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7-10-18

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

Hopefully everyone had a fun 4th yesterday! There’s been a variety of fishing options going on and have been for some time now. It’s hard not to boast about the choices coming into the month of July. One could go out in the evenings and throw attractor dries along the banks and bubble lines catching these:

Or head downstream to try and hit one of the last hex nights of the year:

Maybe wait for things to cool off and wake a mouse after dark:

Or on the really hot days where water temps on the trout streams are too close to 70, go for these guys:

So many awesome fisheries in the immediate area, some more familiar than others. But sometimes there’s more to it than going out and catching fish. Hearing someone exclaim “that’s the neatest thing in fishing I’ve ever seen” when you charge a glow line before night fishing, or having an eagle take off from an overhead limb while floating down river in the evening. It could be the kind gesture of a tuber offering a beer on a smallmouth river. The sound of hex spinners flying just above your head in the dark. Being at the cabin for the weekend. That’s the beauty of summer here: the uncanny ability to put a smile on someone’s face without being attached to a fish.

It’s been getting warm out there so be sure to check stream temperatures when targeting trout. Try to pick a cooler day or waiting until the sun reaches the treeline in the evening or better yet waiting until after dark when temps are at their lowest. Try to fish cooler stretches of rivers that have ground spring influxes and cold water tributaries. Use heavier gear and get the fish in as quickly as possible. Handle the fish minimally and carefully, taking no longer than a few seconds to snap a photo before putting them back. Trout are very susceptible of building fatal lactic acid levels when stressed during the summer months. The faster they’re off the hook and released, the better the chances of that fish living to see another day. Rubber nets, barbless hooks, stout tippet and stream thermometers are all valuable tools right now. Bug spray and plenty of cold drinking water are a must.

Good luck, be safe.

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

  •  

6-20-18

It’s been a trout fisherman’s dream up here since I last wrote. Day time attractor fishing with hoppers and stimulators have been too much fun at times. The further ahead of the boat or your wading presence will go a long way with this style of fishing, especially when the sun is higher. If you can remain seated when floating to maintain a low profile and a stealthy rower and you can have a great afternoon/evening. Hexes have started in the lower river, the mousing has been outstanding, even early morning fishing with small to medium size streamers will yield a solid fish or two. Haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure a beadhead under one of those stimulators will make that dry fly disappear in a different way! Gotta love the PM this time of year, we finally have a reason to use each rod in our quiver, all inside of a 12 hour span!

Jimmy with a good one in the evening…

…and a GREAT one after dark!

Drakes are still going and spinning over select riffles throughout the river. The golden and giant stones have been mixing in with the mayflies. The right flat could have some surprisingly large trout rising just before dark, as Adam from the shop found the other night. You just need to figure out what they’re keying in on!

A net full of PM brown trout, fooled by Adam’s “secret” drake spinner!

Hexes have started but not in serious numbers yet. A few bugs have been falling before midnight giving a guy with a target in mind a chance if they know where to set up. This week should begin those dusk ’til dawn conquests with fish literally feeding until the rooster crows. Mousing has been providing a lot of action as it typically does in the early summer. You will roll way more than you hook as a lot of the fish refuse or toy with the fly rather than crush it. But there have been plenty of those willing to commit…

Pretty cool spots on this guy:

One of my other favorite summer time targets are in play now: smallmouth bass! Especially on the super hot days where you can’t shake the need to put a bend in the rod but water temperatures are a little too close to 70 degrees (too hot to effectively catch and release stream trout), give these scrappy brown bass a shot. Mid July through late August are prime times to try for them, particularly with poppers and surface patterns.

Too much fun during the dog days of summer!

I strongly suggest you book a night or two later this month if you have never seen a good hex spinner fall. Mayflies as long as your pinky finger bringing up the stream’s largest trout under the cover of darkness is an event like no other! Casting to the sound of an aggressively feeding brown in the pitch black compares to nothing else. Nothing gets my heart going like hearing what sounds like someone throwing bricks in the water around you is pure ecstasy!

Dave with one of too many trout from that night!

Don’t forget the bug spray and I’ll hear you on the river!

