Fly Fishing on the Manistee River

Premier Angling Guide Service is located just minutes from a number of rivers, lakes, and streams that sit in and around the Manistee National Forest. Our fly fishing and light spin tackle guide service can provide you access to Pine River, Bear Creek, Little Manistee and even the Pere Marquette River. Nevertheless, we consider the Big Manistee River to be our official “home.”

The Manistee River, which is also often referred to as “Big” Manistee River, starts in Mancelona Township, Michigan and runs approximately 230 miles through the Lower Peninsula of Michigan before entering Lake Michigan in Manistee, Michigan. The upper portion of the river was renowned for its grayling fishing as far back as the late 1800s, but it was better known as a logging river around the turn of the 20th century. Between 1880 and 1910, European-American settlers used to float white pine logs and logs from other trees down the river to a port located in Manistee before they were collected and sent to places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and even Chicago.

Logging eventually took a toll on the quality of the water in the Manistee River. However, it wasn’t long before several species of fish were introduced into the river once the logging in the area dried up. Today, the Manistee River is filled with everything from King Salmon to Steelhead to Smallmouth Bass and Pike. It also contains a huge Brown Trout population with some people going as far as to call the river one of the best trout fisheries east of the Rocky Mountains.

The best time to fish for the species in the Manistee River are as follows:

King Salmon: Late August through early October

Steelhead: Late February through April during the spring and late September through December during the fall

Smallmouth Bass: Early June through August

Brown Trout: Late April through September

If you would like to experience the Manistee River and all it has to offer to fishermen for yourself, call Premier Angling Guide Service at 231-477-5554 or 231-510-5862 today to schedule a guided fishing trip with us.