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  1. #1

    Default Betsie River Trip

    I took a trip to Northwest Lower Michigan for the holiday weekend. Reached there on Wednesday night and missed the late November warm-up by just a day. On the night of my arrival, the temperature started to drop. It was a very cold three days, which had me wishing that I packed more base layers and a heavy winter parka.

    The fishing was good. Spent maybe eight hours at the river each day. I swung a little and nymphed both with and without indicators. I hooked up once on the swing. That fish didnít stay hooked, tried to pull me into the wood and I zigged when I probably should have zagged.

    I also rolled beads and Hex nymphs at them. Both produced equally well. Seven fish landed, largest was about 12lb. Also, there were a number hooked that got off, broke the tippet or spit the hook. Even with the water being off colored and blown out, it seemed like the bigger fish were reserved when it came to tippet sizes. Tippet sizes like 4x fluorocarbon got a few lunkers on, 2x took some smaller fish, but up from that and there didnít seem to be any interest.

    Before embarking on this trip, I planned to spread out and fish the Pere Marquette and maybe the Manistee too, but ended up at the Betsie every day. It looked like the fish were swimming right in from Lake Michigan. They were very chrome, so I didnít want to change spots.

    The weather really got nasty Saturday night. Everything was covered in a sheet of ice under a layer of snow on Sunday morning. I didn't look at the Betsie before leaving but most likely it is blown out now. It was already very high the days before the storm. When headed southbound I noticed the other rivers that cross with 31 to be flooded.

    Kind of wish I took more pictures. Only pulled my camera out this one time while there:

    1.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Have any photos of the river, always like to see the rivers...….

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Thanks for the report, and nice fish in the pic. Water levels have kept off the water, things just seem to settle down and then we more rain and/or snow. Im hoping maybe next week and I can get up to my favorite river.
    Mike.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Hudsonville, Michigan
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    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Very Nice Fish, the Betsie is a very pretty river!

    Denny

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Ard, you are not going to like this video of Betsie

  8. #6

    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    I looked for a river picture that I took, this is the one I found. On this particular trip, I realized when leaving that that one fish pic was the only time I took the camera out.

    2.jpg

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by thirdcoaststeelheader View Post
    I looked for a river picture that I took, this is the one I found. On this particular trip, I realized when leaving that that one fish pic was the only time I took the camera out.

    2.jpg
    looks like a beautiful section. I only drove by the Betsie once when I lived in Traverse City 35 years ago and it looked like a difficult river to fish without a boat especially for classic single hand fly fishing....

  11. #8

    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    The Betsie at the peak of the salmon run and then during steelhead season is a different experience. I find that during steelhead season the anglers on the river, be them fly fishing or float fishing, are mostly all fishing ethically. Most of the fish caught are released, people clean up after themselves, angler etiquette and decorum are good, etc. Keeping steelhead may even mildly offend some there. There is natural reproduction in the river and thus releasing fish is better for the fishing habitat.

  12. #9

    Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by thirdcoaststeelheader View Post
    The Betsie at the peak of the salmon run and then during steelhead season is a different experience. I find that during steelhead season the anglers on the river, be them fly fishing or float fishing, are mostly all fishing ethically. Most of the fish caught are released, people clean up after themselves, angler etiquette and decorum are good, etc. Keeping steelhead may even mildly offend some there. There is natural reproduction in the river and thus releasing fish is better for the fishing habitat.
    amazing how salmon seem to bring out the wort in some people....

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  14. Default Re: Betsie River Trip

    Zombie salmon and dams bring out the damned...but if they eat zombies fine but at the Manistee dam and wherever snagers can cast I've hooked steel with snag cuts...at least they are released at least those that I have caught...however, since old and need guide and boat I prefer the ambiance, admittedly somewhat elitist, the regulated Pere Marquette...where there's no combat snaging or at least when and where I go...which is after salmon for Steel...whilst the Betsie vid that was posted is disgusting that times 10 in quantity is Tipy dam on the Manistee during Zombie time. I fished it once but never again. But then there is the Grand River in Michigan which allows chumming for Steel...but there are wonderful west coast rivers and streams also ...the upper Manistee, Little Manistee, Pere Marquette, Baldwin, and the best the Pine

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