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 

6-12-18

Fishing continues to be the best we've seen in many years! There has been many fish caught over 20 pounds in the past few weeks. The best action has been between 130 to 180 foot of water. Most of the fish being caught have come in the top 50 foot of water. Spoons and flies have been working the best but the cut bait rigs are starting to fire up as well. Stop By Captain Chuck's for great bait and all your information. 231-843-4458 www.capt-chuck.com

 

5-24-18

 PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

MAY 24TH, 2018

It’s here ladies and gentlemen! The time of year trout bums across the country look forward to…DRY FLY SEASON! There are a plethora of bugs hatching and spinning right now. Last night the sulphurs were center stage, the black quills and few drakes were mixed in with a ton of #14 olive stoneflies. I’ve seen a few mattress thrashers around in the afternoons. BROWN drakes have been coming off my lake just outside of town. It’s time.

Adam from the shop capitalizing on an after work dry fly session!

We are on the brink of the gray drakes and soon after the famous hex. There are clouds of Borcher’s drakes, a bug a lot of anglers mistake for the grays. A good fly right at dark lately has been a spinner pattern Mr. Kestner supplies the shop with poly wings and a perfect split tail. If that doesn’t work give ’em a 16 sulphur on 5x.

Perfect display of a PM beauty!

Nymphing during the day or even fishing small streamers will produce if you can’t stand waiting around all day for the evening hour. Some guys have started mousing and have been getting fish here and there. Bluegills and bass are bedding up on the area lakes. So many choices to throw a fly at, you’ve got to love this time of year in northern MI!

Marci, Uber’s better half, holds a dandy for the camera.

The shop is loaded with all of your dry fly needs for the major PM hatches and spinner falls. If you prefer to roll your own, there’s an extensive selection of quality hackles and hooks available for purchase in the shop too. Adam and Westley will point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a place to access or inform you on up-to-the-minute river reports.

A young angler with his first trout on a fly…does it get any better?

If you haven’t experienced a good drake happening on this river, which tends to be a little more fickle than other drake hatches around the state (especially our grays), you need to! One of the PM’s marquee hatches, the gray drake can yield an amazing evening rise. Beginning just before the hexes start, the gray drakes bring up the same quality of trout that rise during the hex with a fraction of the angling pressure. Usually happening right at dusk but can extend into the night if there is a substantial spinner fall, these bugs are a lot of fun to chase!

A rare sight: a big PM rainbow, taken after dark no less!

It’s hard not to smile when you’re floating down the river right now, no matter what time of day. Seeing all of the trees lining the banks returning to their lush, green summer attire occupied by several different species of song birds. Coupled with the hatching mayflies and rising trout…you’re probably throwing your waders and boots on right now just thinking about it…I can’t blame you, because I’m doing the same. Don’t forget the bug spray!

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

5-22-18

Fishing on the Big Lake is starting to heat up! With the warm weather the silver fish are starting to show up so most anglers are getting a nice mixed bag of lake trout and King salmon. Hot baits right now are a mix of spoons and flies. 
Hamlin Lake is giving up nice blue hills and crappie. Most of the fish are being caught using live bait. There has been a few nice pike caught as well. 
The Pere Marquette river has given up some nice brown trout but the steelhead bite has been very slow. 

5-10-18

Fishing on the Big Lake continues to be on fire! Limits of Lake Trout and the occasional spring King seem to be the story. Best fishing has been in 50-60 foot of water for Lake Trout bouncing bottom with lake trout rigs. The King action seems to be in a little shallower water. Using body baits and spoons. 
Smallmouth bass action is heating up as well. These scrappy fighters are moving in to the warmer waters. Swim baits and drop shot rigs seem to be the ticket. Remember it is only catch and release for bass until May 26th. 
Good luck and tight lines!

5-2-18

Fishing in 30 to 40' of water has been productive for big lake trout. The weather has started to warm up so more boats are coming out of storage and hitting the big lake. Fishing in shallow for browns has been pretty good as well. We have weighed in multiple fish weighing over 10 pounds. 
Many are fishing the inland lakes and the reports are the bluegill bite is also starting to fire up. Perch fishing has slowed a little bit as of late but those who are putting the time in are managing a few nice perch from Pere Marquette lake. 

