Pere Marquette last weekend

strmanglr scott

Well-known member
Reaction score
I have never fished the PM, but I have fished the Muskegon, the Betsie, the White, and the Manistee.

Except in a few areas, which are the exception rather than the rule, I always feel like I'm fishing in someones backyard; and I've read between the lines enough to figure out that it is a very similar situation on the PM.

Not only that, but unlike other states where it is legal to walk on shore below the high-water mark, I don't believe you are allowed to leave the water when adjacent to private land. I have almost fallen in numerous times when wading and dry land was literally only a few feet away.

We are very spoiled in the west, where we can go days without even seeing infrastructure when we fish, so if it wasn't for my high school buddies who I fish with in Michigan I would be taking a pass on the entire state.

That being said, I have never fished the UP, but I have read enough Jim Harrison books to know that the robber barons have pretty much decimated the UP as well with their unregulated mining and logging back in the day.

Sadly, Michigan is just one more Paradise Lost.
Not sure I want to argue the point on the U.P., just keep thinking that. Spoiled wasteland up there :)

The law in Michigan is, you can wade a navigable stream. If you encounter an obstruction or other situation where you need to get out and walk around, you can enter private property above the high water mark. Once past the obstruction/etc you need to re-enter the water. You are not allowed to fish from shore on private property.

Know the law where ever you fish, it can settle arguments fast. Most of the time the land owner knows the law but it doesn't keep him from bullying anglers. Angler harassment is punishable by up to $500 fine.

I have every Regional DNR office phone number in my phone.


Well-known member
Reaction score
I fish the PM with a guide and a drift boat for Steelhead and Summer hatches from Browns(not 2am Hex). I fish the Little Manistee wading at least I did up to three years ago... now at 78 my wading balance aint what it used to be. The contemporary PM, beginning late August/early September to December(temp in the 30ies not 0) Kings to Steel seasons the river needs a control tower for the drift boats both guided and private definitely friday to monday...During this time frame I have seen a few wading who have walked in as opposed to those out of the boat waders who are much more. The Michigan DNR has been glassing the areas where waders typically trespass as in walking the private bank to access a particular spot...that is walking 100 or so yards not out and around a tree for example then back in...btw taking a dump on private aint proper and once my PM US Forest Service Permitted guide sought out a mid river brushy sand bar for his dump. Or you wade downstream half mile or so how you get back to your vehicle?? No cannot walk/trespass the bank without specific permission. Also you will need US Forest Service Permits to park on their's crowded and a can be done IMHO with extensive local if I was still in me youse...I would study the public sites on the Little drift boats...maybe some hardy yakers or the fall the DNR weir only traps salmon for roe lets steel pass and the river is open below Johnson bridge...the bad is the PM is closed east of 37 as is the Baldwin River which are easier to wade...closed September 30 to April 1.
An understanding of the contemporary Michigan stream regulations and seasons require an attorney skilled in handling a multi-million dollar tax fraud case or billion dollar Chapter 11 Bankruptcy...not the one who got your son or daughter off in a DUI or Puff the Magic Dragon...:)