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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 10-02-2013, 01:24 PM
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Default Shoot me some numbers!

Just got my license for this weekend, going to fish Manistee and Pere Marquette, and I would like to tie up some buggers. I have heard buggers are doing good up there but no mention of sizes. Whadday guys think?

Oh, and for you guys that actually know what sizes are best, whaddaya know?

I've never fished salmon before so be gentle.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Shoot me some numbers!

Fishing the Manistee you will be below Tippy dam-that spot can be messy.
I prefer High Bridge and walk down along the river until I find a spot I can wade into. If the water is high it can be hard to stand in water waist deep. I have not seen it nor have I read about it right now. Michigan-Sportsman.com will have up to date reports. be careful the flat sandy bottom looks inviting. Also watch out for 20lb salmon flying out of the water.
The PM (pere Marquette) has great water all over. Head to the town of Baldwin. there is a Orvis shop there called the PM lodge (pmlodge.com)-they have rooms and a full service shop and guides, there's also Baldwin Bait and Tackle-good guys there.
You can hit the areas called Green Cottage The Cabins, Gleason's Landing-on the PM those are nice trout waters and Steelhead waters. I have never targeted salmon on the PM. I am not sure in the Steel is on the way in yet-usually a little later in the year. If it were me I'd hit the undercut banks for trout with streamers and order salmon at the local eatery

You can also go to the Betsie River in a town called Thompsonville. Between Thompsonville and Frankfurt there's great salmon water. Pretty narrow water with deep pockets and holes for big fish.

So, good luck. This is the time of year where people can get serious about their spots. So add a little booze and it can become festive. Isolated but festive. The area CO's are fine as long as you are legal-but they are spread thin in that area. Best bet is that if you see something illegal then call the RAP hotline. They will show up.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Shoot me some numbers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishmich View Post
Fishing the Manistee you will be below Tippy dam-that spot can be messy.
I prefer High Bridge and walk down along the river until I find a spot I can wade into. If the water is high it can be hard to stand in water waist deep. I have not seen it nor have I read about it right now. Michigan-Sportsman.com will have up to date reports. be careful the flat sandy bottom looks inviting. Also watch out for 20lb salmon flying out of the water.
The PM (pere Marquette) has great water all over. Head to the town of Baldwin. there is a Orvis shop there called the PM lodge (pmlodge.com)-they have rooms and a full service shop and guides, there's also Baldwin Bait and Tackle-good guys there.
You can hit the areas called Green Cottage The Cabins, Gleason's Landing-on the PM those are nice trout waters and Steelhead waters. I have never targeted salmon on the PM. I am not sure in the Steel is on the way in yet-usually a little later in the year. If it were me I'd hit the undercut banks for trout with streamers and order salmon at the local eatery

You can also go to the Betsie River in a town called Thompsonville. Between Thompsonville and Frankfurt there's great salmon water. Pretty narrow water with deep pockets and holes for big fish.

So, good luck. This is the time of year where people can get serious about their spots. So add a little booze and it can become festive. Isolated but festive. The area CO's are fine as long as you are legal-but they are spread thin in that area. Best bet is that if you see something illegal then call the RAP hotline. They will show up.
I have been seeing lots of reports of steelhead showing up now in the Manistee and the Kings are hot and heavy in both Pere Marquette and the Manistee. Are there less people in the Pere Marquette and the Betsie? I like catching fish but too many people are a drag.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Shoot me some numbers!

Bro, This time of year? There's people everywhere up there.


Check the regs too. Some sections are closed like the feeder streams etc.

I like the PM but parts or time of the year are catch and release only. Check the regs with the local fly shops spend a few bucks and they will help you find a few spots where you will have less pressure. Hire them out and you can drift through it.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Shoot me some numbers!

Hi
Just returned for a trip below Tippy Dam with a guide. He put us in a place where wading was not accessible. The river was full of salmon and a few steel head close to the dam. I had 20 hook ups and landed a nice hen. We were chuck and duckin eggs with hairs ear nymphs and caddis nymphs. Great trip except for my hands, arm and belly (from the butt of the rod) hurting.
Thanks and have a great day
Paul M
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Shoot me some numbers!

Last year was my first year heading up to the PM and it was a great time. We went in the middle of Oct. which was near the end of the salmon run but there was still plenty of fish there. We fished the fly fish only section near the Green Cabin and the pressure was not too bad. Get there early enough and could easily find a spot. We had 4 guys and fished next to each other the entire time with no problem. We did hit up the Manistee below Big Tippy and that was a mistake. Combat fishing at its best with some serious moving water.

Not sure on bugger sizes, but i would assume size 6 and 8 should work fine. Also get some single egg patterns. We had a good time switching to our 5wt.'s and fishing behind the reds for Browns and smaller Steelhead.
The fly below is called the Steelhead Hammer and was my go to fly last year.
Click the image to open in full size.
That fly pattern caught this beast
Click the image to open in full size.

Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Shoot me some numbers!

If you can find unmolested fish, I'd suggest fishing a rather small fly, something around a size 8, maybe even a 10. If the fish have been pretty much worked over, you may have better luck fishing a larger fly, something as long as 3 ". The larger flies tend to aggravate the fish more, and if they area already edgy, you might have better luck.

Black is always a good color, but sometimes bright colors, i.e. purple or pink will aggravate the fish into slashing out.

Have fun, you shouldn't have any trouble finding some fish.

p.s. IF you have the inclination, try to spend some time targeting trout. I personally prefer fishing for trout, after a while, catching salmon gets to be too much like work. The trout fishing can be exceptional this time of year.
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