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Jmd123August 19th, 2007, 1:51 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
OK, folks, any other Michiganders on here? (Yes, that's the proper technical name.) If so, speak up and share some recent fishing adventures. I'm still trying to motivate my a** to get out of the local (warm)waters and check out some more distant localities.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
BxRxTxKAugust 19th, 2007, 2:43 pm
western NC

Posts: 29
I'm not from there but I am gonna be around the watervleidt? area sometime in the spring...
anyone know if there is some good fishing around there?
I would appreciate any leads...


tight lines
Jmd123August 19th, 2007, 4:54 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Vanderbilt, which I believe you are referring to, is just about smack in the middle of the Lower Penninsula's best trout country. To the north are the Sturgeon, Pigeon, and Black Rivers (also the Maple River if you go further north); to the southeast is the AuSable River; and to the southwest is the Manistee River. That's not to mention all sorts of little spring-fed creeks full of brook trout, which are native to that part of the country. For up-to-date advice on these waters, stop in at the Alphorn Sports Shop in Gaylord if you're driving north on I-75 - you'll go right past it on your way up. I bought the vast majority of my fly fishing supplies, especially flies, up there before I started tying my own. (They have lots of other outdoor-activities gear there as well, including a few guns & shooting supplies.)

If you're coming in spring, be sure to bring plenty of #12-14 Light Hendricksons and Red Quills - I've seen some very heavy hatches of these flies on several of these rivers. (The Alphorn should have them if you don't.) A 3-5 weight rod will cover these waters very nicely - in fact, bring a 3 wt. if you've got one for the smaller streams you may want to check out. (Carp Creek, on the north shore of Burt Lake, is full of trout, brookies and browns, but extremely brushy!)

I spent every summer from 1984 - 1990 at the Univesity of Michigan Biologicsl Station, which is not too far north of Vanderbilt, so you'll be in some of my old stomping grounds. It's beautiful country just riddled with trout water. Good luck, and give me a holler before you come - you might be able to talk me into going with...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123August 19th, 2007, 5:03 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
OOOOOPS, I just found Watervliet on the map. It's in the southwest corner of the state, not anywhere near the streams I mentioned above. That part of the state I am not familiar with. However, the Michigan Inland Trout and Salmon Guide, 2006-2008 edition, shows a fair amount of trout waters in that area, including tributaries to the Paw Paw and St. Joseph Rivers. Check out http://www.michigan.gov/dnr - they have an online version of this booklet that gives you all the details. AND, if you do get the chance to travel further north, be sure to check out the places I mentioned in my previous post!

Best of luck!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
BxRxTxKAugust 19th, 2007, 9:09 pm
western NC

Posts: 29
jonathon,
thanks for all the info I will look into the area and hopefully will be able to make it further north. it sounds like I should be able to at least wet my line one way or another while I'm up there...





tight lines...
RleePAugust 20th, 2007, 5:25 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Hat in hand, am I, seeking wisdom...:)

Petunia (Mrs. RLeeP) and I have decided not to go out west this year and to instead drive up to the UP and bounce around for a couple weeks from 9/1 until the 14th or so. It looks like we will mostly be in the western section of the UP. While (since I'm going with mein frau..) I'll be spending a lot of time looking at lighthouses and taking short hikes and eating in small restaurants and taking naps, there will be plenty of time for fishing just so Petunia can be shed of me now and then...:).

I know it's a big place, but I am interested in any advice anybody has about "must fish" creeks or simply places that are representative of the UP wild trout experience. I'm a small water guy and am not gun shy of brushy creeks. The itinerary is not set yet and I can tailor it (somewhat) to where I want to fish.

I'm also interested in wadeable, flowing water smallmouth fishing. I hear the Paint is good for this. Any other suggestions?

Anybody interested in helping out please send me a private message. Thanks very much.
Lee
Jmd123August 20th, 2007, 8:35 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Lee, since I seem to be the only Michigander on this site, I will give you some advice, since I have fished that part of the U.P. If you're looking for adventures of the smallmouthed kind, check out Horserace Rapids on the Paint River (get directions locally in Crystal Falls, the nearest sign of civlization). I had a job helping my Master's advisor up there with an entomology project, so I checked out some local spots on some local advice. Though I was using a spinning rod and (heaven forbid) bait at the time, I caught LOADS of smallmouth in the pool at the tail end of the rapids. It's also a pretty scenic locale to boot, so you might want to take "dein Frau" up there for a picnic. As far as trout are concerned, I caught a nice brookie (about 10") on a streamer in the Ford River, which isn't too far away(there's brownies in there too). Further east is the Rapid River, which is small water with nice (little) brookies too. And if I were you I would check out ANY small stream that has a beaver dam on it. Brookies are the minnows of the U.P. and you can find them almost anywhere there's flowing water - but they'll be bigger and more plentiful where the beaver architecture creates a little more room for them to grow.

