Tributaries for Coho

RAVC

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I only know of a few well-known Lake Michigan tributaries for Salmon. My son wants to get into fishing for King Salmon and I would really like to catch a few Coho. While I do want some for taxidermy, a brilliant red Coho for example, I also want to ensure we get some fresh fish to smoke so I need to ensure they are early run.
 

jjcm

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The Platte has a strong run of coho and the Betsie has a strong run of kings. The crowds are usually a lot but the rivers are so close to each other that it seems like you might be able to target both. The runs don't necessarily coincide that way, but it's possible to find fish in both rivers somewhat around the same time. Finding that perfect fish can be a time investment.
 

RAVC

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Thank you for this. I certainly know of the Bestsie. I worked with a couple of guys that fished it frequently because they emphasize King's. I know the Platte as well but have never fished it. Both locations are a good 4h drive for me so more than a mere day trip. I think we all want that slice of paradise that directly opposes the crowds.
 

RAVC

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Let's complicate this - in an enjoyable way. What would you tell me if I now considered the UP? Please restrict your response to locations east of Route 41, or Marquette.
 

jjcm

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I would like to know more about the UP too. Going up there to pursue brook trout has been a plan long on the back burner. Steam fishing or coaster brookies like at Isle Royal. The furthest north that I have ventured for fishing is the Boyne/Petoskey area.
 

RAVC

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I think the Two-Hearted and Fox (?) rivers are good for trout but I do not know much about the UP. I know of Isle Royal because my neighbor (when I was growing up) was high up in the Boy Scouts so he was involved in their annual trip to Isle Royal. I never considered this as a destination before your comment. Since I live In Michigan I guess I need to change my priorities!
 

srock

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We are not supposed to mention most UP streams by name, and I am more familiar with Western UP streams. However, one eastern UP stream that should be worth the effort is a Lake Huron Trib, just north of St. Ignace that has a campground on it. I have fished it for steelhead with good luck, but know that it hosts pinks and probably some cohos. Timing is very important for streams like this. A further hint is that this river is named after a rough fish. You may also want to consider fishing the Canadian side of the Soo since Canada is open again, I think for those vaccinated. Many options here for all types of salmonoids. Good luck
 

RAVC

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srock - Thanks for the notice. I was unaware I crossed a line and will make the effort to ensure this is my only example.

I'll refrain from this type of inquiry in the future. I did not realize I was venturing into an undesirable description with my wording because I suspected other factors such as access locations, known productive fishing holes, etc., were not involved. I'll work with more general terminology if I pose questions like this in the future.
 

bonefish41

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Gentlemen: It was my understanding that hot spotting "guidelines" do not pertain to merely naming the river.; certainly not Michigan rivers identified by the DNR. I've been checking the Michigan DNR for 50 plus years and they name most of them, maps, fish, natural designation eg UP Fox and Two Heart, access points ..surely the suggested naming guideline does not apply to rivers in the Michigan DNR public domain...as for un-named, esoteric tribs of named rivers that's a different issue...as to whether or not a Michigan river is with salmon simple check of Michigan's stocking info will provide the answer.
 

jjcm

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I sometimes discuss well known Michigan rivers and mention them by name. Rivers like the Pere Marquette, the Au Sable, and the Manistee are not secrets. There is so much MDNR information on them, guide service and lodge fishing reports, maps, directions, etc. When mentioning these rivers by name, I rarely divulge specific spots. If I do, I try to be subtle. Those who know know.

I do like what the famous rivers create. Towns like Grayling and Baldwin are cool places to be. These places, and maybe I am forgetting some others, are Michigan towns with good fly-fishing culture. It requires enough people enjoying the same place to create this vibe. A river having many friends has both positives and negatives.

I fish other places too. There are smallish brookie waters I know of; I will probably never utter a peep about them to another soul. There are also a few lesser-known hex waters, I fish them a few nights a year, it is enjoyable being the only headlamp on that stretch of river; the fish are not always as big as elsewhere, but nonetheless, I will keep these locations to myself.

I apologize if I offended anyone by mentioning Isle Royal. It might not be as famous a spot as some others, still, it is a well-known destination. I decided to take a trip and explore the Western UP this summer. I caught many brook trout at an undisclosed location. Haven't made it to the Isle yet.
 
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srock

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I struggle with the no name rule as well. It applies mainly to UP streams, not LP. From what I can tell, some make the chase that the delicate nature of the fishery of some UP streams makes them vulnerable to overfishing and harvest. I have fished this area for about 30 years and can say that it seems more active, but overall, the density of other anglers is still low. It is a rugged area that does not lend itself to casual anglers. Success rates can also vary tremendously. Most UP fish (trout) are smaller and grow slower than LP trout. Most of these streams depend a lot on rain rather than springs. The main LP streams like the Pere Marquette, Aux Sable, Manistee, etc are openly talked about, no problem. Timing on UP streams is very important. Generally, September is a low water period and fishing can be tough, especially for salmon. The best times are usually after a good rainfall when the fish can migrate upstream. If you do your research and put in your time you will catch fish and have a great experience in the UP.
 
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