Manistee River Fishing Report on a weekly basis over the next few months. If you want to get out fall steelheading give us a call at 231-228-7135 for availability and to lock up your dates. We are also booking Atlantic Salmon trips on the AuSable River.
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Winter Steelhead started a little early this year.