Blog and (occasionally accurate) Fishing Report

Here at Purple Taco Fly Supply, we want you to catch great fish. To help you do that, we’ve teamed up with the Tangled Tackle Fishing Team. They’ll teach you how to tie your own flies, show you great recipes to pair with your flies, and more.

Making your own flies is cheaper than buying pre-made flies, gives you more customization options, and with our banded mylar, it’s easier than ever.

Manistee Early July

Early July Manistee. Fishing is improving as we speak and with the prevailing south west winds it should continue on that pattern. Water is setting up well with good reports of kings beginning to be heard. A mid 30’s pound king was taken out of Manistee last week, and I’ve heard several reports of upper twenty pounders being cuught. Spoons and flasher/flies such as the 7 Fathoms, Super Dew, Ghost, Blue Maui and McKenna’s Magic.continue to dominate, however as the water continues to settle meat rigs and even plugs will also become effective.

Trout fishing is shaping up nicely with good numbers in the 20 to 22 line in 120 fow. Dreamweaver chrome Spin Doctors loaded with Dreamweaver whirly gigs dressed in lemon/lime, blue chrome and green ghost are doing well. Check out the video below for one of our more recent trips.  Be safe out there, and remember to take the kids fishing.




Manistee 06-26-18

Fishing is still on the slow side, but still mature kings to be found.  Best bite has been 100-120 fow straight out of port.  Spoons still dominate, but bigger fish have been coming on meat and fly rigs dressed up in purples and greens.  The trout grounds outside Onekama are setting up well and steady catches are being taken.  80-90 fow with chrome and chrome/green eight inch Dreamweaver Spin Doctors with blue, fire-tiger or green whirly gigs and/or spin and glows are doing well on lows and highs and riggers.  This steady north wind has also brought fish in near the harbor.  We were able to land two nice brown trout in that area on Sunday on spoons behind three color cores.

Although fishing has slowed some this is not unusual for the month of June.  We still expect big things (literally) in the coming months so don’t be discouraged.  As always tight lines and be safe.


Hello everybody,

Apologies for the delay, but here are the recipes for the new Flies developed for 2018 on the video that can be found below.


PDF:  2018 Tangled Tackle Fly Recipes

Zip file with Pictures and PDF of Recipes: 2018 Tangled Tackle Fly Recipes


Five New Salmon Flies for 2018 Recipies

Learn to make Custom Peanut Flies

Here’s a new video from Tangled Tackle showing how to make your own custom peanut flies using Purple Taco’s banded fly material. Easy and fun to do. Nothing better than catching something on a rig you created.

Peanut Flies

Manistee Video

The guys at Tangled Tackle put up a new video highlighting some of the incredible fishing going on right now on Lake Michigan.  Check out their most recent fishing report for the details.  Blue Maui Flies and River Pickle teasers and flies have been getting it done.

06-02-18 Manistee Report

Fishing has been outstanding around Manistee, and its neighboring ports for several days now.  Limit catches are being reported more as the norm, rather than the unusual.  Fish are healthy and full of fight.  The best fishing we have found has been straight out of Manistee in 135 to 180 fow on a south troll targeting 45 to 65 feet down.  SOG ranging between 2.0 and 2.4.  300 coppers and 10 color cores equipped with Dreamweaver super slim spoons in blue dolphin, modified blue dolphin, green dolphin, green jeans, blue jeans and wonderbread have been doing damage.  Riggers equipped with the same arsenal have also been working well set 30 feet off the ball.  High divers out 185 and low divers out at 110 have also been taking good fish on Dreamweaver Kevin’s Girlfriend and Showtime eight and ten inch Spindoctors rigged with Purple Taco’s River Pickle teasers with Dreamweaver meat heads.  Eight inch blue/chrome and blue bubble Spindoctors equipped with Purple Taco’s custom Blue Maui fly has also been working.

The recent north wind has scattered the fish somewhat, but are still in the same general areas, and can be found with a little due diligence.  Our early predication on this year’s season is full of high hopes based on the number of fish we are seeing, the size and the abundance of healthy bait fish.  Time will cast the overall deciding vote, but this year may be one for the record books, or at least the photo albums.

Chris-Tangled Tackle Fishing

Chris and Jim from Tangled Tackle on a recent Manistee Trip.


Manistee Fishing Report 06-03-18


Hello everyone, and hello spring….well maybe.  With all the snow falling it’s sometimes hard to realize that it’s April and not January.  But fear not, spring is here, it just doesn’t know it yet.  We want everyone to know that we’re doing a GREAT giveaway that includes a complete fly tying kit from Purple Taco, which includes incredible fly material, bullet heads, beads and magic thread.  It also includes Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Costa hats and other Costa Gear, and a big group of Dreamweaver Lures products which includes rotator’s, meat rigs, spoons, flies and other great items.  Check out the video below to find out how you can enter and win all this great gear.  Thanks everyone for watching, and good luck!




You want new flies to tie?  You got it.  Five new fly recipes from the guys at Tangled Tackle.  This makes a total of 25 fly recipes available to you on this website.  Just scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the recipe list, pictures and a complete list of the materials you will need.  Salmon fishing is just around the corner so get ready everyone.  And thanks again from all of us.



Our latest video is up showing how to finish off you custom meat rigs.  Enjoy and be safe!