Good luck and eager fish!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
DavezAugust 21st, 2007, 9:45 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
ive fished the typical ones for year.. ausable, manistee, PM, etc...

talk to me about the upper or lower escanaba. I am told is is pretty darn good brown trout fishing with dry flies all summer and fall. I hear you can do a pretty intense LONG week long float on it as well.

michigan is very good. very different from PA fishing NO ONE in michigan fishes upstream. (well not exactly) its always walk downstream and right down the middle, casting to both banks on the Ausable.


DavezAugust 21st, 2007, 9:46 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
and its tough to get used to how "yoopers" talk.
Jmd123August 21st, 2007, 10:07 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Dave, I fish upstream with dries, then fish back down to the car either floating a dry in front of me or swinging a streamer. Then again, I usually fish smaller waters, my two favorites being the Maple and Rifle Rivers (learned on the Maple & fished it for many summers after; fished the Rifle 2-5 times per week for almost 4 years). Perhaps most people prefer to "go with the flow", but unless they know a good trail, they have to wade back upstream! I prefer the easy walk when I'm about finished...

I have no personal knowledge of the Escanaba to share, but I wouldn't doubt what you've heard. Please let me know your results if/when you go!

SAY YAH TO DA OOH PEE, EH?? OH YAH...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RleePAugust 21st, 2007, 12:12 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Jonathon:

Many thanks for the advice above regarding our upcoming trip to the UP.

Lee
DavezAugust 21st, 2007, 7:30 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
jonathan,

oh geez, yooper talk at its finest! nice!

the gang of four (my three friends and I who do two yearly trips for the last 10 years) are making that trip to the escanaba. We've been feeling out information and local lore for about a year and I hear it can be very good and completley desolate. thats what we like.

dave
Jmd123August 21st, 2007, 7:39 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Oh yah, nooooo problem...

Desolate is peaceful and full of fish (and wildlife). I'll be very curious as to what you find. You can get lost and die in the U.P. - that's part of the charm!

Good luck!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TrevorCAugust 22nd, 2007, 2:09 pm
Interlochen, Michigan

Posts: 20
Michigan Fish Ninja here.

In response to the person going to visit Southwest Michigan for Trout Fishing. Here's a little advice. Put an extra $60 in your gas tank and keep driving North!

To those going to fish the U.P. You are picking the right time of year to fish there. A friend of mine and I tried to cross into Canada in May to go after Native Spawning Rainbows in Lake Superior's Tributaries. Lets just say those damn Canooks wouldn't let us cross because people that may have received a misdemeanor 5 years ago are considered felons up there, but anyways back to fish talk, we decided to make a trip out of the week anyways and explore the U.P. (Places we haven't been before)

We fished from the Mackinaw Bridge to Sault Ste. Marie (and oh were there people catching fish in the rapids under the international bridge - it about drove us insane!) From Sault Ste. Marie to Seeny, from Seeny to Pictured Rocks, Pictured Rocks to Big Bay Michigan. Same story all over the U.P. It was too early. We talked to alot of old boys at breakfast, and little bars in the evening and each one of them had the same story, - except for the old guy who told us to try a chunk of moss! Ha ha very funny. Boy did he have a sence of humor (although, I snuck up on my friend and caught him baiting a hook with a small piece of moss - I didn't say anything though - just laughed to myself.

But the stories were all the same, Late June into August for the best Brookie and Brown fishing.

If you are taking a small boat with you, there are many, many, many lakes full of fly hungry trout though.

Also, if you plain just want to have fun in one of Michigan's Most Beautiful scenic places of all, check out lower Tahquamenon Falls. They have boats for rent, you can row right under the falls. It's full of everything from pike, bass, trout, etc. - Although the best Trout Fishing is above the lower falls, and a trechorous hike. Be careful.