4-26-18

And the fishing is heating up!!! Mike Price brought this big Brown Trout in the other day. It tipped our scales at 13.54 pounds! That makes the second 13 pound fish caught in a few short days. Great fish! Stop By Captain Chuck's for great bait and all your information. 231-843-4458

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4-25-18

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a spring steelhead season on the PM these past couple months. Some days have been epic with double digit hook-ups, other days you want to give your gear away at the boat ramp and give up on pursuing steelhead. Then you have a day like Devon had putting 7 year old Branden on his first steelhead with help from his Uncle Alain. It’s moments like this that make it all worth it: the hours spent wading in cold water, breaking ice from guides frequently, losing feeling in our fingers and toes. It all comes together when a young person is captivated by the whole scene. Welcome aboard young man!   

      The recent warm up (finally) has melted the snow from last week’s storm and added some volume to the river. It is moving in places! Please be careful boating and wading in the higher flows, there was a scary situation the other day mid river when a boat flipped putting two anglers into the drink. Everything turned out fine and nobody was hurt thankfully. Just utilize extreme care and caution navigating the river during the next few days. The rise in water did benefit the steelhead fishing however!

      I feel we may have lost more fish than we gained with the added water but we did receive a few new fish. We’ll probably have some steelhead around into May but I think for the most part the run will winding down fast within the week. Trout fishing will become our main focus for the remainder of the spring and throughout the summer months. Speaking of trout fishing, we’ve been getting into some fish incidentally on our search for steel and on purpose fishing streamers on the cloudy/rainy/warming days. Black has been the color of choice lately.

      Call (231) 745-3972 to book a trip, a room at the Lodge or if you have any questions the guys in the shop will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. The shop is open from 7am-7pm currently and stocked with a ton of stuff for the spring season. Thank you all for making the past few weeks so busy and we hope to see you back in our boats soon. Be good to one another and I’ll see you on the river!

 

Kyle Hartman – Guide

 

Pere Marquette River Lodge

 

231 745 3972

 

 

4-8-18

Michigan weather is a funny thing. Just when you get a taste for spring, winter comes back with a vengeance. There was precipitation, just in the wrong form! We now have several inches of snow on the ground from the blizzard a couple days ago. The good news is the forecast is looking much better than what it has been. Warm rain should be happening next week and that’s just what the doctor ordered to bring in some more fresh spring fish!  The water is still low, clear and cold. Small flies on light line has been the gospel lately. Deep/slow runs with rock or log structures have been about the only thing fishing consistently. The spawning activity has been minimal with the recent conditions and a new push of fish is what the river needs. There are a few new fish migrating up scattered through the system and drop-backs working their way to Lake Michigan. Mid to late April could be banner should we see a blast of fish come in with temps warming and actually staying that way!  The trout are showing themselves more and more each day. Often seen sitting on the inside sand bars, the browns will warm themselves in the sun and hunt fry on those bars and eddies. Sometimes on mid-river seams along logs or behind the right rock or sometimes in a deep run you’re probing in search of a steelhead…  Make sure to remain in the river around private property. The CO’s have been out looking for violators and also those in boats having the proper amount of PFD’s. Make sure you have a current Michigan Fishing License on you too. We have entered peak spring steelhead season so the river is busy. Try to float as close to where an angler is standing and remain seated so we don’t trash another person’s spot. In the narrow confines of the PM, especially in lower water, the fish are always on high alert.  Call (231) 745-3972 to book a trip, a room at the Lodge or if you have any questions the guys in the shop will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. The shop is open from 7am-7pm currently and stocked with a ton of stuff for the spring season. Thank you all for making the past few weeks so busy and we hope to see you back in our boats soon. Be good to one another and I’ll see you on the river!

