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Thread: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

  1. #1

    Default Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    I been searching for a trout stream in soutwest Michigan within a days trip form Chicago to target rainbows and browns on a 4 weight. I have heard the Dowagiac is a good choice for this task. Does anyone have recommendations on quality trout streams in southwest Michigan?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Monroe, Michigan
    Posts
    2,584

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    Pick up a copy of Trout Streams of Michigan, there are several good streams listed for the area.

    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Middle, Tennessee
    Posts
    872

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    Chicagojohn,

    Check this out, just point and click DNR - Maps for Inland Trout and Salmon Fishing
    Popperfly >-<(((((*>

    Born to Fish...Forced to Work !

  4. #4

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    The Dowagiac is the best known, and probably the most credible. Supposedly, the Paw Paw and its tributaries have some trout, but I have not been impressed by my findings. I live here and I travel to do my fishing. You'd be much better off driving another 2-3 hours and get up around the Rogue, Muskegon, Manistee, PM, etc. There are a few other streams that are discussed in the Bedford and Linseman books, but it is pretty weak in SW Michigan overall.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    Quote Originally Posted by ddombos2 View Post
    The Dowagiac is the best known, and probably the most credible. Supposedly, the Paw Paw and its tributaries have some trout, but I have not been impressed by my findings. I live here and I travel to do my fishing. You'd be much better off driving another 2-3 hours and get up around the Rogue, Muskegon, Manistee, PM, etc. There are a few other streams that are discussed in the Bedford and Linseman books, but it is pretty weak in SW Michigan overall.
    Agreed on all fronts from my limited experience but I have tried these. My problem is that while wadable, the PM can be darn hard to fish from shore and crossing it can be a problem some times. The Muskegon and Manistee are too big for me.

    I like the Dowagiac River quite a bit but it's a tricky stream and a challenging one. Don't fish it when it flows above 400 without a staff and once it gets much over that it's too dangerous for me.

    Push North if you want to fish Michigan. I have some of the Michigan books that I read as well as the Gazeteer. It's a blast to explore that's for sure.

    Cheers,
    Mike.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    Quote Originally Posted by chi flyfisher View Post
    Agreed on all fronts from my limited experience but I have tried these. My problem is that while wadable, the PM can be darn hard to fish from shore and crossing it can be a problem some times. The Muskegon and Manistee are too big for me.

    I like the Dowagiac River quite a bit but it's a tricky stream and a challenging one. Don't fish it when it flows above 400 without a staff and once it gets much over that it's too dangerous for me.

    Push North if you want to fish Michigan. I have some of the Michigan books that I read as well as the Gazeteer. It's a blast to explore that's for sure.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Yep, we're on the same page here.

    John,

    When you are talking about the Dowagiac, there is a Dowagiac Creek and a Dowagiac River. The creek (above the rough fish barrier) is supposedly the better of the two. I've scouted it and saw fish, but I have never fished it.

    DeLorme's Gazeteer is in the map pocket of all my vehicles. Walmarts in this area carry another Gazeteer that breaks Michigan into two books, North and South. I've glanced at it, and it appears to be at a larger scale than the DeLorme book. I don't know that it necessarily has any more useful detail. It might have some additional boat launches shown on the rivers....emphasis on might. Its worth a look.

    The Bedford and Linsenman books are great to have as well. The Bedford book is more helpful in terms of non-trout species, but I find he is more enthusiastic about some fisheries than me (and many local anglers).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    Thanks for the info. It's difficult to find nice trout streams within a days trip of Chicago where you can drive, fish, and return home. I'll do some research on the books you mentioned and hopefully get out and do some fishing when temperatures warm up a bit.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    A have a good friend from college who lives in Channahon, so he's in the same boat as you. Most good trout fishing is not a day trip for him. He takes alot of 2-3 day trips up to the Ausable and meets me there, but I think that is about 5 hours from him. Definitely not a day trip with 10 hours driving included. I feel your pain, Im stuck in NE Ohio. I drive 2 hours to PA to chase my trout most of the time. Ausable is about 6 hours from me so it is at least a 3 day weekend trip.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    2 hours isn't that bad. 6 would be alot rougher. The drive I am making this summer to NL, Canada is 30+. I guess I take for granted the fishing we have here. I can go 20 minutes to 2 hours in any direction and find just about any species of fish I want to catch.

    Also, don't overlook less popular "known" Trout waters. The big named waters often have alot of traffic and can be over-rated at times.
    James Pryal
    Into The Wild Fly Fishing

  10. Default Re: Southwest Michigan Trout Streams

    Have you tried Southwest Wisconsin? I hear there are some good streams there. I live in Northwest Indiana. My river of choice is the Pere Marquette. I can get there in about 3 hours. I'm hearing there are a couple of hidden nugget spots here in my area as well I'm going to explore this summer.

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