Access. Check out our latest blog post today! The river consists of a sand, silt, and gravel bottom with fallen logs, undercut banks, deep runs, beautiful pools, and sharp bends all creating good holding habitat for trout. Mailing Address: 274 River Road Beach Lake, PA 18405 . This river is wide and smooth-flowing. Within this stretch the river consists mainly of sand and gravel. Below Tippy Dam is the area of the Manistee River known for its quality runs of steelhead and salmon. Access to the upper section of Manistee River can be found near M-38 (Mancelona Road) and is best fished with a light fly rod (2-4 weight). A mom, dad, two kids and two of their friends load up the canoes for a five-day paddle on the iconic Manistee River. As paddlers, we will have to rudder as we manage its wild, rowdy nature, then paddle in the slower sections. The Big Manistee River is one of the premier rivers of Michigan, offering over 90 miles of access and varied difficulty levels, from beginner to expert paddling experiences (depending on the segment). The trail is good for all skill levels and is best used from May until September. The river is quite wide and you will frequently pass motorboats and fisherman looking for their trophy catch in these fertile waters. Steelhead fishing is available (depending upon conditions) from late fall through early spring. The Manistee River is most famous for its steelhead and salmon fishing. The river begins to slow under the influence of Hodenpyl Dam as it moves closer to the backwater pond. Campground Info - Camping Cabins - Policy - Campground Map. for 6 miles before turning right and traveling east on N Coates Hwy. Pine River Info - Rates - Policy - Map. River Access Points History and Culture. and walk down to the Manistee River for a first look, we stare in disbelief, our mouths falling open. One is the Upper Little Manistee which runs from 9 mile bridge to the Little Manistee River Weir/Egg-Take station, and the Lower Little Manistee from the Weir to Stronach Bridge. The Manistee River is known for its run of king salmon in late summer and early fall, as well as a steelhead run in late fall through spring. The Michigan woods is home to a diversity of wildlife from hawks and eagles to deer and bear. Here there is a small gravel ramp and ample parking. A few good access points are located at Perry Creek, Comins Flats, and Mckinley Bridge. Fishing improved dramatically. Betsie River Paddle Route is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Thompsonville, Michigan that features a river. Make sure you leave early in the morning, this can be a long float, but a fun one. Any river that moves at such an accelerated rate clearly has a mind of its own. Manistee River Info - Paddlecraft Rates - Maps and Float Times. We spot duck boxes and riverside irises and trees chewed by beavers. A boat is the best way to cover and fish this water. The Big Manistee River is a 190 mile river running through 4 Michigan Counties. Phone: (570) 685-4871. It is a good thing to keep track of milestones, so you do not miss anything and get to know the river. The course of the Manistee east of Mesick traces something like the blue line on an EKG graph, but of a heartbeat gone a little crazy. 85 Reviews #3 of 18 things to do in Manistee. " A paddler could return to the Manistee at another time and find it running clear and a tad slower. Visit our blog. Enjoy the Upper Manistee River Trailhead near the Manist-ee River Trail where you will hike your way through the dense hardwoods high atop the Manistee River bluffs. Campground. From Mio Dam to McKinley Bridge the river harbors an abundance of trophy size trout. Upper Delaware. The bottom mix is as diverse as the river itself-- from sand to silt to gravel runs. Shore To Shore Trail - South Spur. We securely tie up our three canoes and carry our dry bags and coolers up to the flat. These enormous 8 to 15 pound lake-run rainbow trout draw anglers from around the world. Access can be found in many areas along the Manistee River. MyNorth.com is the online home of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, the flagship publication of MyNorth Media, a Traverse City, Michigan company dedicated to sharing stories and photos about vacations, restaurants, wineries, the outdoors and more from Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes and up to Mackinac Island. Manistee River – North Country Trail Loop. We originally planned on doing approximately 25 river miles a day but with such a swift current, we cover 35 miles without much effort. Copyright © 2008 - 2020 Prism Publications, Northern Michigan Guides & Resources, Iconic Outdoor Attraction: Manistee River, Spring Camping in Northern Michigan (Gear Tips + Trail Recommendations). The upper section is more swift flowing and tighter with downed debris and river obstacles. The river averages a gradient of about 2.9 feet/mile making this great for the novice paddler. Take a Hike! In addition, public access point user A paddling map of the Pine River with float times between the different access points. Contact Us. Big Manistee River is one of the premier rivers of Michigan, offering over 90 miles of access and varied difficulty levels, from beginner to expert paddling experiences (depending on the segment). Nature Areas: Kohn Family Nature Preserve. You can also head down to the Udell Rollways trailhead near Big-M and enjoy a hike through the low flats and rolling hills. A rose was something that happened that was wonderful and you found enjoyable. Shore