I'll see you down on the river...
Jmd123August 22nd, 2007, 8:02 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Trevor, I fished the Paint River in the vicinity of Crystal Falls while doing some work on my advisor's project during my MS degree. It was in May, and neither me nor my (now ex-) wife caught diddly. I don't remember seeing any dry flies, though we saw what looked like enormous stonefly nymphs float by every once in a while (could have been big Pteronarcys?). I think it just takes longer for things to get going up there, since it's so frickin' cold in the winter. Not a problem on my favorite Lower Penninsula streams, though - Light Hendricksons were pretty reliable on both the Rifle and the Maple, plus caddis on the Rifle as soon as the season opens (last Saturday in April, for you non-Michiganders - though the Rifle is open year-round for salmon and steelhead runs). The U.P. is just plain different - MUCH more igneous bedrock, and more rugged terrain. Those factors might have some influence as well. I haven't been up there in some time - I think it was 2001, going to Isle Royale (nailed a 10" brookie on a hopper in a beaver pond) and hitting the Rapid River on the way down (smaller brookies on dries and wooly buggers). This WAS in August, by the way...

For Labor Day weekend, which is four days for me (my employer is wonderful in giving out extra Fridays off), I will be staying with a cousin at his place on Intermediate Lake just north of Bellaire. I'm thinking about trying the Grass River on the suggestion of a friend - so long as it's not running dry, that is! If you'll be in the area that weekend (or are you hitting the Esacanaba then?), let me know and perhaps we can hook up and taunt some fishies together.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123August 22nd, 2007, 8:04 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
OOOOPS, Trevor, that was Davez who's going to hit the Escanaba - unless you are too?

JMD
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
FreepowAugust 23rd, 2007, 9:05 pm
menomonie, WI

Posts: 83
Yooper here...present and accounted for. Eh der you's guys. I grew up in Da UP and go back 4 or 5 times a year to see family and fish. I grew up in Marquette County and was a bait caster up there my whole life. I have since started fly fishing this summer so I have little advice as far as which flies and when but I can tell you that there are Coaster trout in the Salmon Trout river in Big Bay. The hard part about fishing there is that the Huron Mountain Club owns a lot of the land and getting to the Salmon Trout river can be difficult. You can, however, find many places along the Yellow Dog River just south of Big Bay on Cnty Rd. 510. There are also a couple of great places to deep woods camp back in there. We had a 4 or 5 year old bull moose come in on us camping one evening. This area has many trout, but I have never caught one bigger than about 12". You can catch natural brookies but there are mostly planted rainbows there. The Salmon Trout river, however, has monsters in it I hear.

You can also get on the Escanaba River at multiple points along Hwy 41 in Marquette County. The fish was great when I was a kid but I've spent most of my time north on the Yellow Dog so I haven't been there in a while. You can always stop into Wilderness Sports in downtown Ishpeming for a nice case of flies to choose from and some friendly advice. After that, go across the street and eat at Bucks Restaurant. Have a pasty or a cudighi sandwich...trust me, you'll love them.

At Wilderness, you can also pick up county maps and Platt books that have the surveying maps of the county with virtually all of the dirt roads and logging roads in them.

The UP is a beautiful place. Enjoy the streams and rivers as much as you can but don't forget to stop in and see Lake Superior in all her glory. Remember, she's what feeds all of those streams and rivers. Marquette is really the place to be to see Superior. It is also the biggest city in the UP so you could find proper lodging or other necessities while there. Hope this information helps.

Misplaced Yooper.
"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..."
FreepowAugust 23rd, 2007, 9:07 pm
menomonie, WI

Posts: 83
Oya, and Yoopers are fully aware of the accent...have fun with it...don't worry, you won't offend anyone.
"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..."
Jmd123August 24th, 2007, 6:43 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
You know what they say:

"Yoopers are Superior People!"

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TrevorCAugust 24th, 2007, 6:54 am
Interlochen, Michigan

Posts: 20
Freepow

I enjoyed camping in the Huron Mtns. right on the Yellowdog river. The river was full of planters (brookies) and would hit just about any fly that we presented. It was fun for the first 20 minutes or so. We hiked upstream from the bridge about 4 miles and never had a strike though. We ran into a fella named Chauncy (the river walker). He didn't like the fact that we were camping back there and tried to run us out of the area, but after talking to the locals of Big Bay, we decided to stay camping back there. The river walker means well - trying to protect the area, but he thinks he owns the area.

I'll see you down on the river...
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