Chasing Kings, Pere Marquette and Betsy last week 9/10-9/11

burk48237

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Well, one thing is for sure, things are late this year. We started out at a mid-river access on the Pere Marquette. I've always noticed that early run trips for Kings on the PM is a crap shoot on foot. The river is so much longer then any of other streams that fish can really be hit or miss. One hole may be loaded and then three miles of river don't have a fish. Well, we picked those 3 miles. :D Covered a lot of water, saw one Salmon and beast of a Brown Trout on one run, no eats. I hadn't fished this stretch in about ten years and I forgot how few crossings their were, I definitely won't fish it again for Salmon unless I'm floating. Speaking of which we ran into one of the best guides on the river, a real vet who knows the water, he had put one fish in the boat. It confirmed my conclusions. I decided to fight the crowds on the Betsy tomorrow, smaller river, the fish are more concentrated.

Well we arrived at the Betsy parking lot about 45 minutes before Sunrise. The Parking lot was already full, not a good sign. I know this stretch well I was confident we could get a spot, just not sure how many fish were around. As we were walking in I saw a center pinner fighting a fish on choice #1. Went a couple of bends upstream to a little nothing dip I knew would hold some fish and it was open. I rigged a Hex nymph under and indicator. Second drift a nice male grabed it and headed down stream fought it for few minutes and it broke me off on a log jam. Fresh kings are tough. I ended up hooking 4-5 more that all ran upstream and messed me up in timber. Then I had a mint Silver male grab the nymph and head for Lake MI. My first instinct was it was foul hooked because it took off so fast it was burning my fingers on the rim of my Bougle. I took flight to downstream and realized it was a head shaker. It then leaped a couple of times and decided to swim under a tree crossing the entire river. I was able to free spool to thread my rig under the tree and continue the fight. The fish did this three times, and then about ten minutes of tug of war in the hole I was able to bring it to the net. Fresh Silver are really under appreciated as game fish in MI, these guys pull. And they are certainly worth fighting crowds for a couple of days.
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dennyk

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Congratulations! Those fresh Kings pull like freight trains! PM and the Betsie are both pretty popular rivers. Not as bad as Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee.

Denny
 

Davitticus Maximus

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Glad to see that you landed yourself a nice King! Things are going slow here in New York due to low water. But I am keeping my fingers crossed that rain with happen soon and the Salmon run can get into full swing.
 

RAVC

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To think about having the instincts you possess during the heated pursuit of a locomotive trying to get back to the lake defies me. So many here are far more skilled and intuitive... Michigan rivers are challenging to fish given their log jams and frequent changes in direction but when a fish with this strength is on the line it complicates this situation tremendously. Unlike you, I am not able to summon powers akin to Michael Jordan at that times. I can only hope to get there with more practice.

Our closest encounter so far this year was on the PM but for Steelhead. My son and I saw 3 fish - presumably two females and one male on the rocks. We left them alone - not our place to interrupt this. I discussed these early Kings with Jake @ BB&T last month and the phrase he used to describe them was 'pissed off.'
 
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