My home waters of Michigan are a wild Trout, Atlantic and Pacific Salmon and Steelhead Mecca! Nowhere in my lifetime have I traveled and seen the incredible diversity and complexity of waters this amazing freshwater dynasty of the Great Lakes has to offer. From tens of thousands of miles of wild trout streams and rivers, inland glacially cut lakes with Atlantic salmon and wild lake-run browns, and the state bordering on four Great Lakes, one can spend several lifetimes exploring all the opportunities to be had here for every facet of fly fishing possible.
My home waters are the Muskegon River tailwater. It is one of the most beautiful and stunning rivers in the Great Lakes. It is a long tailwater system below several Hydro-dams and reservoirs. It fishes very much like the Delaware in the Catskills and the Missouri out in Montana for its selective trout. Or for swinging for steelhead, it has beautiful swinging water like some of the iconic West Coast Rivers in Washington and Oregon. Its waters are impeccably clean and clear with predominately 90% of perfect sized gravel and boulders along with steep cliffs and river bend banks. Its waters are so clean that Perrier/Nestle have a bottling facility in its headwaters. Its extremely abundant food life and alkaline leaning waters harbor some of the most dense and fertile food sources for trout salmon and steelhead to grow big and healthy on year-round. With a new relationship and understanding with Consumers Energy that operates the hydro dam facilities, we except to see better flow managements and higher water quality temperatures that will even further increase the massive productivity of trout, salmon and steelhead the river already possesses.
In this “century circle” of 100 mile radius of iconic rivers and streams lies historic wild brown, brook and rainbow trout waters; wild steelhead and Pacific salmon rivers and an amazing Atlantic salmon fishery that is growing in strength each year in the glacially-cut inland lakes and Lake Huron. Rivers like the Rogue River, White River, Pere Marquette, St Joseph and its smaller tributaries, Manistee, Platte and others too numerous to mention and give the fly angler a multitude of options. Fishing these waters with a power drifter jet boat, floatable or simply wading in the is the way to go.
In addition to the iconic rivers, there are beautiful tiny spring creeks in the Huron National Forest in my backyard that flow cold year-round and harbor wild trout and salmon for those liking to fish tiny creeks and wild trout.
THE TROUT WATERS OF LEGENDS Doug Swisher and Carl Richards penned one of the most ground-breaking books ever written in trout fishing- “Selective Trout”. This modern way to match the hatch for trout and fly designs was written on my home waters of the Rouge, White, Muskegon, Pere Marquette and Au Sable. Ernest Schweibert, Robert Linsenman, Jim Harrison, John Voelker and Ernest Hemingway all wrote about the trout waters of Michigan.