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  1. #11

    Default Re: michigan in June

    We always stay around grayling and day trip from there. Normally, an hour and a half is as far as we like to go, but that covers a lot of ground.

  2. #12

    Default Re: michigan in June

    Okay mfick, what say we work through the process so that others can learn it and help their exploring.

    1. First off, and i cannot stress this enough, buy a DeLorme Michigan Atlas and Gazetteer which you can find possibly in your local bookstores, if not once in Michigan or online. It will do wonders in helping you find little out of the way places, roads and even 2-tracks to get to them throughout federal and state land.

    2. Check out this DNR webpage: DNR - Inland Trout and Salmon Regulations and Maps which will not only direct you to rules and regulations, yet help you find general maps of Michigan Designated Trout Streams.

    3. Using the above page and centering on Grayling as our starting point, we then work around map region 30 which gives us this:
    Grayling, region 30:
    Region 31, E.:
    Region 34, S.S.E.:
    Region 33, S.S.W.:
    Region 29, W.:
    ...and I'll save you the trouble in that Region 27 due N. is sparse enough not to consider for a brief trip (though might hold some surprises I don't know about not shown on the map).

    The color codes (found in the fishing guide) translate as follows based mostly upon seasons, limits, and gear allowed:
    Lt. Blue: Water in general not considered a "designated" trout stream under specific regulations yet fall under general regulations and open year round.
    Green: Are season restricted yet open to bait, lures, fly.
    Yellow: Are season restricted, size restricted, and artificial lure and/or fly restricted.
    Red (Orange in the guide): Open all year yet size and lure and/or fly restricted.
    Blue: Open all year, size and bait/lure/fly restricted.

    Confused yet?.....It gets worse in that you need to then in the guide find each body of water based on county and it will give you the specific restrictions......Also know that limit (catch and keep) changes and so on are noted.

    However, at this point, lets simply use the maps to narrow down where to fish understanding that those restricted areas mean prime trout waters, some "Blue Ribbon" Trout streams: Michigan's Blue Ribbon Trout Streams

    That said, easy access is probably more abundant, but due to that so is the traffic and pressure.....I myself will 95% of the time due to that hit those green marked rivers off of those quality waters.

    Here is where the Delorme Atlas comes in.....

    Selecting smaller streams off of prime waters I can then look at the atlas and see what roads parallel the rivers. Very often even USFS fire trails, and roads for logging are marked on those maps, so it makes it easy to figure out spots close to the river to get in at.

    With that in mind, look at:
    1. The Blue Ribbon Trout Stream map.
    2. Consider the (going from due W. C.W. 180deg.) Manistee, Boardman, Jordan, Boyne, Sturgeon, Pigeon and AuSable systems.
    3. Look at the trout reg maps listed above, and ideally print them off to have in hand when there.
    4. At that point pick a couple spots that just call out to you (and it is GOOD that using the above maps it is still vague). I'd suggest a green colored branch off of one of those rivers, yet you might decide on one of the better bits of it.
    5. At that point I can look in my books and tell you how to get there, where you might have easy access, and some even have VERY detailed descriptions of the waters and fish to be found.....Some right down to the hole or bend, others just give you a hint to explore yourself knowing what they're connected to.

    I know you'd just kind of like to have me say "Go here, cast this fly in to this hole and post pictures". Yet frankly this is the same process I go through for myself every time I fish new water, and having not personally fished those waters myself, you might be surprised how well it works.

    Literally by using the above process I have flown over a thousand miles to a place i have never been, get in a Jeep and drive ultimately going down 2-tracks that are mapped, make a short walk from the descriptions found in my research, pick a spot, toss in a fly and wham, fish on......and it's not failed me yet.

    I refuse to simply cast every square inch of water on a river....I'm not Bass fishing.


    -To conserve and protect our sporting outdoor heritage
    ----through responsible wildlife and natural resource
    ---------stewardship, and educated ethical use.

  3. Likes pjcalla, N/A, fishers_fisherman, rockriver liked this post
  4. #13

    Default Re: michigan in June

    Quote Originally Posted by grtlksmarlin View Post
    Okay mfick, what say we work through the process so that others can learn it and help their exploring.......
    Thank you for the information. How do I find out which waters are private? I know in my home state, there is a list of "public" water and how they come to that conclusion. I saw on the "blue ribbon" link you posted, there were guidelines (streets, coordinates, etc.), but not sure if that is just the blue ribbon designation areas or actual public water.

    For example, my home state of Indiana, as long as the river was "navigable" or used for transportation way back when, it's considered public. Even the banks of the river up to the "100 year flood mark" is public.

    I'm leaving tomorrow for northern MI, and still trying to find some places to wet a line, specifically Boyne (northern branch) and Jordan Rivers. Thanks in advance.

  5. #14

    Default Re: michigan in June

    Angler Rights on Public Streams:
    On fenced or posted property or farm property, a fisherman wading or floating a navigable public stream may, without written or oral consent, enter upon property within the clearly defined banks of the stream, or without damaging farm products, walk a route as closely proximate to the clearly defined bank as possible when necessary to avoid a natural or artificial hazard or obstruction, including, but not limited to a dam, deep hole, or a fence or other exercise of ownership by the riparian owner.

    Railroad Rights-Of-Way
    Railroad rights-of-way are private property. Trespassing on railroad property, including the trestles and bridges, is a misdemeanor. Written permission must be obtained from the railroad company to be exempt from railway trespass.