4-6-18
Things are looking good! We received a bit of rain last night and Tuesday bringing the upper river a couple inches and giving it a little dusty appearance, perfect for fishing! The lower river will be a little higher and stained but by all means very fishable. The weather has the fish out and about throughout the day instead of being tucked under a log jam waiting for nightfall. Fresh fish are being caught in the pools and runs as well as the pockets near spawning gravel. Fish your spots thoroughly and change flies, weight, float depth, ect. on the busy days. Put forth the effort and you will be rewarded!  Fishing small to medium sized white or white/olive streamers will get the browns chasing in the warming water. When not playing goalie behind the spawning steelhead eating eggs, the trout can be found in the slack-water eddies along the bank looking for newly hatched salmon fry. Fishing a 200-250 grain sink-tip in these slower/shallower off-current areas will be ideal for smaller streamers where a 300 grain full sinking line for the larger stuff like a D&D, Circus Peanut or Conrad Sculpin. Fish your streamer according to its materials. A deerhair headed pattern without lead eyes needs to be fished more erratically with short/fast strips, rod tip twitches and hard pauses during the retrieve. There needs to be a triggering point to get the fish to commit.  Make sure to remain in the river around private property. The CO’s have been out looking for violators and also those in boats having the proper amount of PFD’s. Make sure you have a current Michigan Fishing License on you too. We have entered peak spring steelhead season so the river is busy. Try to float as close to where an angler is standing and remain seated so we don’t trash another person’s spot. In the narrow confines of the PM, especially in lower water, the fish are always on high alert. Wade slowly into position, don’t just rush out there splashing around because those fish will be on to you!  Still a couple open dates left for April if you need a steelhead fix before next October. The trout fishing will be happening as soon as the steelhead crowds have thinned but targeting browns could be a great game plan with everyone targeting steelhead. When conditions allow, combining a steelhead trip with a little streamer fishing for trout when the water has a little height and color would be a great way to spend a day on the PM. Whatever your desire, I’m sure there’s something out there that will suit your style.  Call (231) 745-3972 to book a trip, a room at the Lodge or if you have any questions the guys in the shop will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. The shop is open from 7am-7pm currently and stocked with a ton of stuff to fill your vest or boat bag. The woods are coming alive and spring is in the air, it’s an awesome time to be on the river right now! Thank you all for making our season so busy and we hope to see you back in our boats soon. Be good to one another and I’ll see you on the river!

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

(231) 745-3972

2-19-18
 
The perch bite has been absolutely on fire for Pere Marquette lake! The bite fired up around Wednesday afternoon and has been steady since. Live bait is the key the larger the minnow the larger the perch. But as we know the perch go as fast as they come. 

 

Hamlin continues to be slow at best. It is just an off year for the bluegills on Hamlin. They have caught a few pike on tip ups on upper Hamlin as of lately. The ice conditions all around the Ludington area are going to take a hit with this warm weather moving. So be sure to call the shop as the conditions change. Stop By Captain Chuck's for great bait and all your information. 231-843-4458

 

2-7-18

Pike fishing is still going strong on Hamlin Lake and Pere Marquette lake. Blue gill and Crappie fishing has slowed up recently on Hamlin but they are still getting a few. You just have to do a lot of moving. Pentwater lake is still real good for perch with a lot of fish measuring over 9". 
Steelhead action is starting to get good on the river with most fish being caught on jigs. 
This is Kaylee Price 33" 9.5 pound pike on a tip up. 

Stop By Captain Chuck's for great bait and all your information. 231-843-4458

1-23-18

Hamlin lake - Ice fishing is good at 8-11 inches of ice, overall fishing improved this week bluegills and crappie are biting great! and also pike are hitting

 

Pentwater lake- absolutely on fire for perch a lot of sorting through small ones but worth it. ice is 6-8 inches

 

Père Marquette - Pike fishing is consistent to steady, tip ups for smelt, perch is slow but BIG when they bite 

Look at these Absolute Brutes! Stop By Captain Chuck's for great bait and all your information. 231-843-4458

 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

NOVEMBER 26TH, 2017

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last Thursday. Whether you were at home eating dinner and watching football with the family or enjoying a quiet afternoon float down the river with friends, it was a good day on both ends of the spectrum. The fishing has been pretty solid lately even with a fair number of anglers out there also trying to feed the addiction. We received another push of fish with yet another spike in water flows last week. We were already working with a good number of fish throughout the system and then reinforcements arrived. If the weather allows, we are going to have a fun winter of steelheading here on the Pere Marquette and surrounding rivers!

