Michigan Fly Fishing

Nymphs and Streamers

New Manistee River Trout fishing report has just been updated.  Nymphs and Streamers are on the menu.  As low angling pressure and beautiful fall colors, make for a great day on the water.

Brown trout have start to spawn, so please let them be if you come across an active spawning bed.  Let them spawn so we have a future fishery.  Thank you.

2015 Garden River Fly Fishing Recap



Garden River Recap 2015


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Garden River fly fishing for King and Pink salmon in Sault St Marie, Canada is some of the best in the Midwest Region. Garden River fly Fishing for Salmon on the  First Nation is the best in the Midwest. Why? Privacy is the reason. We fish very close to the mouth of the Garden River on First Nation lands giving us first shot at King, Pink and Coho salmon and steelhead all on private property. Due to the proximity to the St Mary’s River the fish are fresh and much more likely to take a fly. The lack of any fishing pressure adds to that success!

 

 

In 2015 the season looked to be dismal at best. When I arrived in Sault St Marie my native friends told me there were no fish at my two favorite beats. This was unheard of in the 16 years past. So needing fish by Saturday, Thursday I went to the public part of the river, right below the falls, Eleven Mile. There I found enough pinks to catch fish on Saturday with the family trip I was running. Friday we spent the day checking the river on the native lands. We found enough fish up at high in the reserve on private land to keep going. Saturday we started our Garden River guided fly fishing trips.

 

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As the days went on Pinks and kings constantly dribbled in almost every day. Fly fishing for salmon was pretty good, not stellar but definitely good enough as clients continued to rebook their spots for next year. It was interesting to see fish moving upstream very late and in very low water.

 

Rain was hard to come by on the Garden River this year. We had only one decent rain mostly just beautiful warm blue bird days. The one rain event we had was the night before the kids trip on Sept 19th. That moved fish! We had a push of pinks and kings and hooked 11 steelhead in two days.

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The last three groups saw change every day. The fish moving up river were constant, small in numbers but we saw them every day. They would immediately start to spawn ,creating new gravel fishing opportunities. The best situation you could find was a hen working gravel that attracted the traveling males. You could get a few shots at them and if successful the fights ere epic.

 

The late run and the low water made the streamer fly fishing for king and pink salmon slow this year. They just weren’t spending much time in the pools. We did get a couple of really good king salmon but not the numbers we normally get.

 

Though a little more difficult than usual the Garden River produced good fly fishing for king and pink salmon and at times for steelhead.

 

We have limited availability for 2016, right now I have two spots on Sept 14-16, two spots on Sept 21-23, and two spots on Sept 28-30. Thes dates are subject to change.  If interested contact me at chuck@hawkinsflyfishing.com.

 

Tight lines,

 

Hawk

 

DNR Question and Answer – Lake Michigan

8 Hot Topics about Lake Michigan and the Chinook salmon.  The DNR answers some of the latest questions.  Why are Chinook populations so low, down 75% in Lake Michigan?

DNR Link 

 

 

Autumn opportunities in Northern Michigan

New Boardman River Report just posted.  Still some time before the season closes 0n the Upper Boardman, get in on some great brooke trout fishing and have the river all to yourself!

-New report just posted for below Tippy Dam on the Lower Manistee River.  Kings are in the Lower Manistee, PM, and Betsie Rivers.  Get in on some epic streamer fishing for Migratory beasts!

DEQ confirms two new invasive species

The DEQ has announced that it has found two new invasive species in Michigan rivers. The Pere Marquette River near Ludington has New Zealand mud snails and the St Mary’s river has didymo. Read the announcement here. Both of these species are very harmful  to our rivers and the fish we pursue.

To stop further spread of these invaders wash all of your equipment thoroughly, including your warders, boots and boats after getting out of the water is mandatory. We all fish multiple rivers, we need to be vigilant to keep the remaining waterways free of these pests. Here is an article expelling how to clean your waders.

If we want to continue to have some the best fishing in the United States we are going to have to stay on this. Please tell your friends and fellow fishermen about this problem and be part of the solution!

Hawk

 

 

Manistee River Trout Fishing, Night Fishing, Mousing, Midnight Creeper, Frogs

Transitioning to Fall!

Manistee River Trout Fishing, Night Fishing, Mousing, Frog, Midnight Creeper

Check out the latest Manistee River Trout Fishing Report here! The night bite continues to be productive and the hopper fishing is providing some good fishing as well.  Fall is on its way and if you want some quiet fishing without the crowds give us a call to get a way!  (231) 228-7135.

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Hoppers and Poppers – Bass & Trout Reports

  • Smallmouth & Pike along the Manistee continue to chew on different types of baitfish patterns.  New report is up.  Salmon continue to trickle in, hunting them with big streamers is the only way right now.  As numbers are low.  But to escape the crowds plenty of open smallmouth water still to play around in.
  • Pere Marquette trout are looking up for ants, beetles, and hoppers.  But with the rain this past week the small streamer bit picked back up as well.
  • Other Water still has some great smallmouth fishing as well.  With the high salmon pressure building we continue to explore new sections to fish.  The other water will fish well into Sept.  Give us a shout if you want to see less pressure.  231-228-7135

Nomad Anglers Grand Opening

Nomad Anglers is having a Grand Opening at their new store at 158 North Adams Road, Rochester Hills starting at 10:00 am. Chuck Hawkins will be there from 10 to 2:00 conducting fly tying demos. Stop by and say hi, have a beverage and check out the new store!
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Happy Fourth of July!

american_hexHave a happy and safe Fourth of July everyone!

Bugs are hatching and spinning all over. We have a few boats available next week, give us a call for the best dry fly fishing of the year. 231-228-7135

DNR changes tackle regs to reduce snagging

Hawkins Outfitters applauds the DNR for taking action to reduce snagging. Read below for more information. – http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1222098#.VYxoHOuFldV

Hawk

In an effort to crack down on illegal fish snagging, the Natural Resources Commission approved new fishing gear regulations this year for certain rivers in the state.

The Department of Natural Resources says snagging has become an increasingly big problem in Michigan.

According to the DNR, “From August 1 through November 15, inclusive, terminal fishing gear is restricted to single-pointed, un-weighted hooks, measuring a half –inch or less from point to shank or treble hooks measuring three-eighths of an inch or less from point to shank only when attached to an artificial lure.”

The DNR defines an artificial lure as a body bait, plug, spinner or spoon, on certain waters.

These restrictions will only apply on the Betsie River, Bear Creek, portions of the Manistee River, and portions of the Big Sable River.

“We’ve outlawed certain techniques that make snagging easier, in favor of techniques that we know the salmon will bite,” said Mark Tonello, a DNR Fisheries Biologist.

Tonello defines snagging as trying to catch a fish by hooking it somewhere other than its mouth, rather than using legal angling techniques that involve trying to get a fish to bite the lure or bait you’re offering.

“In certain places we do see a lot of snagging,” said Tonello.  “To the point where the snaggers out number and overwhelm legal anglers.”

Tonello says that ‘snaggers’ use things like a treble hook with a piece of yarn attached to it, or a chunk of lead with two treble hooks attached in order to snag fish out of the river such as salmon.

Under these new restrictions, the snagging techniques are now illegal.  If someone is caught trying to fish using these techniques, the DNR says they could be issued a ticket.

“Now it will be easy for our officers if they come down to the river and if they see people using those techniques they can react appropriately, where as in the past they would have had to stand there until someone snagged a salmon,” said Tonello.