Winter Steelhead fishing on the Big Manistee River
Dec 9th, 2018
The Manistee River Fishing Report is all about Winter Steelhead fishing now. Steelhead are settling into winter mode, holding in water that provides the least amount of resistance with the best chance for an easy meal. Water speed is the key now, depth is important but it’s more about the water speed than anything.
Winter Fishing Tactics
Fish movement has been minimal over the past few weeks. Most fish that have been caught are starting to show some winter color. Fish have started to setup in some of their favorite winter lies. Slower, deeper, woody runs are now the areas to target however, some fish have setup into slow, shallower, even depth runs. Preferred water depths have been variable, so experiment with water types. Fishing Indicator rigs now are our primary method on the Manistee River.
With such drastic water temperature drops we have almost exclusively been fishing Indicator rigs. Eggs, caddis, stonefly nymphs, and buggers drifted under a float have been the most productive. Having flies with movement in them can trigger a bite. Wiggle Hex nymphs are a good place to start.
Water conditions have changed this week dropping from 2000 cfs to 1700 as of now over the past couple of days. The water remains clear and cold (around 35.5 degrees) so smaller streamers, natural colored nymphs, and sizing your egg patterns down are good tactics.
Northern Michigan Fishing
We will continue to update the Manistee River Fishing Report on a weekly basis over the winter months. If you want to get out for winter steelheading give us a call at 231-228-7135 for availability and to lock up your dates. We are happy to do 1/2 or full day trips. Also not to early to book your Prime Spring Steelhead dates.
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