To Shore Trail. The Manistee River in the U.S. state of Michigan, runs 190 miles (310 km) through the northwestern Lower Peninsula; it now passes through the contemporary villages of Sharon, Smithville, and Mesick, entering Lake Michigan at Manistee. Access. The water is down in to lower 50's and only the little guys will be looking up. Access points to the river are fairly easy to find and pretty evenly spread out downstream from Baldwin. The Au Sable's productive water is made up of the North, South, and Main branches. Tagged Camp, Outdoors, Paddle, Manistee, Manistee County. It is a beautiful stretch of water. Hatches are prolific stirring the surface with hungry trout during the spring and summer. The Manistee is a river with a mission: get to Lake Michigan as quickly as possible. for 8 miles. Manistee River. Access to the upper section of Manistee River can be found near M-38 (Mancelona Road) and is best fished with a light fly rod (2-4 weight). We keep our cameras stashed in dry bags. A section for fishing with artificial flies only, no kill is located from Chase bridge downstream to Lower High Banks. It is very easily waded. The upper river and upper regulations’ “flies only” area, especially, have several access points. Canoers and kayakers have found the Manistee to be the finest river in the Lower Peninsula for multi-day camping trips. There are two defined paddling segments. Hexagenia Limbata also known as "Michigan Caddis" are a very famous and large mayfly that are prolific through this area. Kellys Ford Access Point to Motts Run Access PointMap. Udell Rollways Roadside Park. Fishing Access Points along the Little Manistee River in Manistee County Michigan from river mouth to 9 Mile Bridge. View Lower Sunrise Map. Plenty of fish, and plenty of good sized fish. Public Access Point: Type of Launch Latitude: Longitude This river is wide and smooth-flowing. The waterway is considered to be one of the best trout streams east of the Rockies and has a stable flow of clean, cold water year round … perfect for paddling. The upper portion of this float has long shallow pools, while the lower portion passes through a multitude of islands. The NCT access points are a great spot for hiking throughout Manistee County. The river varies in size and depth throughout the upper stretches; however trout can be found in all the classic lies. Along the Upper Potomac, boat ramps tend to be smaller but are usually free. Campground. The North Branch flows southeasterly passing through Lovells eventually emptying into the Mainstream a few miles downstream from the South Branch. Access to the upper section of Manistee River can be found near M-38 (Mancelona Road) Below Mancelona Road you will find access from several bridges including the bridge at M-72, the CCC Bridge and the Sharon Bridge as well as the Three Mile Access and the Smithville Access. In the upper reaches you will find a lot of over-hanging brush and good cover to provide shelter for the trout. Those looking for a lazy float down the river, tube the Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge access. When we pull our canoe-laden pick-up truck off the dirt road at Harvey’s Bridge (19 Rd.) It includes the Little Manistee and Pine Rivers in addition to the main stem of the Manistee. We see nobody on the water. Upper Delaware. The South Branch flows northerly out of Houghton Lake towards the Mainstream of the Au Sable passing the town of Roscommon on its way. There are also plenty of other areas to access the upper river. The water is deep and strong in many areas. 6. The Upper Manistee River watershed is located in the northwestern portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. A couple of good access points are found at The Whirlpool off of Cherry Creek Road and at Parmalee Bridge. It spins, swirls, doubles back on itself in eddies as if it forgot something. Some access points are designed for carrying kayaks and canoes. Views for days! After flowing "side-by-side" for approximately twelve miles, the Au Sable turns east and flows into Lake Huron while the Manistee turns southwest and flows into Lake Michigan. The river is disclosing no clues of what lurks beneath—turtles, water snakes, fish. There are appealing spots everywhere to pull over and take a break. Access to the upper section of Manistee River can be found near M-38 (Mancelona Road) and is best fished with a light fly rod (2-4 weight). Private recreation sites include Big Manistee Riverview Campground and Coho Bend Campground. There are 12 public access points on the Upper James River Water Trail that are owned and operated by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Map Distance: 5.8 miles. The Big Manistee River is one of the premier rivers of Michigan, offering over 90 miles of access and varied difficulty levels, from beginner to expert paddling experiences (depending on the segment). It is a great dry fly fishery like the rest of the upper Au Sable River system. This area extends for nearly nine miles downstream to Wakeley Bridge. Mailing Address: 274 River Road Beach Lake, PA 18405 . Streamers and nymphs will produce at almost any time. There is also a healthy population of rainbow trout in the lower reaches of this section. It moves swiftly past the bank without making a sound, like an enormous chocolate-colored creature. We include a link to Google Maps for each access point on the Pine. It's an experience like no other. When a violent thunder and hail storm builds in ferocity, we angle our boats toward