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FreepowAugust 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm
menomonie, WI

Posts: 83
Interesting...I've camped on the Yellow Dog every summer for the last 10 years or so and never run into this river walker. I am sure he means well anyway...the Yellow Dog Plains are being threatened right now by plans for a sulfide mine that could destroy much of the serenity and tranquility of the region. Many people become very defensive about protecting these lands. Just treat them with respect and I'm sure you'll be fine. As far as the fishing goes...your experiences are very similar to mine...the fish will hit anything and they are generally small. Holds your attention for about an hour before you have to find some other way to enjoy the fishing...personally I enjoy the remoteness of it all and the deep beautiful forests. I don't know of many other places that you can go that deep into the woods, be that far from anything else and still be in the lower 48 states.
"I fish...because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip..."
RleePSeptember 17th, 2007, 5:19 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Hi All... Back on 8/20, I posted on this thread that we were on our way up for a couple weeks in the UP and I was seeking any general info on worthwhile fly flicking destinations. Jonathon responded with a pretty detailed set of suggestions. This was much appreciated and now that we're back, I wanted to post a quick travelogue/summary of where I was able to fish and how I did:

In general, the fishing was better than the catching throughout the trip. But the UP is certainly a beautiful place and we're already making plans to return next year, in Sept. again.

Our first base of ops was the Iron River area and I took Jonathon's advice to check out the smallmouth fishery at horserace rapids on the Paint. It's lovely water, loaded with bass even though I only landed 2 smallish bass in about 90 minutes fishing.

The following day, I coerced Petunia to drive me over to the junction of the SB Paint and Cooks Run. Fishing was better here and I bopped a couple dozen small brookies (up to 8" or so)in about 3 hours on a variety of deerhair caddis. During this period, I had the first instance of what would be a recurrent thought throughout the trip: "I should have brought my 7' 5wgt". I had my Far and Fine and even with a short leader, I was in the alders a good deal. The streams reminded me of some of my favorite alder choked little rivulets in Crawford County PA when I was a kid. After I was done, Petunia picked me up at the lowest bridge on Cooks and she brought me a pasty, my first. Delicious!

The next moring, Petunia didn't need coercing. She simply got the keys out of her pocket and asked me where to? I chose another section of SB Paint, still in the Blue Ribbon Water, but a few miles below the Cooks junction. A dry cold front was passing though and the fish were goofy. I fished a mile or so of river and only got about a half dozen small mixed brooks and browns (under 7"). But I got another pasty...

That evening, Pentunia's office called with a work related emergency. Our motel had wireless and she had her laptop. So the next day, regrettably, we ditched plans to go look at waterfalls and I was forced to go fishing again while she worked in the room...:) I lit out for the Blue Ribbon section of the Iron River, but after checking a half dozen access points, could not find one that suited me. So, I fished below the BR section, right in the town of Iron River. In a couple hours, I coaxed up 6 or 7 brookies, including a couple nice ones (by my standards) of 9-10". All on a big-ass (can I say that here?) #10 parachute hares ear. I like this creek and suspect it has some pretty good size fish in this section, although I'm a little skeptical of how dense of a ST pop is here.

The next morning, we pulled stakes and headed for the next Motel stop, just eat of Marquette. We were both very impressed by how vibrant and artsy of a city Marquette is. Wonderful place and Presque Isle Park is beautiful. We ate most of our meals at a wonderful brew pub in the downtown whose name escapes me but it started with a V.

Over my strong protestations, Petunia again instructed me to plan on fishing for 4-5 hours each day we were here. What could I do? I simply don't have the heart to say no to her.

Soo.. The first day, she dropped me off on a nice looking section of the main stem of the Upper Chocolay where I caught a half a bushel basket of steelhead smolt from 6-11" on top. Pretty neat...

The next day, I took on the EB of the Escanaba starting at the park in Guinn. I was on it for 6 hours and only one 3,5" brookie saved me from a skunking. Beautiful river though.

The next morning we pulled stakes and took off for Grand Marais. We stopped in Munsuning for lunch and decided to take the Pictured Rocks tour boat. We got out beyond the 2nd harbor into the main lake and the wind picked up to about 35 knots and our hosts decided to abort. It was ok with me. On the splash, the waves were damn near clearing the body of the boat when they hit. We got a refund, which I considered a bonus having already been delivered to the dock alive.

