Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Little Mantisee River - Wellston - Michigan

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January No Significant Hatch Midday #8-#12 Nymphs and Midges
February No Significant Hatch Midday #8-#12 Nymphs and Midges
March Early Black Stone Midday #14-#16 Early Black Stone Nymphs
April Quill Gordon, Blue Wing Olive Afternoon #14-#18 Quill Gordon or Blue Wing Olive Dries
May Mayfly, Caddis Evening #12-#18 Mayfly or Caddis Dries
June Hex, Isonychia, Caddis Evening #10-#14 Hex, Isonychia or Caddis Dries
July Terrestrials Midday #8-#12 Ants and Beetle patterns
August Terrestrials Midday #8-#12 Ants and Beetle patterns
Tricos Morning #18-#22 Trico spinners
September Terrestrials, Tiny Blue-Winged Olives Midday/Evening #12-#22 Ants, Beetles, and Blue Wing Olive Dries
October Tiny Blue-Winged Olives, October Caddis Afternoon to Evening #12-#22 Blue Wing Olive or October Caddis Dries
November Tiny Blue-Winged Olives Afternoon #18-#22 Blue Wing Olive Dries
December No Significant Hatch Midday #8-#12 Nymphs and Midges

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Little Manistee River in Wellston, Michigan is an ideal destination for fly fishing aficionados. Here are some of the top spots:

  • Sands Park Campground: With its easy river access, this spot is perfect for beginners.
  • Johnson Bridge: This location has a deep pool that’s great for fly fishing, especially for Brown Trout.
  • Upper Flies Only Section: Known for its large population of Rainbow Trout, this 2.5-mile stretch is a must-visit. Remember, barbless hooks are required here.
  • Stronach Bridge: This spot is renowned for its prolific Salmon runs in the fall.
  • The Weir: Right below the Little Manistee River Weir is an excellent place to fish for Steelhead in the spring. However, it requires a special permit.

Best Access Points

The Little Mantisee River in Wellston is a hotspot for fly fishing, with several high-quality access points:

  • Coates Highway Bridge: Noted for its plentiful Brook Trout; it’s public and easily accessible.
  • Upper Branch Bridge: Great for fly fishing, you can also find Brown Trout in this region.
  • Green Cottage: A privately-owned area with large amounts of Brown Trout and some Brook Trout.
  • Warfield Road Bridge: This spot has superior parking facilities and is known for its Rainbow Trout.
  • Additionally, accessibility does depend on the season. The top times for fly fishing on the Little Mantisee River are spring and fall when trout is spawning.
    • Spring: Late April through June
    • Fall: Late September through November

Local Fish

  • Brook Trout: Native to the Little Mantisee River, the Brook Trout population in the river is substantial and a prominent target for fly fishermen.
  • Rainbow Trout: Non-native but is well-established. Rainbow Trout are aggressive feeders and provide exciting fly fishing action.
  • Brown Trout: Known for their selective feeding habits, makes fishing for Brown Trout a strategic and rewarding challenge for fly fishermen.
  • Chinook Salmon: These hefty fighters provide hefty intense action for fly fishermen during their spawning runs.
  • Lake Whitefish: Typically caught in winter, they require different techniques making them an interesting challenge for fly fishermen.
  • Lake Sturgeon: Though rare, hooking a sturgeon can be one of the most thrilling experiences for fly fishermen due to its size and strength.
  • Northern Pike: Known for their aggressive strikes and strong fights, Northern Pike provide exciting fly fishing opportunities.
  • Smallmouth Bass: An aggressive species that dwells in the warmer sections of the river providing fly fishermen with plenty of action.

About The River

Nestled in the heart of Wellston, the Little Manistee River brings life and rich history to the region. The river’s roots extend deep into Michigan’s lumbering past, tracing back to the early 1800s when the area was buzzing with sawmills and logging camps. The swift current served as means for transporting massive logs down to Lake Michigan.

  • The Little Manistee remains central to the local economy today, enticing visitors with its exhilarating fishing opportunities. Known for its bountiful trout and salmon, it’s surely a fisherman’s paradise.
  • Contributing to its importance, the Little Manistee River is home to the Little Manistee Weir, a unique structure engineered to collect eggs from spawning salmon, ensuring the continued abundance of fish population.

In essence, the Little Manistee River embodies Wellston’s industrious past and continues to shape its vibrant present, inviting locals and tourists alike to partake in its storied legacy and natural beauty.


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