Ludington, Michigan Ludington, Michigan Ludington, Michigan Ludington, Michigan Ludington, Michigan



Very sorry about the lapse in reports folks! We were experiencing technical difficulties for a bit there but we’re back online. As you’ve probably heard by now, the kings are in! Not in huge numbers yet but almost every stretch of river on the PM is holding fishable amounts of chinook. The lower river is still seeing new pulses of fish moving through almost every morning when the conditions are right (not bright sun) and the guys casting thundersticks and floating skein down there are getting a few shots at these bruisers fresh in from Lake Michigan. And yes the rumors are true, they are running large this year!

The upper and middle sections of river have a few pools with good numbers of kings in them but they are spread out. A few fish have started to make test redds after dark and a few have been seen spawning during the day. With the cooling temps and the fact that many of these fish have been in the river for almost a month now, the spawning activity should increase rapidly within the next week or so. It won’t be long until we can sight fish to big browns eating up the loose eggs behind the spawning salmon. Utilizing small egg patterns, light fluorocarbon tippets in the 4-5x range and a good presentation, anglers will have an opportunity to target a large trout in skinny water if they know where and when to look.

Smallmouth fishing has still been holding on. The topwater bite on the warmer days has been good and the subsurface bite with intermediate lines and baitfish patterns has also been producing some hefty smallies fattening up with the feeling of fall. If you’re not into the salmon game, smallmouth are an awesome quarry and great sport on a fly rod. Definitely worth giving these guys your attention if you are craving solitude on the river right now!

We should continue to see new pushes of fish into the river as long as we receive adequate rain and the temps keep cooling. The river will become very busy here in a week or so, make sure you are kind and courteous to one another out there. The shop has been stocking up on all of your salmon season needs so stop in before you hit the river. Call ahead if you are trying to book lodging or a guide trip, things fill up fast around here during the next month. Please try to clean up any trash you see along the river, even if it isn’t your’s. This is too beautiful of a resource to neglect after so much use.

Take advantage of the “calm before the storm” so to speak. The Labor Day Weekend crowds have come and gone and the peak season salmon crowds haven’t showed up yet. It’s a great time of the year just to be on the river. The colors have already started to change on some trees, the recreational canoe/kayak traffic is at a minimum and the salmon are here! Be safe driving up and we’ll see you out there!

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972


Fishing report for September 2nd PM and September 3 rd AM

    • By Gary Smith

Fishing report for September 2nd PM and September 3 rd AM
Thank you Layne, Norm , Kirk, John, and Alan for joining us . Warm and rough water fishing was very slow and a tough bite both AM and PM trips . Fished from south of pier to bathhouse in 80 to 100 fow and in PM lake. Bites came on high diver out 70 ft with white slick 8 inch spindoctor / pickled sunshine fly, 250 copper / blue bubble spindoctors and blue bubble fly, 5 color with flounder pounder and 80 copper with copper naked jordo.


JULY 26TH, 2017

What do you do when your sleep patterns become inconsistent bits and pieces from night fishing? You update the fishing report. The neighbor’s rooster hasn’t even declared the new dawn yet, the slacker. Maybe he was out surfing foam and fur in search of trout that go gulp in the night too…

It has been quite dark in the river corridor lately. The moon has been laying low which is music to the hardcore night angler’s ears. The proverbial “dark as the inside of your hat” kind of dark on those cloudy nights. The mousin’ has been fair to good. Some nice fish have been caught by those willing to fling a fly in the midnight ink this past week. Knowing where to look and how to present the fly have been big factors in success lately. Even with those advantages, some nights have been down right tough despite the prime conditions. But, every night has been fun and an adventure. I cherish these nights: bounding down dirt roads, everybody in the truck is hitting their chins on their chests in the struggle to stay awake, only recalling the memory of the big trout they just released brings a smile to their face right before they doze off again. .

I think presentation is more critical to success than fly choice when it comes to the mouse game. Just like swinging flies for steelhead, they want it at just the right speed in the right water. Wiggling the rod-tip by just shaking your wrist from side-to-side to give the fly a swimming action has helped in certain cases. The hard downstream mend in those back eddies to give it the down and away approach has worked too. Experiment. If something isn’t working, change it. If that doesn’t work, try a new piece of water. These fish are smarter than people give them credit for. Give them the time and respect they deserve and something good will come of it.