We hit Grand Marias and Petunia continued in her unyielding insistance that I fish. So, both days while there, I had her take me to the EB of the Fox, which I fished at a campground and also at the Route 77 bridge. A gawdawful alder hell in both places, but I got a few fish drifting a black bugger into the brush and under the logs.

On friday (this past friday) we headed out and made for St. Ignace at the gateway to the bridge on our way to visit one of her work associates in SW MI. Her work struck again and she holed up at the St. Ignace library to pound the keys and I was once again left with nothing to do but endure a couple more hours of fishing. A quick look at the maps said I could make it to the Upper Carp River and still have 2 hours to fish if I took the curves on 2 wheels all the way. So, I did. A lovely place. Got another 3 or 4 smolts on a #14 deerhair caddis.

And that was the end of that...

What a beautiful land. In parts, it reminded me of the Central Sands region of WI and in other parts of the Allegheny foothills of my native NW PA.

We'll be back.

Thanks Jonathon!

FreepowSeptember 18th, 2007, 7:09 pm
menomonie, WI

Posts: 83
I am so happy to hear you had a beautiful time...I grew up in Ishpeming, which is 10 minutes from Marquette so I am quite familiar with that area. I too love Presque Isle and spent much of my childhood throwing rocks off of the cliffs into Lake Superior. I am assuming you had dinner in Marquette at the Verling...nice choice. They have a great atmosphere and the beer is top notch. I am also glad to hear you enjoyed your pasty...they are a staple food up there and people sure take pride in them. I must correct you on one thing, you visited Pictured Rocks in Munising...not Munsining...I only correct you so that others may find it in the future. It truly is a beautiful place. Take care and let me know if I can give you any help for your trip next year!!!!
"I fish...because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip..."
RleePSeptember 19th, 2007, 6:26 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
>>I must correct you on one thing, you visited Pictured Rocks in Munising...not Munsining...I only correct you so that others may find it in the future. It truly is a beautiful place. Take care and let me know if I can give you any help for your trip next year!!!!>>

Thanks for the correction. It didn't look right when I originally wrote it. Upon reflection, I figured out I had gone to school with a kid named Munsing. As the years accumulate and the central processor corrodes, confusing the name of a skinny kid from Pittsburgh with a city in Michigan becomes much easier than I would have ever dreamed...:)

Thanks for the nice reply. I'll remember when we start planning for next year!
Jmd123September 19th, 2007, 10:12 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Lee, I am very happy that you had a good trip in the "Yoo Pee". In fact, I'm envious - I haven't had a chance to make it up there in many years. There's more trout water in this state than one can fish in a lifetime! Pictured Rocks is indeed a spectacular area - as is the majority of Lake Superior. Perhaps one day you can make it to Isle Royale - there are some fly-fishing adventures to be had up there, too (brookies in ice-cold creeks), not to mention the scenery and wildlife. Let me know next time you're going!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OutdoorsmenFebruary 10th, 2008, 2:59 pm
Posts: 1i love fly fishing for trout in the u.p. cooks run is definitly my favorite stream, its where i caught my first trout on the fly rod. ive fished the brule river but got skunked every time ive been there. i want to try the south branch of the paint river but cant find any acess, the only way in there is if i fight my way threw a wall of bushes or jump off a bridge. i cant wait for may when the trout season opens again
TrainsJune 6th, 2008, 11:37 am
U.P. Michigan

Posts: 1
I realize you fished here in the U.P. last year, wish I would've seen this then. You really hit some nice rivers, I grew up in Iron River. I've caught some good fish from the Cooks Run (mostly browns though of size). You seem to be a real sincere fisherman, so if you are ever up this way again, I can point you to a real brook trout experience. Little stream, larger than average sized brookies. Takes some work however. I've actually fished about every well-known stream in the U.P., but prefer the little out of the way ones. There are some real brookie spots here, different places for different times of the year.
TrtklrJune 7th, 2008, 8:41 am

Posts: 115
I find the Blue Ribbon sections of rivers in Michigan beautiful but always seeming to lack a little in population
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
GhostgoatJuly 15th, 2008, 12:29 am
Ishpeming, MI

Posts: 2
I'm a UP native and a noob. Any advice would be fantastic.
TrtklrJuly 18th, 2008, 5:39 pm

Posts: 115
I am thinking about going to the rogue r. this next week. I've fished it before but never had any luck really to speak of. I know this is a great steel river but does anyone know good water for trout this time of year. I usually fish south of rockford but I was thinking about going up to the state game area.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
DreedeeAugust 2nd, 2008, 10:41 am
Posts: 16I havent' been up to the "Yoop" in ten years. But it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. How come no one mentions the Ontonagan River? That was where you stood the chance of hooking into a 14-inch brookie. And some of the lakes in the area of the Ottawa National Forest had some brook trout pushing "20."

