Upper Manistee River
The upper reaches of the Manistee River, or the Upper Manistee as most refer to it, is classic trout water in true form and arguably contains some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the Midwest. The river varies in size and depth throughout the upper stretches; however trout can be found in all the classic lies. With overhanging cedars, classic bends, and submerged logs, the river is not only beautiful but also a sanctuary for large trout. Special regulations exist throughout much of the system to ensure success. Brook, brown and rainbow trout are found throughout this stretch of the river with the first two found in the most numbers. Sizes vary, however trophy trout in the 20"+ range are caught throughout the year. Tiger trout, a rare hybrid between brown and brook trout, occur naturally in the Upper Manistee and can be found on occasion. This is where modern day streamer fishing got its start. Pioneered by Kelly Galloup, streamer fishing can be a very effective way to fish the Upper Man. However, hatches are extremely prolific in this river as well, with all of the classic hatches occurring and the big bugs in epic proportions. Fishing with terrestrial patterns and late night mousing is also very popular and effective methods of raising a large trout on this water. The Upper Manistee is one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the Lower Peninsula. Almost void of the canoe traffic common with other rivers throughout the state, as well as the less developed sections of shoreline and adjacent forests, a day trip just to relax and see the views can be very rewarding.