Daytime hopper/dropper fishing has been so-so. The nymphing on the cooler streams has been productive and not as harmful to the fish especially on those hot days. Water temps during the day are still within safe ranges but be mindful. The cooler nights have been cooling the water a little as well. Smallmouth fishing is still great and should continue through the month of August. The topwater fishing for these guys with poppers and wiggle minnows has been second to none in the sun. Smallmouth aren’t affected by warmer water temperatures like trout are so remember that when and if those water temps near 70 degrees on your local trout stream, go chase smallies.

Lots of stuff happening in the shop and at the Lodge right now. A couple cabins have been re-done so consider that option if you’re in the area fishing for a couple days. Ben, Adam and Westley can show you what flies have been working or book you a room. The guides have been keeping busy thanks to all of you who have come up to wet a line with us! Don’t let summer slip by without getting your up north fix folks. Seeing a few kings swimming around with the cooler nights these past few days has reminded me that fall will be here before we know it!

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

150-200 fow northeast of Ludington harbor. Spoons, plugs, and meat rigs took fish. 7,10 color and 300 copper were best board rods. 

Captain Eric long
Long line charters 

7-19-17 Fishing Report

July 18th fishing report 

Thanks to the Wickens team for joining us today! We fished back up north of port this am but the bite was a lot tougher than yesterday. We had 8 fish on and boated 5. The water was 20 degrees warmer with very little bait. We lost a monster king on a 3 color lead core / green jeans spoon very first light. The remainder bites were 8 in netminder spindoctor / blue fairways meat rig on a low diver out 100 ft, rigger at 25 with Blue Jean spoon, 4 color leadcore / naked jordo spoon, and 5 color leadcore / orange green proking spoon.

Rodmaster Fishing Charters, L.L.C.


Fishing report July 9th
Thank you Marvin, Andy, Mike, and Adam for joining us two days in a row! 
Today boated 5 fish for 8 in some choppy seas just south of harbor in 70 to 140 fow. We had 6 hits bouncing bottom with wire divers on a chrome 8 in spindoctor with UV green whirligig, 1 hit on Dreamweaver 8 inch Two Face spindoctor and green chrome Whirlygig and caught a MASTER ANGLER king salmon on sexy shad magnum spoon down 72 feet on rigger.
Rodmaster Fishing Charters, L.L.C.
Thank you Jamison, Greg, Zach, Bob, & Manya for joining us this weekend. Too rough to fish the AM.. so we fished from 12 to 5 PM.
Again 80 to 100 fow is loaded with bait and prey fish. We managed to entice 17 bites and get 12 in the net ! Bites came on low and high divers bouncing bottom with Dreamweaver 8 inch spindoctors in chrome, twoface, and Dark green all with Whirligigs in uv lime, uv green, chrome blue dots, greasey chicken wing dodger/ orange spin n glo, 350 copper with 8 inch Dreamweaver uv fishscale spindoctor / Whirligig, Downrigger down 69 ft with Dreamweaver 3 days at sea spoon on freeslider and Downrigger bouncing bottom with 8 Inch NBK spindoctor / uv lime Whirligig.
Rod Master Fishing Charters

Fishing report for June 16
Thank you Don, Don, Russ, AJ and Matt for a memorable experience today! 
We fished slightly north today in 150 to 250 fow. Fish were finicky we had 10 bites and 6 fish. Bites came on Downrigger 40 ft down on free slider with Wonderbread dreamweaver spoon, 300 copper with Happy meal mag moonshine, 250 copper with orange / green Proking, low wire out 200 ft chrome 8 in spindoctor / UV kelly green Whirligig, low wire 240 ft with 10 in Dreamweaver Netminder spindoctor / blue fairways meat rig, Downrigger 120 ft with NBK green 8 in spindoctor / UV lime green Whirligig.
Fun fishing today .. 8 for 11 fishing North of Ludington. Bites were on 300 copper with dreamweaver 8 in two face frog glo spindoctor / yellow uv glo meatrig, 200 copper / moonshine black ice spoon, Downriggers down 90 with dreamweaver 10 in frog glo / green meatrig, wire divers at 110, 130, 140 with uv spindoctors /Squid, John King uv flasher / uv meatrig.
We now have an open boat for this Sunday. .. call or PM if you are looking for a fishing trip!
Fishing report for Sunday May 28, 2017