Go to Ishpeming, to the Rainbow Bar, and have a tall one in memory of John Voelker, his regular watering hole. They used to have a picture of him on the wall. Watch a tape of "Anatomy of a Murder," based on Voelker's novel, with Jimmy Stewart in the lead (and a very hot Lee Remick as the ingenue).
FreepowAugust 3rd, 2008, 3:07 pm
menomonie, WI

Posts: 83
Its funny you put this up because I am originally from Ishpeming and am home right now. I will be fishing the Ontonagon River before I leave. I am a huge Voelker fan and am reading Trout Magic right now. I feel a special connection with him and love his books because they are the places I grew up fishing. I have had drinks at the Rainbow Bar more times than I can count and will likely return there before my return to Wisconsin. Although the fishing isn't the same as it used to be when Voelker ran around the is certainly worth the deep woods fishing experience. Thanks for posting your support for the area.
"I fish...because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip..."
DreedeeAugust 3rd, 2008, 3:49 pm
Posts: 16Freepow:

I worked as a jazz drummer for many years in the Twin Cities, before moving to River Falls. About 10 years ago, I read a biography of the great jazz composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn, entitled "Lush Life." Strayhorn was Duke Ellington's arranger, and accompanied him to the U.P., when Ellington was hired for the soundtrack to "Anatomy of a Murder." The book mentioned that Duke complained of the food in Marquette, where they were holed up in a hotel, composing the score. It said at that point that Robert Traver (Voelker) stopped by Duke's hotel room with a brace of freshly caught brook trout, which they delighted in eating.

I got a kick out of that. My whole world--in one room; at one place; at one time.

FreepowAugust 4th, 2008, 6:15 am
menomonie, WI

Posts: 83
Very nice.
"I fish...because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip..."
AllamSeptember 21st, 2008, 11:54 am
Posts: 1Hi folks, Any advice for flyfishing the Iron River area Oct. 15 weekend? We were planning to fish the Paint, Iron, and maybe Ontanogan. I've tried to fish Cook's Run but it is too small where we tried to get in. Thanks,
TrtklrSeptember 21st, 2008, 1:00 pm

Posts: 115
fly fishers guide to michigan by jim bedford. I have found this book very helpful in the l.p. talks of fly hatches and road crossings for entry.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
TwaligurskyJune 25th, 2016, 6:23 pm
iron river

Posts: 1
I love fishing the iron county area. The sb paint is pretty nice and I also agree that the cooks run is a local favorite the iron river is amazing for native brook trout. My personal favorite is the Brule river with its deep holes and deep fast runs big rocks and of coarse monster brook and brown trout call that stream their home.
RogueratJune 29th, 2016, 8:29 am
Posts: 467
Pick up a copy of 'Trout Streams of Michigan, a Fly Fishers Guide' by Bob Linsenman and Steve Nevala; this is a book BY fly fishers FOR fly fishers as far as I'm concerned.

Rivers, access points, what to look for and look out for, with no fluff or extraneous material to wade through.

I've got a well-worn and marked-up copy that is the companion to my equally worn Delorme's...I'd be somewhat lost without either of these.


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Jmd123June 29th, 2016, 1:06 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
"...the companion to my equally worn Delorme's"

Now THERE'S an essential fly-fishing tool! Also, while at home sitting here in front of the 'puter, Google Maps/Google Earth satellite imagery. Another great place to find new fishing holes.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratJune 29th, 2016, 2:12 pm
Posts: 467

I've been using satellite maps for a while now, zooming in on streams and looking for riffle water and inside wading! It's how I scoped the Pine, and the Hodenpyle run of the Big Man last summer- the 2-tracks, shallows, outside bends to avoid, and a 22" Red Horse Sucker for the effort on the latter water...I thought it was the biggest Brown I'd ever tied into only to see a face only a mother could love. Darn pig of a fish even kept my Heifer Groomer, too far into that tire-rubber lip to pull it out. A good fight on a 7-wt switch rod, though!

I had to get this 'fish story' in there somehow, been sitting on it for a while.


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe


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