shore to throw up our tent for quick shelter. During our trip, we experience the Manistee as a river of solitude. It's a beautiful river and likely very beautiful year round (we were there in August). It has a nice riverwalk which lets you enjoy it from the start of the mouth at Lake Michigan all the way to Manistee Lake. This is a great river for beginners and advanced paddlers (depending on the season). Fly fishing hatches in order of importance : Tiny black stoneflies #16 (when sunny) and blue-winged olives (pseudocloeon anoka #24 when cloudy) will continue if above freezing weather returns next week. Large brown and rainbow trout are in good numbers here. RIVER MAP N 37 *Float times below are indicated on self-launch trips with your own watercraft. The Manistee flows for nearly a hundred miles from its headwaters to Lake Michigan. This is a beautiful river with slick pools and quality trout. The farther downstream you venture the more brown trout you will find. The Manistee River has always been rated as one as the best in the country for camping along its banks, and canoeing for as many days as your schedule allows. Chippewa Landing can help you plan a great trip on the Manistee River, an unspoiled, natural river. Swirling whirlpools look like spinning dervishes. The official way back is the North Country Trail, but we took the Upper River Road back instead to avoid the densely wooded forest full of mosquitoes. The mainstream is approximately 78 miles long and originates in southeast Antrim County (approximately six miles from the village of Alba), at an … It has a drainage area of 590 square miles. We watch for connecting creeks, swivel our heads backward where a break in the bank indicates that a stream could be entering—a reference point to give us an idea of where we are in our course. Several access points are available for anglers to wade or float from. Who knows what lurks beneath the surface causing the water to react so disturbingly. The historic Fair Oaks Bridge, site of a feature film or two, Fallen logs, deep pools, swift runs, and charming riffles all help to create classic holding water for steelhead and salmon. Why aren’t the locals playing like we are on this beautiful June day? Although there are no rock hazards in this river, we don’t often see the occasional submerged log until we are literally on top of it. Upper Manistee: 10/2 updated. UPPER MANISTEE OVERVIEW: The Manistee is perhaps Michigan’s finest self-sustaining trout stream. These sites are provided for the public with the expressed sole purposes of boating and fishing. In these beginning miles, the narrow river is like a tightly wound corkscrew, like a youngster full of piss and vinegar, but offering few clear landmarks. Because we have the gear secured with webbing and straps, we lose nothing, but in my attempt to scramble ashore, my Canon SLR camera, stowed in my fanny pack, gets wet. One thing the Manistee promises is that it will deliver the memories, as only a paddling adventure can. Book a Fly Fishing Trip. Coordinate with some pals and head over to the Manistee River for a choose-your-own-adventure day of paddling. Every year anglers come to fish for the thousands of steelhead and salmon that enter its lower reaches. Originating a few miles to the east of Mancelona the Manistee flows south for approximately twelve miles while paralleling the famous Au Sable River which is just a few miles to the east. Hiring a guide will ensure the most potential out of this tremendous section of river. We paddle on and find the river curves are so sharp that the stroker in the bow of the canoe must draw the paddle in and pull the canoe out of the force field of the eddy, lest the current propel us onto the far bank. Bear Creek USFS access – the more-work choice – from the River Road bridge, paddle 0.4 miles to where Bear Creek joins with the Manistee River, then paddle upriver 0.5 miles to the concrete boat ramp. Mesick Wildlife Sanctuary. Stay up to date with everything Old AuSable Fly Shop is doing. Some of the sites are designated state forest campsites with a convenient water pump, others are on wild public land, and we rely on our gallons of water we transported in our canoes. Below Mancelona Road you will find access in the town of Deward off of Fayette Road, County Road 612 Bridge, the CCC Bridge, and Sharon Bridge. View Upper Sunrise Map Activities: Upper Sunrise: A boat launch provides enough space to safely launch a small recreational boat, or raft, into the swift river. With the Manistee’s murkiness, we don’t bother peering into the depths of the river as a source of entertainment like on so many rivers we have traveled in the past. We pretty much have the Manistee to ourselves, sharing only with the eagles and ospreys, kingfishers and herons, beavers and muskrats, whitetail deer and turkeys, and turtles and ducks. It is considered, like the nearby Au Sable River, to be one of the best trout fisheries east of the Rockies. Brook, brown and some rainbow trout can be found in its waters. Fishing improved dramatically. Wading here can be difficult in some areas and caution needs to be taken. Potomac River Access Points There are many river access points along the river. Map of the Flies only Water near CCC bridge. Manistee River. There are several river access sites, day use areas and campgrounds located along this section of river. Be smaller but are usually free Little response on streamers river homes are also plenty fish. 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