Fishing was good this AM North of big point Sable in 150 to 250 fow. We had 22 bites... the big kings were not hooking up well and 8 of them escaped us . However we did manage a total of 11 fish to the net .. 9 kings and 2 coho in the box!
Bites came on low divers out 100, 115, 140 , 165 ft with Dreamweaver spin-doctors. . Net-minder / blue fairways meat rig, Racer frog / green meat-rig, blue bubble / blue bubble fly, high slide diver out 67 ft / naked Jarod stinger spoon, riggers down 60 and 70 with Irish Ike sooner spoon/ water melon spoon freeslider , chicken wing spoon / beefeater free slider. 3 color leadcore with dreamweaver regular starburst spoon, 300 copper with green paddle / blue Howie fly, 10 color with flounder pounder magnum moonshine spoon, 2 color beetle spoon.
Better than expected fishing has been reported all along the Lake Michigan shoreline and Ludington is no exception. A very solid mixed bag of Lake Trout as well as some dandy Kings are coming in consistently. The best depth range everywhere seems to be from 40-100' Spoons and flasher flies and meat are working very well on the Kings.
Fishing report for 5 - 11 - 17
Fishing has greatly improved at Ludington with nice kings being caught in 49 to 60 fow. The Lake Trout fishing has been steady. Today's trip finished at 12 for 18. The kings bit on Dreamweaver Regular spoons blue dolphin and regular starburst fished on 2, 3, and 10 color leadcores. Lake trout were biting Red Stingray stinger spoon on 5 color lead core , bouncing bottom with 1lb ball and wire divers with copper dodger with green spin n glo, silver / green dodger with green spin n glo, Ito flies lake trout candy sherbert with a chrome two face SD. We fished south in 40 to 55 fow for the Lake Trout.


MAY 1ST, 2017

The days of April steelhead, chilly mornings and high water has given way to the slowed pace of May trout fishing. Hopefully everyone had a great Trout Opener and got a chance to fish some newly opened water that hasn’t seen another angler since last September. We’ve been receiving some rain that will hopefully restore some color to the river and add a little volume, especially for all you streamer junkies. Trout are being caught in a wide variety of methods from a variety of different rivers. May is a great month to be a trout fisherman in northern Michigan, especially a fly angler. Our hatches are just getting going and some of the more notable hatches the PM receives (sulphurs and gray drakes) are on our doorstep. Olive stoneflies, hendricksons and caddis on other area streams will also bring some noses up when those bugs are popping. It’s the proverbial kid in a candy store experience one finds himself in during the weeks of May not knowing what fly to tie on because of all the choices happening now and in the coming weeks.

Indicator nymphing has kept the rods bent throughout the day and is a great technique for those who are new to the sport, like my buddy Noah pictured above who graduated from our Trout School this weekend, and even for those who are well seasoned fly anglers. Small Thingamabobber’s and Thill style floats work well with just a small amount of split shot and a tiny egg or nymph pattern. Any dark pocket adjacent to any active or recently abandoned steelhead spawning gravel should hold a trout or two. Make sure you’re mending those floats enough to maintain a drag-free drift, even in those weird counter-current seams and eddies. Steelhead orange, tangerine and oregon cheese colored micro glo-bugs in sizes 12-16 have been doing a dynamite job fooling those bigger browns as well as hare’s ear nymphs and soft-hackles in similar sizes.

Streamer fishing has been good lately and really good on those cloudy/rainy days when the water is up with a stain. But even in less desirable conditions, trout can be caught on streamers all day long when using the right fly with the right presentation in the right kind of water. Top color schemes have been black/red, white/chartreuse, olive/tan, yellow, and copper. Cotton candy on the right day, especially in bigger water where stocked trout are a targeted food source for the larger predatory browns. I’ve been really impressed with the Orvis Hydros Depth Charge 300 grain, especially here on the narrow confines of the Pere Marquette where roll casting is a way of life at times. It rolls small to medium sized streamers to the bank with such ease even clients who are new to throwing streamers have commented how easily they cast. 7 and 8 weight medium to fast action rods will work those flies and throw those sink tips and have enough back bone to unglue that big brown from the bottom of the river.

