Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Manistee River - Grayling - Michigan

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

Water Flow Chart

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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

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #20 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midges, Winter Stoneflies Afternoon #16 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Black Stonefly Nymph
March Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #14 - #20 Parachute Adams, BWO Emerger
April Hendricksons, Caddis Afternoon-Evening #12 - #14, #14 - #18 Hendrickson Dry Fly, Elk Hair Caddis
May Gray Drake, Brown Drake, Caddis Evening #10 - #12, #10 - #14, #14 - #18 Gray Drake Parachute, Brown Drake Parachute, Elk Hair Caddis
June Hex, Brown Drake, Caddis Evening-Night #6 - #8, #10 - #14, #14 - #18 Hex Dry Fly, Brown Drake Parachute, Elk Hair Caddis
July Tiny Blue Winged Olives, Terrestrials Afternoon-Evening #20 - #22, #12 - #16 Flymph BWO, Ant Patterns, Hopper Patterns
August Tiny Blue Winged Olives, Terrestrials Afternoon-Evening #20 - #22, #12 - #16 Flymph BWO, Beetle Patterns, Hopper Patterns
September Tiny Blue Winged Olives, Terrestrials Afternoon-Evening #20 - #22, #12 - #16 Flymph BWO, Cricket Patterns, Hopper Patterns
October Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Afternoon-Evening #14 - #20, #14 - #18 Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis
November Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #16 - #20 Parachute Adams
December Midges Afternoon #20 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge

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 Manistee River in Grayling, Michigan, offers abundant spots for fly fish lovers. Below are some must-visit spots:

  • Tippy Dam: Known for abundant brown trout and king salmon population
  • High Bridge access point: Provides easy access to steelhead waters
  • Bear Creek Confluence: Famous spot for brook and rainbow trout

Few other locations worth considering are:

  1. Yellow Trees: A hotspot during the salmon season
  2. Big Manistee River Valley: Ideal for brown trout, especially in the fall
  3. Manistee River below Hodenpyl Dam: Perfect for beginners with a wide range of fish types

Best Access Points

The Manistee River offers excellent spots for fly fishing, especially in the Grayling stretch. Here are some of the best access points:

  • M72 Access: This point provides easy access to the Upper Manistee, just above the confluence with the North Branch.
  • Sharon Access: Located downstream of M72, this spot offers great stretches of wadable water and good hatches.
  • Borski Bayou: It’s a beautiful, widely fished area with deeper riffles and runs. It requires a boat for best access.
  • Yellow Trees: A popular spot due to large hatch activity. Can be reached by walking from a pull-off on M-72.
  • Stephan Bridge: This public access spot is good for wading. It’s a favorite for fly anglers who enjoy night fishing for large browns.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: The Manistee River is very popular for its abundance of Brown Trout.
  • Brook Trout: Brook Trout are also very common in the Manistee River.
  • Rainbow Trout: Offering exciting fights, Rainbow Trout are another favourite amongst Manistee River anglers.
  • Atlantic Salmon: Although less common, the Manistee River is one of the few rivers in the Midwest where you can catch Atlantic Salmon.
  • Smallmouth Bass: The warmer parts of the Manistee River are popular for Smallmouth Bass fly fishing.
  • Northern Pike: For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, Northern Pike can be targeted.
  • Steelhead: Every Spring and Fall, the Manistee River gets a run of Steelhead, beckoning anglers far and wide.
  • Walleye: Known for their hard fights and delicious taste, catching a Walleye in the Manistee River is an accomplishment to any angler.

About The River

The Manistee River is a spectacular gem nestled in Grayling, Michigan. Stretching an impressive 232 miles across Michigan, this river’s humble origins can be traced back to the Anishinaabe, the native Americans who once lived along its banks. Throughout its history, this has been a river of industry – supporting fishing, logging, and fur trading. Today, it has transformed into an outdoor paradise.

  • Fishing: The Manistee River is a haven for anglers, teeming with Salmon, Trout, and Walleye.
  • Canoeing & Kayaking: The gentle current and stunning landscape make this river perfect for paddlers.
  • Hiking: The river is lined with scenic trails offering breathtaking views of the countryside.

Present day, the Manistee River serves as a perfect spot for outdoor adventurer and history buffs. Its vibrant history and varied activities continue to draw visitors all year round, making it a remarkable showcase of Michigan’s wild beauty.


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