The first fish was off the Manistee Pier and was caught on a Little Cleo spoon.
Then we started fishing in the smaller streams. We hiked down Bear Creek and found a few.
This Scott from Indy. He is happy.
This is a new friend, Rod, from New Zealand. He is a tackle buyer and was visiting.
Rod enjoyed his hike and saw a few. The fish were not hitting flies but would hit spinners. This is a nice area to hike in a ways to get away from the crowd. You will always find snaggers somewhere around during Salmon Season.
This is the fish weir on the Little Man. They harvest eggs for surrounding states and other locations in Michigan.
You can see that hundreds of salmon are below the closed weir. The fish are led into the building and there the eggs are harvested and fertilized and the fish are sold to a bidder - cleaned and sold to the public.
PA Bill is enjoying fishing down stream. He got a few trout. I always enjoy the trout that follow the big salmon up the river. The smaller fish are waiting to suck eggs and are usually ready to hit a fly.
Here is a nice trout that was hungry.
Yep, it was caught on a fly in his jaw. The fish was pretty, the water was nice, the weather was good, and being with friends on the river....priceless!
Next we had to try the Betsie River. It takes about 35 minutes to drive up there and the water was slightly discolored. This is good for the fish and us. We hiked up about a mile or so and we each found a spot to fish.
Jeff, Scott's cousin from Indy, caught this 20 #+ King on a spinner. He had a great battle with the big fish in the small stream until Scott tailed it for him. When you have to carry out a 20 # salmon for over a mile through the woods, it gets a little heavier as you walk. It must have felt like 30#s before he reached the road. I was practicing 'catch and release' fishing so it was easier for me.
Here is a view from the North side of the trail about half way out to the car. You are well above the river and sometimes can spot fish on the way out.
When the Indy and PA group left, the NJ and VA camp was getting ready to start. We walked down Cardiac Hill and looked at the Big Manistee River. Salmon season was just getting started so it wasn't too crowded yet.
We fished early and late in the day. The guys started throwing spinners, spoons and plugs. I was still chucking flies. They started catching fish. They had some hits and far releases before they started getting a few.
Early morning on the Manistee River with a little fog on the water. Even when you are fishing , you have to take time out to enjoy the scenery.
Back at base camp, we settled in for our theme nightly ritual of watching a part of the Lonesome Dove series. We even had cowboy hats and boots on with our PJs last night.
Next day, it was back to the river.
There were a few float boats fishing but the real crowds will be coming in the next few weeks. The parking lots will be full of cars from all over and it will be crowded. That is when I plan to hike the Manistee River Trail again. The leaves should be turning color in a few weeks. I am packing for a walleye fishing trip in the UP this week. Ah, so many fish, so little time!