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Manistee River Smallmouth Bass

Red Bridge on the Manistee River Closure

Red Bridge on the Manistee River will be closed this summer!

The bridge on Coates Highway crossing the Manistee is slated for replacement this coming summer. Beginning on or about April 2nd and through August the road will be completely closed while they replace the approximately 200 foot long bridge. The project is slated for completion at the end of September, 2019.

Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fishing

The water above and below the bridge is one of our favorite big smallmouth destinations in July and August. Where the bridge crosses the river is the back waters of Tippy Pond. This area has great smallmouth bass water. It’s also the take out spot for the trout water above the bridge coming down from Hodenpyl Dam near Mesick. In addition to great fishing water the river from Hodenpyl to Red Bridge is a very popular canoe and kayak destination.  Along with amazing hiking along the North Country Trail.

Manistee County Road Commissioner, Mark Shodden has stated that the boat ramp will stay open during the entire construction process. He has requested that all river users be cautious when on the water near the bridge. The good news is that we will still be able to fish that water though detours will be required to get to it.

Capt. Chuck Hawkins

Manistee River Trout fishing

CCC Boat Launch

New CCC Boat Launch

Access….critical to our use and enjoyment of Michigan’s many rivers. Kayaks, canoes, river boats, drift boats and humans all need safe and reliable access to the river. In addition we need access that does not harm the river by allowing sand in the stream or damaging streamside vegetation.

Last year long time property owner, Jim and Mary Ann Weber sold their place just downstream of CCC Bridge. The Weber’s believed strongly that the river belonged to everyone and graciously made their property available to launch and retrieve boats. This solved the problem with the launch on the upstream side of the bridge. It is narrow, concrete and often gets blocked by campers. Inadequate to say the least.

This is where the Upper Manistee River Association got involved to help. UMRA, with funding  primarily by Hawkins Outfitters clients, has lead the charge in improving canoe/boat launches between M-72 and Sand Banks. These launches were all existing but in disrepair, not protecting the river.

UMRA

UMRA and more specifically Dave Boberg, president and Jim Andersen, head of the restoration committee, jumped in and spearheaded an effort to build a launch on the downstream side of CCC Bridge. This has been a long and frustrating process. Due to the various entities that have to sign off on a project of this nature. However they have accomplished the seemingly impossible, all agencies necessary have signed off and permits are waiting. The money has been raised, thanks again to those that donated!

There is one final step, a comment period mandated by the DEQ. The purpose of this blog/correspondence is to ask all of you to hit this link below….

Since your comments can be very short and to the point I hope many of you take a moment and let the DEQ know how you feel.  Asa result we will hopefully have a dependable boat launch that protects the river is needed in the area of CCC Bridge.

Therefore thank you in advance for letting the DEQ know the need for this. Have a great summer.

Capt Chuck

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Water Resources Division (WRD), has posted the following notice to the MiWaters home page.  To make comments and view documents please click on the following link: https://miwaters.deq.state.mi.us/miwaters/#/external/publicnotice/info/-301210193690066715/details

Proposed Resistance Board Weir

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has received a request to permit the placement of an anchoring system of a temporary resistance board weir (RBW) on National Forest System lands in the Manistee River. The seasonal weir is intended to aid in the Adult Lake Sturgeon Monitoring Project being conducted by the Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians (applicant). The proposed project site is located on the Manistee Wild and Scenic River approximately one river kilometer downstream from the Rainbow Bend Access Site.

Read more by clicking this link – Resistance_Board_Weir_Scoping_Letter_Final


 

Please submit your written or hand-delivered comments to District Ranger Jim A. Thompson, USDA Forest Service, Cadillac-Manistee Ranger District, 412 Red Apple Road, Manistee, MI 49660, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or faxed to (231) 723-8642, or emailed to comments-eastern-huron-manistee-manistee@fs.fed.us (must be readable by Microsoft Office 2007 or Adobe Acrobat 6.0 formats). It would be most helpful if comments were received prior to January 20, 2017, although comments will be accepted at any time.

Please include the following:

  1. 1)  name, address, telephone number, organization represented and title;
  2. 2)  title of the project on which the comments are being submitted;
  3. 3)  specific facts and supporting reasons regarding your comments.

In addition, an open house will be held on December 20th from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at the Days Inn Conference Room in Manistee, MI. Representatives from the applicant and the USFS will be available to discuss the project.

Comments received in response to the project will become a matter of public record. If you have questions or need additional information regarding the project, please contact Mark A. Herberger at (231) 723-2211, ext. 3109, or write to USDA Forest Service, Cadillac-Manistee Ranger District, 412 Red Apple Road, Manistee, MI 49660. Copies of the final decision will be mailed to people who have submitted comments on this proposal and to anyone who requests a copy of these documents.


 

manistee river fishing

Nomad Anglers, Fly Tying, and River Report

  • Russ Maddin will be tying some of his signature patterns at Nomad Anglers this Monday Jan 18th, at the Avery Tavern (2086 Crooks Rd, Rochester Hills, MI  48039) from 6pm – 8:30pm.  If you can’t check out Russ and want to tie some of patterns check out the Mangled Fly VOD Page.
  • Ed McCoy will be tying as well at Nomad Anglers on Jan 26th, sign up on Facebook or call Nomad 517-349-6696 .  This event has been sold out before.  First come first serve.  Ed will be tying at Coral Gables Restaurant, 2838 E Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI  48823.
  • New Manistee River report for below Tippy Dam.  Ed McCoy and myself went for a little pattern test session .  Catching trout on a variety of patterns and techniques.  If the trout bug is itching you, give us a call, 231-228-7135

manistee river

Manistee River Brown Trout, Winter Trout Fishing

Manistee River and Fly Patterns Page

  • Couple new reports the past few days on the Manistee River and both Ed McCoy and myself had a chance to get out.  Water is still not that clean, so making fishing still a little more difficult than we like, but some nice fish are around.
  • 2016 Winter Project is to expand the Fly Patterns Page, so far have added the Triple Double and Mad Pup.  Look for this page to grow over the winter, as Ed McCoy, Russ Maddin, Chuck, and myself sit down and tie patterns that we can share.
  • Speaking of new Patterns the Flash Monkey is coming soon to Mangled Flies VOD page.  The Flash Monkey is a Russ Maddin pattern that has been a work in progress for the past 2 years.  This pattern has caught all the major predators pike, trout, salmon, and steelhead.

winter fishing

December Steelhead and Brown Trout Fishing

Water temp is still 46 degrees, December is the new November!

With water this warm and a 10 day forecast that shows everyday above freezing and most over 40 degrees, it will be awhile before water temps dip below 40 degrees. What that means, fresh steelhead are moving in every time we get the right winds, brown trout streamer fishing is on fire and…..nobody is on the river. This is a rare opportunity to have good to great fishing with very little pressure!

Hawkins Outfitters starts the half day steelhead special on Dec 1st. This is the only time of year that we have half day steelhead trips for $275 for 4 hours. This year because the weather is so screwy we will continue with that offer and also agree to make it a half or full day based on weather and you desires. This means you can reserve a day, decide the day before if you want a half or full day, cancel if weather sucks and have a shot at great fishing. This applies to both steelhead and brown trout streamer fishing, your choice.

If you still have the bug and want a chance at some very special fishing, give Cherie at 231-228-7135 and grab a day. All of the Hawkins Guides have some days available.

Have a great Thanksgiving, hopefully with family and friends!

Tight Lines,

Hawk