New Shop Hours are 8am – 6pm Daily
We are hosting our annual Fall River Clean-Up this Saturday (October 22). Please help us keep the Pere Marquette River pristine! Every little bit helps, if we all do our part. We will be meeting at the shop at 8am to set up teams/beats, grab trash bags and organize the shuttles. Please feel free to bring yourself, family, friends, a boat…it usually works out that volunteers without boats get rides and boat owners get empty seats filled. Please reach out to the shop if you are planning on attending (231-745-3529) and joining us for dinner afterwards. The shop will cover your vehicle being shuttled and dinner is on us to show our appreciation! We hope you can join us…it’s forecasted to be a beautiful day!!!
We are switching gears after an absolutely huge salmon run. It is time to “turn the page” and begin the next chapter. It was a fun king season with very few lows and LOTS of highs! There are still some fresh ones around if you are looking for a fix. However, the guides are all “salmoned-out” and are on the hunt for steelhead! We have had a cold & wet weather system parked on us for the last week. Today is the end of it, but the rain was welcomed and very timely. It pumped up the river level; flushing out the old and bringing in the new. Washing out lots and lots of salmon eggs too! We needed it and is setting us up for a great fall steelhead season!
I have taken a few days off to re-tool my gear and boat, but back at it tomorrow! We are filling dates for steelhead trips daily, but still have plenty of availability in guide boats and at the Motel…give us a call to make reservations (231-745-3529). My personal open dates currently are – October 27, 29 – 31 and November 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 – 10, 13, 14, 17, 21, 23, 26 – 30. I am very excited for the way this fall is developing and looking forward to getting some fishing in myself when not guiding! I love this time of year!!!
We will be deploying several different techniques to target steelhead. Fly fishing (C&D, switch rods with floats, streamers…both stripped and swung) and Spin fishing (tossing hardware and drifting beads under floats)…we do it all! Most days we bounce between a couple different styles to see what’s working best. If you are NOT a fly fisherman…NO problem! If you prefer NOT to spin fish…NO problem! When booking a trip just communicate your preferred approach with the shop, so the guide will be prepared in the morning. Or take the guides advice…we have our finger on the pulse and will be out there daily.
The river is colored up nicely right now and the level is starting to drop. Tea color in the upper sections and coffee in the lower reaches…at the moment. It will clear and drop over the next couple days. Please be mindful of the regulation on the Pere Marquette…Everything up-stream of M-37 and the Baldwin River are closed until the last Saturday in April, from M-37 to Gleason’s Landing is “Flies Only/Catch & Release” (NO BEADS WHAT SO EVER), from Gleason’s Landing to Lake Michigan is open to all legal techniques (bait, hardware, beads and flies). We have been doing some bead fishing a little more and sell beads in the shop; but trying to educate/communicate where they can be fished.
The egg bite should remain strong for the next couple weeks. Light oranges, clowns, rag eggs in pale/washed out colors will be my go to patterns. Try matching the egg pattern or bead size to water levels and clarity…higher/dirtier water bigger fly and/or bead. Size #8 – 12 in egg patterns and 12mm – 8mm beads. The streamer action should start picking up for both steelhead and browns once the eggs become less abundant. Flashy stripped and swung patterns will get the attention of steelhead and browns, but more natural colors if you are just targeting browns.
There has been a very steady stream of coho’s swimming up the river over the last week too. They are an awesome fish and beautiful in their spawning colors. They take a streamer great and crush lures. I wish we had more, but thankful for the one we do have. I am always happy to slip one into the net.
That’s enough rambling…I am excited. Like I said earlier, we had an epic king run! Thank you to everyone that booked a float trip with our guides, stayed at our Motel, shopped in the store! It was extremely busy for the guides, shop employees and house-keepers. A huge THANK YOU from each and everyone of us! We love calling Baldwin home and making a living here on the amazing Wild and Scenic Pere Marquette River. Here are a couple remaining photos from the last few salmon trips…
Gotta run and start getting ready for upcoming trips. I hope to see you on the river and/or around the shop. Fall and winter steelhead fishing is rewarding, challenging and humbling…sometimes you can experience all three emotions several times a day! Come check it out and enjoy our amazing resource. It’s a great time to live in Michigan!!! Good luck out there!