Salmon fry patterns have still been fun to fish on a mini tip in some of those eddies that congregate fry along the banks that browns just can’t help but act like sharks on seals when chasing those tiny morsels. Landing a little white rabbit strip streamer with a little green flashabou back and small glue-on eyes in the 2-3″ range, giving it a couple twitches then rolling back to the grass for another shot is a productive way to put some trout in the net especially when the river is more low and clear. Going with a lighter sink tip or mini tip line is the optimal choice when setting up a fry rig. I like the 6 weight when throwing fry and giving the shoulder a rest after chucking bigger streamers on heavier lines.

We’re just starting the drop of the roller coaster ride that is fly fishing for trout in northern Michigan in the months of May and June. Bringing an arsenal of rods to cover all the bases: one for dries, one for fry, one for nymphing, and one for full sinks and big streamers. Having a rain jacket and a winter jacket with fleece and sun screen in the boat. Using stripping guards and floatant in the same day. It’s almost sensory overload to trout bums here this time of year trying to figure out which method of pursuit to choose. It’s fun and sometimes frustrating renewing our dry fly casting for the first time every year, the casts and mends so rudimentary even the trout think a caveman is throwing a fly at them. But after the cobwebs have been dusted off, we can enjoy the art of the dry fly.

The river and it’s surrounding banks look incredible right now. The grass is vibrant green from all the rain and sun we’ve been receiving. The morel hunters are harvesting some impressive hauls in the right spots. I’ve seen more turkeys in the past 2 weeks than I can count. The frogs have been consistent in their evening chorus. The trout are all fat and healthy from the mild winter and high water this spring. It just feels right to be on the river when things are like this.

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972




Use extreme caution from today on as the ice conditions are changing daily! Fishing is good but the ice is deteriorating quickly with this extreme warmth. The P.M river will be hot from now thru March!

We have great panfish reports from Upper Hamlin lake as well as PM lake. Lots of nice gills and pike are being iced in the shallow water and weeds. All the basic presentations are working. Tear drops with wax worms or spikes for perch and gills and tip ups for the pike and walleye. Shiners have been the best for pike with blues working best for the walleye and bigger perch. Weed edges have been holding most of the fish. Most of the guys are fishing Wilson's hill and then a little east.

The P.M river bite is starting to really heat up and should only get better from here on out. Check out the river report below!

With the colder week ahead things should tighten up nicely.

Check out these Hamlin Lake gills!


What a great week for fishing! The weather was warm and pleasant and a lot of folks made it to the river. It was a great chance to enjoy a break from the winter freeze.  The river recovered nicely and has great flow and clarity. To top it all off we got a beautiful new blanket of snow this weekend giving the river and trees that white winter look.

We went fishing on Tuesday and had a great time. It was actually pretty busy for the middle of the week.  A lot of guys were taking advantage of the nice weather. Most guys we talked to had success. We saw a guy at the boat ramp get one when we were putting in.  A little ways after that we netted a nice one for a guy struggling to land it. One more group of guys had one near the end of the float. We got reports from the fly shop of other guys doing good later on in the week. We can thank our guides Kyle Hartman and Griffen Brandt for the nice photos these guys did great this weekend!


Fishing is good this winter. The fish we have are big and they are hiding in the usual spots. Nymphing rigs are producing good results. We have been fishing egg flies a lot of the time and they continue to work good. Some of the nymphs are fishing so hot we are tying them on two identical flies at a time. Fish deep and close to the bottom. We are hitting a lot of fish in the first few casts. Others are laying deep in the runs and bite quite a few drifts later after putting in a little more effort. Anyway, if you get that feeling they are in a good looking spot trust your gut you’re probably right.  Change depth and flies often. If you don’t get one after fishing it top to bottom go find another spot. Fishing is good you can find them.

For great information and guides check out, Pere Marquette River Lodge