    Angler Harassment Information
    Anglers in Michigan have the right to enjoy their sport free from unreasonable and deliberate interference. Michigan law prohibits individuals from obstructing or interfering with the lawful taking of aquatic species. The DNR supports fishing as a legitimate form of recreation and as a useful tool in the management of aquatic resources. Michigan Conservation Officers are committed to protecting anglers from the intentional disruption of the fishing experience. Individuals whose fishing is being obstructed should promptly report the violation to the DNR by calling a local conservation officer, the nearest DNR office, or toll free at 800-292-7800 (Report All Poaching hotline).

    Michigan Navigability Report
    Navigable streams and rivers are those capable of being used for commerce, including floating commercial logs, at seasonal high flows. The public has the right to use navigable streams. Use includes wading and fishing in navigable streams; however, the law is unclear was to whether such use also includes the right to recreationally boat on the water.

    State Test of Navigability
    Michigan common law determines navigability, although “strictly navigable streams” are rivers that also satisfy the federal commerce test for navigability. Thus, in Michigan, a river or stream is navigable if it is sufficiently wide and deep to permit use for commercial purposes.1) The test is whether a stream inherently and by its own nature is capable of being used for commerce to float vessels, boats, rafts, or logs.2)

    The navigability determination is made on a case-by-case basis and may be demonstrated where records indicate use for commercial log floating, by actually floating a number of large logs down the stream in question, or by surveying the body of water and comparing its dimensions (width, depth, rate of flow) to the reported dimensions of streams already found to be navigable.3) Even if the actual ability to float logs or allow commercial purposes is seasonal (i.e., where spring freshets occur), the public trust applies all year to that body of water.4) The public trust applies only to navigable waters, but does not attach to lakes unconnected to other waterways or to lakes with only one inlet or outlet held not to be navigable.5)

    Michigan expressly chose not to adopt a recreational boating test as its state test of navigability.6)

    Extent of Public Rights in Navigable and Non-Navigable Waters
    In Michigan, the public has the right of navigation on every stream that is navigable. Moreover, the public right of fishing is extended to all navigable waters, including on waterways having an owner of riparian land on both sides of the water.7) Such public fishing and use of the water, however, is strictly limited to the water. A fisherman must be careful not to walk on the adjacent soil of the riparian owner. One step on the bank will be a trespass, as discussed below.8)

    No court has specifically ruled on the question of whether recreational boating is a use protected by the navigation servitude. One court did note that a fisherman is quiet and unobtrusive as compared to the nuisance like behavior of recreational boaters.9) Thus, caution and consideration are needed.

    Also, the public has no right to use waters not accessible by ship, or wide and deep enough for log flotation. If there is access to a small inland dead-end lake, the public may not enter over the objection of the owner of the surrounding land.10)

    Willful trespass on private land, after receiving notice to depart, is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to 50 dollars and jail sentence up to 30 days.11)
    Confusing enough yet?

    Okay, the long and short of it is this.....Many of the lands will be marked on the Delorme Atlas Maps highlighted in yellow-green to show state and federal lands which are ALL open to the public. However, within those lands there are private properties, and to tresspass upon that land requires permission from the landowner UNLESS the waterway is navigable.

    Unfortunately, just what "navigable" means is still debated in the courts....It used to mean something like a 70' long-3' dia. log had to be able to float freely down the water. Few "navigable" streams actually meet that criteria.

    Your best bet then is to simply go to those state/fed. and leased for logging land areas, often there will be DNR/USFS offices in the area which can supply maps (and give you some good tips as to access and fishing) and let you know of any problems.

    At that point, go fishing.....If you encounter "No Tresspassing/Private Property" signs, you then need to decide to either not enter, or stay as close to the waters edge as is possible, better still in the water, realizing no matter HOW the law reads the land owners will probably tilt the rules their way.

    Frankly you'll find enough obviously public water that there is little point in bucking the land owners.....Oh sure, we all know that just around the bend is the honey hole of a lifetime, but is it really worth the hassle, more so the hassle of debating it with some gun toting redneck who doesn't give a damn about the law except how it serves him?

    This very subject no one, even the lawmakers in the state can completely agree upon....and even if they could, the land owners will still try and convince you that you are wrong.


    -To conserve and protect our sporting outdoor heritage
    ----through responsible wildlife and natural resource
    ---------stewardship, and educated ethical use.

  6. Likes pjcalla, rockriver liked this post
  7. #15

    Default Re: michigan in June

    Lots of great advice, I would also suggest the Manistee and Pine rivers near Wellston, Mi. Great fly shop in Wellston and they have rooms to stay in as well (Schmitt Fly Shop).

    "It is ourselves that we conquer, not the mountain." Sir Edmund Hillary, 1959

  8. #16

    Default Re: michigan in June

    So, how'd it go?


    -To conserve and protect our sporting outdoor heritage
    ----through responsible wildlife and natural resource
    ---------stewardship, and educated ethical use.

  9. #17

    Default Re: michigan in June

    Unfortunately, my father passed away before we could make this trip happen, but we did scatter his ashes in the upper Manistee so I get to visit him every summer.

  10. Likes mcnerney, brownbass, dennyk liked this post
  11. Default Re: michigan in June

    Quote Originally Posted by mfick View Post
    Unfortunately, my father passed away before we could make this trip happen, but we did scatter his ashes in the upper Manistee so I get to visit him every summer.
    I don't post on this site often, usually just lurk. However, I just read through this thread and am so sorry to hear your dad passed before the trip could take place. Sympathies to you and your family. That being said, scattering his ashes on the river is pretty cool. Truly a great way to honor him.
    Three Rivers Fly Fishers

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