The river is still very low and clear for the time being.  We got a nice shot of rain in the upper portion of the watershed, but not as much as we hoped.  The water temps got warm over the last couple days and made the hardware biters a little “stale”.  Luckily that front moved out and cooler weather is moving in as I type.  It has been a slower then normal start to the season or later run at this point in time, but it could “pop” any day.  We have been putting all our cards in on the lower river with hardware and drifting beads….and having good days!  Nothing epic, but getting fish daily…they have to swim through there first!

Joe was up to his old tricks….one of the “OG” Salmon Campers
Robinson getting it done…of course!
Doug battled this great buck out of LOTS of wood…well done!

I have hear of some good to great middle river reports, but typical migratory fish…here today and gone tomorrow.  We will be moving up stream and getting the fly rods out soon enough, but I have been enjoying the lower river for the time being.  Spin fishing for kings is a great way to get aggressive bites and improving your landing ratio.  Drifting beads is one of our new techniques and it has been working!  14mm to 20mm beads drifted under a float or bottom bounced has had it moments.  We have been working on the bead program in an attempt to reduce harvesting wild hens on the Pere Marquette river.  It’s a naturally reproducing river/resource….we need each and every hen to spawn!!!  Please keep that in mind!

Mike had his hands full with this hot king
Ken got us on the board early on a hot tiger thunderstick.

The season is here and fully rolling.  There are not as many fish throughout the system at this point in time, but it will change.  Be patient and wait…the flood of fish will happen.  But until then, enjoy each and every hook-up.  Be humble, respectful and optimistic…that goes a long way and pays dividends in the long run.


Matt with a hot hand first thing in the morning!!!! Well done!

All our Guides are booked solid until Mid-October and at that point in time we switch over to steelhead.  I saw a steelhead (or what I thought was a steelhead) roll in the lower river today and it got the ‘juices flowing”…cold mornings, leaves falling, empty parking lots and hunting the river for chrome!  I love it.  If you have never experienced a hot chrome fall steelhead on the Pere Marquette River; give us a call 231-745-3529.  It’s our guides favorite fish to chase and the most challenging to catch.

Around Mid-October, we begin our hunt for wild fall steelhead.  Similar approach…whatever technique the customers prefers, but we will fly fish (indicator, C&D, strip streamers and swing streamers) or spin fly (spinners, plugs and bobbers with beads).  Last October was the best fall steelhead fishing we have ever seen…unbelievable!!!  We only hope it’s half as good this year.  Only time will tell, but the hunt for chrome will be here sooner then you think.  Give us a call to lock in some guide dates and/or lodging…231-745-3529.  We cater to all experience levels!

Steelhead Bag Limits

The Natural Resource Commissioners (NRC) are considering changing the regulations on steelhead bag limits.  There has been discussions at the last two monthly NRC meetings.  The NRC is considering reducing the bag limit to one fish daily limit on inland streams year round.  This would be a huge step in the right direction for protecting our amazing steelhead resource/fishery.  Especially on the Pere Marquette River where we rely 100% on natural reproduction to sustain our runs; each and every fish is valuable.  They are a gift on a cold day, they make an old man smile like a boy, the tug motivates you for “one more cast”, they get you outside when it’s nasty, plus…you never forget your first steelhead (do you remember your first bass or pike?)…and the list goes on and on!  They are an epic sport fish!!!  Each and every one is special, has value and provides an amazing angling opportunities in our inland streams.  Each fish that is released is a gift to the next angler and/or the future generation.

Please let the NRC know what YOU think and why…either way!  All feedback is important and taken into consideration.  Take a few minutes and send the NRC an e-mail ([email protected]) or attend the next meeting on September 14 in Lansing.  Voice your opinion it makes a difference!

Well, sorry for the long report….but I had to make up for some lost time.  Thanks for supporting BBT!!!  We look forward to the Fall season of 2023…see you around the shop or on the river.  Good luck out there!!!