Perch!  Staring to hear some good reports of perch being caught on Portage Lake here in Manistee County.  Reports are still scattered, but it seems the south shore near Camp Tosebo seems to be the most consistent.  Depth is also a bit sporadic but it seems the best area is consistent with lining yourself up with the channel to the west.  Wigglers, wax worms and minnows on Hali jigs and tear drops are all working  Ciscoes are also back at it in the first hole and are seeming to be caught on a regular basis.  Fish those guys aggressively as it seems an fast raise with a soft settle seems to work well.

Salmon season is right around the corner so be ready with your gear.  Get those flies tied up now and be ready.

As always have fun on the water, and be safe.



Not to much to report unfortunately for the local fisheries.  Perch have been hit and miss on Portage Lake.  There is a good school of them moving around Andy’s Point, but you have to be in the right place at the right time.  Lately I’ve heard the east side of the point has been better in shallower water.  Hali’s tipped with wigglers and tear drops with wax worms have been best.

I’ve heard of pike being taken on the south end of Manistee Lake, but details other than that have been sketchy.

One quick blurb regarding a question that I get asked the most on fly tying.  Probably the most often asked question I get via email is how much material to use with each fly.  If you’ve watched our instructional video on YouTube you know that there is a primary color followed by secondary and so on.  For most of our flies our primary color is approximately three inches in length with each following color around one and a half to two inches in length.  There are some exceptions to that with one example being the white glow.  I use that more sparingly as it seems to “take over” a fly pretty easily.  But, like anything else, make your flies to suit you.  There are no set rules, and I guarantee that the fish aren’t going to complain.  So have fun, and experiment.  Catching fish on something you created, especially with your kids or other loved ones, certainly makes it that much more special.

As always send me any questions you might have to [email protected]

Good luck out there and be safe.



So, is it salmon season yet?  No, but there is some good fishing around none the less.  I’ve heard good reports of steelhead on the Big Manistee lately, and the warm weather of late has had the parking lots full at Highbridge and White Fence.  If you’re looking to get on the river now is the time.  If you want to get out there, but don’t have the gear check out some local charter guys for an excellent experience.  Riverside Charters, Pier Pressure Charters, Steelhead Hunter Charters (just to name a few) are all top notch and will put you on fish.

Perch fishing has been hit and miss here on Portage Lake, but I’ve heard good reports on Pentwater Lake.  Oddly Whitefish and Ciscoe have been plentiful here on Portage Lake this year.  People have been having excellent luck in the “first hole” for those fish, with most coming on Hali jigs tipped with wax worms being fished aggressively over that area.  If you’re not familiar with the area, “first hole” is a 50 foot deep small flat just south east of the point.  Look for the shanties and you’ve found it.  Make sure to stay away from the channel as the warm weather and the Lake Michigan waves have made the ice in that are pretty darn sketchy.

Stay tuned for some new fly recipes to be revealed both here and on YouTube in the near future.  Be safe out there, and make sure to take the kids fishing.





Happy New Year from all of us at the Tangled Tackle fishing team! We have been asked to jump in on this blog from time to time to give everyone some updates on what’s up and coming, and to answer some questions. Of course we couldn’t resist the opportunity to talk some fishing so we jumped on the chance to contribute.

Looking at the thermometer and seeing 15 degrees it’s hard to imagine that fishing season could be as little as sixty days away.  I know I’ve been on a boat on Lake Michigan in the middle of March before, and I’m sure many of you have been also.  So now is the time to start gearing up.  If you’re like me you’ve probably been tinkering around on fishing gear throughout the off-season, but if you haven’t don’t worry.  There is still plenty of time until you hit the water this spring.

Some of the things that we’ve been busy with over the last few months are coming up with some new fly recipes for Purple Taco.  Jim and I have both committed to creating five recipes apiece before the snow melts and I know he and I are working to come up with some of the best combinations that we can.  So stay tuned to our YouTube channel, Tangled Tackle Fishing Team, for those new recipes coming soon.  And if you haven’t checked it out before now go ahead and take a look.  We can help you out with everything from fly tying basics to making your own custom rigs for the Great Lakes and everywhere else.

Also here in the near future we’ll be covering meat rigs, additional fly tricks and by popular request-peanut fly’s.  And not to let the big cat out of the bag there may be a few giveaway’s in the near future to keep everyone knee deep in their favorite gear.

So stay tuned.  2018 is going to be a great year on the water!  As always you can ask me any questions at [email protected].

Tight lines, and be safe,


Happy New Year and New Videos Coming Soon!

It’s all about the width of the fringe.  The width of the strands is about half of the standard material.

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is “What is the difference between bandaboo and regular material?”.  Both come in one yard packages on bands and can be used together or separately.  Standard cut is what 90% of the commercial flies on the Great Lakes are made out of, and  bandaboo has been used for making hair type flies.  People frequently mix both types together.

Bandaboo is similar to material found in hanks at the store, but is on a band.  This eliminates the need to count threads, and your flies will be more consistent and neater.

As always, thanks for all of your comments and feedback, and let us know if there are any topics you would like to see covered in this column in the future.

Regular Cut vs. Bandaboo

Edited 9/23/17 – Added the rest of the pictures

Here are the recipes and pictures from the video.  There is also a spreadsheet of the colors needed for all of the flies.

Click on this link to download the PDF file of recipes:  TT Fly Recipes

Click on this link to download the Excel spreadsheet for a matrix of colors needed to make all of the flies:  TT Fly Recipe Matrix




Recipes From the Video

Salmon Trollling Flys with Recipes

How To Tie Your Own Salmon Trolling Flies