Manistee River Fishing Report: May 2015

Larry Raney

A s May begins we are still chasing steelhead and this year, it wouldn’t surprise me to be fishing for them well in the middle of the month. Although we are still catching steelhead, I definitely have trout on the brain. We start May with the last of our steelhead and then start mixing it up with the best of both worlds, steelhead and trout fishing combos. Steelhead and trout fishing in the same day, what’s not to like? As the water temps continue to warm, the trout become more and more aggressive. Thriving on steelhead eggs and sac-fry (steelhead and salmon minnows), the trout in our rivers pack on the pounds and are out on the prowl. May is one of the most diverse months for trout, it is great fishing for both the fly angler as well as the spin fisherman. I start my trout season off by swinging sac-fry patterns with floating lines on 6 wt fly rods on a down and across swing, and the bite is awesome. It’s not a hard technique to learn for the beginner, and you can catch some very respectable trout without much experience. As the month goes on we start stripping streamers with 6-7 wt fly rods and casting crank baits and spinners with light tackle spinning gear. This is when you have to work a little more, but the rewards are worth the effort. Some of the biggest trout of the year are caught using these techniques, and you will catch the occasional steelhead also as a bonus. As May comes to an end, we start getting our bug hatches to add more excitement to the month. There is plenty to do catching the last of the steelhead of the season, stripping streamers, casting crankbaits and chasing hatches will keep you busy until the bass and trout of June. We do our trout fishing on a variety of rivers, such as the Big Manistee, Little Manistee, Pere Marquette, Pine and Upper sections of the Manistee below M-72. Come on and see what its all about. It’s a great time to get the kids out and enjoy the start of the summer by spending a day on the river catching trout. Tight Lines!!