Manistee River Fishing Report: July 2016

A s we begin July here on the big river, there is plenty to do. The brown trout fishing is still going strong. The smallmouth bass fishing is heating up on our river systems, which at the same time has slowed down on the back waters and some inland lakes. The summer run steelhead fishing is happening and has been since the beginning of June. The summer runs showed up a little earlier than normal this year, and there seems to be a pretty good number of them around. So if that sounds like something that you want to do this is how we do it.

Anglers can fish brown trout in a number of ways. For the fly guys – streamers are still getting it done in the early and late times of the day on the big river. You can fish them throughout the day on the smaller rivers in the area where water temps tend to stay a little cooler. But it’s hard to beat the explosive bite of a brown eating a terrestrial (grasshopper, ant, beetle, or cricket) pattern. That can be done on just about any river around in July and August. For the gear guys, it’s still all about a small-to-medium size Rapala and little spinners. Anglers can catch smallmouth bass with the same techniques, but you don’t have to worry about water temps as much. The beautiful thing about a smallmouth is that sometimes the hotter, the better.

The summer run steelhead, on the other hand, the lower light and cooler times of the day are better. So no sleeping in!! The fly fisherman can catch these silver bullets either swinging wet flies with spey or switch rods and bottom bouncing or fishing indicators with egg and nymph patterns with good success. The spin or centerpin guys should be trying spawn, crayfish, or a jig and wax worm to help get it done.

Just because it’s July and it’s hot out, it’s not all over. There is still plenty to do, and it is a great time to get the kids out to give it a try. So if that sounds like something that you may want to do come on up and give it a try. Tight lines & high fives!