Hi, I'm Fly Girl. I received a Cortland rod and reel last summer as a gift and haven't put it down since. I'm in an area of Central Michigan that doesn't have much to offer in the way of troutstreams. I have been doing some fishing in the Gladwin area in the Cedar River. Just found out the Cedar is having big e-coli problems, so that's done for a while. Is there anywhere else in the Central Michigan area that might offer some trout? I love the AuSable, but don't always have an hour to spare just to get there. Any conversation is welcome!
Welcome to the forum. Always nice to have another lady posting.
I wish I only had to drive an hour to fish a river like the Au Sable. NE of Gladwin is the Rifle and the Au Gres rivers. The Rifle has Steelhead in the spring. To the East is the Little Manistee, the Manistee, and the Pere Marquette. The rivers to the East may be about as far as the Au Sable.
Sorry to hear the Cedar is having problems. Is it possible that you can get above the area where the e-coli is entering the river?
Welcome to the group! The guru I worked with at a fly shop way down in San Antonio grew up in Michigan and raved about the Manistee and little Manistee. From what I've heard, I'd say they're worth a little drive.
Thanks for the kind words Frank and Cliff! It's nice to feel so welcome! I acutally fished the Rifle River about four weeks ago. I caught a couple little browns (about 6") and that was it. On the way home, a black bear crossed the road right in front of me, making it well worth the trip! I have fished the Manistee several times this summer. The last time I got skunked. Before that I caught a nice little rainbow. There is a nice river west of Interlochen, the Platte, that I can catch little rainbows all day. They're really small though. Last year at this time, I never thought I'd ever catch a fish on the fly rod! I've come a long way.
I haven't met any other female fly fishers yet. I haven't seen ANY out on the water either! What's up with that?!
Where are you fishing and for what??
I'm currently living in the D/FW Metromess in north Texas and am relegated to fishing ponds and the one decent river within a 2 hr drive. There's plenty of lakes around with good bass fishing, but I can't get real excited about needing a $5000+ boat and all the fuss that goes along with it to get to fish. I'd MUCH rather be wading in bedrock bottomed streams or shallow salt flats to catch my fish.
I haven't seen many ladies out fishing lately, but maybe that's because they're wise enough to wait until the weather's less miserable to get their fishing in. Or maybe they're smart enough to get out while its early and cool, before I can get my arse movin.
You might want to consider buying the book: "Trout Streams of Michigan". I can highly recommend this book. It shows the streams and rivers in Michigan. It also gives access points and parking along their route. I think it would be a big help to you finding new water. It is in it's second edition so it seems to be popular.
Just got back from a week fishing the Pere Marquette and the Baldwin River around Baldwin Michigan and then several days on the Au Sable. You are right in the middle of some of the best trout fishing certainly in the mid-west and, arguably, the United States. And, by the way, I am seeing more and more ladies (my wife and daughter have begun fly fishing in the past year) on the streams and some of them are VERY, VERY good with a fly rod.
And, Frank, the "Trout Streams of Michigan" is an excellent resource for those who want quality info (access, fishability, eateries, flies, hatches, etc.) on streams we don't know very well.
Well you fished all that great water and no fish report. Fill us in on how the fishing went. Did you get any pictures?
I spent a winter and summer around Grayling in the 60's and my wife and I really liked the area. When we made the decision to stop traveling we thought real hard about Michigan. I finally decided if we were going to have snow and cold in the winter we may as well move to Alaska. That was the best decision I ever made.
I'm a modest man, so I don't want to brag about the number of fish I caught and it would be plain embarrassing to show the picture of ALL the monster trout I caught. Right!
Actually, I did take some pictures that I will post when I figure out how to get them up. The fishing was 'technical.' In other words, the streams were a bit on the low side and VERY clear and there were 400,000 people fishing morning noon and night - at least for the first couple of days. We fished the Pere Marquette and Baldwin River over Labor Day weekend and it was pretty crowded with fisher(persons) and especially canoes/kayaks. Salmon were just beginning to move into the PM - we saw a couple and one guy caught a couple while we were there but we didn't move any. By the tuesday after Labor Day when we (my wife, daughter and son-in-law, all fly fishers) had moved north to Grayling, the crowds were down but this water gets fished hard. But, frankly, though I am no expert by a long shot, I really like to fish 'technical water.' Longer tippets, more cautious approaches, careful casting. I makes me appreciate things and not rush through things quite so much. There's a lot of things I want to rush through, but NOT time on quality water!
As far as fish caught goes, we caught 'enough.' I caught fish every day and several a day or two. I even managed a number of firsts for me as a fly fisherman. I caught my first brook trout ever on my first day and several through the rest of the week. I caught an "Au Sable Hat Trick" while there which is at least one each of rainbow, brownie and brook trout. On my last day on the water, I had fished for about 2 hours and hadn't moved a fish. Then, on two successive casts using a 'hopper/dropper' rig, I hooked and landed 2 brookies. I figured, "Thank you God for your bounty!" and walked back to the truck.
Anyway, caught several fish, nothing bigger than 12" - though I saw some bigger than that. Best vacation I've had in years. Oh, yeah. There's a picture of one of the brookies (about 8") on my profile page.
I LOVE fly fishing Michigan. Stayed a couple of days at Rusty Gate's Au Sable Lodge and they took good care of us. Beautiful location, great food and about 30' from the au Sable! Oh, yeah. I'll be back next year.