Manistee River Fly Fishing

The 17th most popular fly fishing river in Michigan.

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Southwest of Mesick, the 12 mile Manistee River Trail follows the eastern shore of the Manistee River, one of the finest trout-salmon streams. It's a flat route through pine and groves of oak and maple. The route runs from Red Bridge in the south to Hodenply Dam Pond in the north (good trailhead park at NFS Seaton Creek Campground).

To reach the Red Bridge trailhead for fly fishing the Manistee River from Cadillac, follow SR55 west. Turn north on SR37 for 9 miles. Head west on SR30 for 5 miles to Coates Road, then turn right and follow signs.

Another good fly fishing section is in the upper stretch near Mancelona Road (SR38) heading downstream for about 30 miles to SR66. You can expect to find excellent brook trout.

Below Tippy Dam, you can expect to find large steelhead and salmon runs, but plan on floating this stretch. Check out the Bear Creek tributary.

Note: The North Country Trail also runs near the west side of the Manistee River for fly fishing access.

Overall, Manistee River is the 17th most popular fly fishing river of all 26 fly fishing spots in Michigan.


Local Contact(s):  HMNF (231) 775-2421; Michigan Tourism (800) 543-2937; River Rat Dog Outfitters (517) 651-2616; Betts Fly Fishing Outfitters (231) 652-3189.

Recommended Book:  "Classic Trout Streams In Michigan" from Jim DuFresne

Base Camp:  NFS Seaton Creek Campground

Reference Source:  click here

Article Source:   Best Manistee River Fly Fishing Review

GPS:  44.357978, -85.809188

Date Published:  12/28/2015

Date Updated:  3/24/2018

ID:  19711

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Manistee River Fly Fishing Map


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For fly fishing the Manistee River in Michigan, our printable fly fishing guides offers river descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.