Big Manistee River
The Big Manistee River is one of the finest Salmon and Steelhead rivers that we guide and fish on and one of the finest in the Great Lakes region. This river is definitely one of my favorites to fish. The river is over 200 miles in length but all of the Salmon, Steelhead, and other Migratory Trout fishing is done in the last 30 miles of river located below the Tippy Dam. The Big Manistee River is home to the world record Brown Trout, this monster weighed in at 41.7lbs and had a length of just under 44 inches.
Steelhead are available on the Big Manistee River year round. The Big Manistee river gets plants of both Michigan Strain Steelhead and Summer Run Skamania Steelhead. My favorite times to fish this river for Steelhead is from November through January, although the fishing is usually good until late April. I prefer the fall and winter fishing on this river because the crowds are usually lighter than in the spring. The Summer Run Steelhead fishing can be good and is usually best in June and July before the water temps get too high. The Manistee River is a good river to take a guide trip on to get into big numbers of Steelhead. I prefer to have clients float fish this river with floats and spawn but other methods are productive as well.
Salmon fishing on the Big Manistee River is still pretty good to this day. The King Salmon begin running the river in numbers sometime in August, with good numbers usually in the river by early September. My Favorite time to guide and fish for the King Salmon is late August and September, the fish are fresh, silver, and full of energy. Crankbaits and Skein fishing is the way to go with these fresh fish, these methods are big hits with our charter customers. When these fish crash on a crankbait that you are reeling in they will definitely get your blood pumping, it is amazing to feel the sheer power that these fish have. We will pop around and fish the deep holes, runs, and log jams where these BIG KINGS are hanging out in. By October there are usually good numbers of Salmon in the first mile or two below Tippy Dam, this is where most of the spawning gravel is and where most of the fish will spawn.
Contact me for information on Big Manistee dates as I do not guide on this river year round.