Whatever the season, the Pere Marquette River and other nearby fisheries offer unique and abundant fishing opportunities.
January – February
Winter steelheading, the essence of “solitude” while we pursue the wintered-over fall steelhead on the fly. Half-day trips are most common during these moths but, weather permitting, full-day trips can be arranged. While often cold, the tug of feisty, powerful steelhead can warm you up quickly. You’ll see the river in a whole new way and appreciate its winter beauty.
March – April
Spring steelhead begin their migration while the wintered-over steelhead begin to spawn. The spring run develops and will peak in late March or early April. However there are usually fishable numbers of steelhead in the river until May. These months provide some of the most exciting fishing opportunities. The last Saturday in April is the “Trout Opener” and we begin to change our focus.
Streamer fishing for large trout at this time of year gets us out of bed everyday after a long steelhead season. Sink tip lines and large streamer patters will get these fish moving once the steelhead eggs have disappeared. Salmon fry have hatched and become a large part of a trout’s diet at this point in the season. Trout will crush a streamer out of hunger, aggression, or just its territorial instincts. By mid-May mayflies and caddis begin to hatch and dry fly opportunities begin.
This is the best trout fishing of the year! Streamers are still effective and dry fly fishing does not get any better. The much anticipated Hexagenia (Hex) hatch will begin around the third week and last for several weeks. This provides anglers with the opportunity to catch some of the year’s largest brown trout on a dry fly. Every season a few steelhead are also caught during the Hex hatch on a dry fly. Some anglers will travel the world for the chance of catching a steelhead on a dry fly.
Even though the Hex hatch begins to taper off evening fishing will still continue with various dry flies and mouse patterns. Guided trips during the evening and nighttime hours are available; fishing the evening hatch and then switching to a mouse pattern or other large surface fly after dark. Listening to a large trout strike at a mouse or large fly will leave you breathless! Daytime hopper and terrestrial fishing also begins at this time.
Daytime hopper fishing is in full swing and nighttime mousing trips are still available. By the end of the month, the hunt for large migrating king salmon begins. Early morning or evening scouting trips begin to take place in the lower river with fly gear or spinning tackle. Stick baits and spinners are effective methods of covering large amounts of water and finding aggressive “player” fish.
September – October
The king salmon run begins to fully develop and will peak the end of September to mid-October. We offer early season trips with spinning gear or streams and fly gear in the lower river areas. Once the kings have taken over the river, there are over 70 miles of fishable river to find the pods. Streamer fishing for late season brown trout at this time is also very exciting. The vibrant fall colors provide a spectacular background for photos with your catch. By late October our focus will again change; this time to fall steelhead and lake run brown trout.
November – December
During these months we are searching for the most sought after fish, fall steelhead! We deploy several techniques to catch and release thse chrome, cart-wheeling torpedoes; deep water nymphing, floating lines with strike indicators, and swinging streamers. Fall steelhead fishing has provided some of the most memorable trips of the year.
Please note: timing of migratory fish is dependent upon the weather and river conditions.