Steelhead are still being fooled with various blends of yarn tied in every egg fashion: glo-bugs, nukes and rag clowns all still taking fish. Nymphs have been working well lately in the clearing/cooling water. Small pheasant tails, hare’s ears and hex wigglers will make things happen when eggs won’t. There has definitely been a noticeable bite window on certain days. Afternoons seem to yield the best chances for hook ups maybe because of a spike in water temp after these chilly mornings burn off.

The weather forecast looks great and the river looks even better. Still a few inches high with great visibility downriver and dropping and clearing the further upriver you go. There are good numbers of fish throughout but some days are better than others depending on a variety of factors: temps, traffic, sun, barometric pressure, ect. It’s still steelhead fishing! You’ve got to pay your dues and make every cast count. It only takes one of these silver missiles to change your life, especially this year! There are some very big fish seen recently and I have a feeling someone is going to tame a beast this winter on a fly rod, I’m talking a legitimate fish over 15lbs!

Remember to practice catch and release on wild steelhead! Our steelhead fishery on the PM depends on successful natural reproduction that happens within the Pere Marquette River watershed. We want as many as possible to stay alive so they can thrive! Try to use a net with a rubber or cotton bag which are much easier on trout and steelhead to prevent them from damaging their gills when thrashing about. Barbless hooks are also not a bad idea. The Flies Only water is FLIES ONLY! Seeing bead rigs, spawn bags and even hot’n tots in trees throughout that stretch is pretty lame. The future of our steelhead fishery is in OUR hands! Seems like a good idea to take care of it…

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

NOVEMBER 14TH, 2017

Winter showed up early in northern Michigan last week starting Thursday. I’m not used to seeing white-out conditions the day before my birthday. Friday we woke up to sub-freezing temperatures (the forecast called for a high of 23 degrees) and a couple inches of snow on the ground. It was a day that required us to break ice out of the rod guides every 15-20 drifts. It was also a day to take a photo of your wife holding a big chrome steelhead:

The brown trout spawning activity is pretty high right now. There’s a few fish post-spawn that are chasing small streamers or munching eggs but many are still doing their thing. The cold water temps have slowed both the trout and steelhead metabolism levels. The low and clear flows coupled with the traffic (especially on weekends) have the fish on edge. Make your first few drifts through a prime spot count. The fish will spook from sloppy presentations and/or wading around a hole. Small nuke eggs have been doing all of the damage in my boat lately. Duller color combos working better but that orange core with a chartreuse veil is still making the float flush.

We’ve got some rain predicted for the next couple days so hopefully that brings another ball of chrome to play with. We’re still working off a pretty nice push of fish that came up with the flood a couple weeks back. Some reinforcements would set us up for a great winter season, weather permitting! Get your dates in for later this month because the next week is booking quickly for a lot of the guides.

Remember to practice catch and release on wild steelhead! Our steelhead fishery on the PM depends on successful natural reproduction that happens within the Pere Marquette River watershed. We want as many as possible to stay alive so they can thrive! Try to use a net with a rubber or cotton bag which are much easier on trout and steelhead to prevent them from damaging their gills when thrashing about. Barbless hooks are also not a bad idea. The Flies Only water is FLIES ONLY! Seeing bead rigs, spawn bags and even hot’n tots in trees throughout that stretch is pretty lame. The future of our steelhead fishery is in OUR hands! Seems like a good idea to take care of it…

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 
 
 
 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

NOVEMBER 1ST, 2017

The rain did its job: it brought us a nice push of fresh steelhead! This weekend fished surprisingly well upriver and now that the river has dropped, the middle and lower sections are fishing too. It’s been getting cold up here too so the water temp has dropped along with the river level. Fish can found in the softer seams and deeper runs and pools. Egg patterns both nukes and clowns had good action the past few days but as the water clears even more, nymphs will come into play.

There are still a few browns out chasing streamers in their pre and post spawn aggression and added water. Many have begun spawning. Colors like black, chartreuse, firetiger and yellow have been turning trout. Be prepared for a steelhead take while stripping streamers, they are very aggressive this time of year!

We look forward to seeing you for the fall/winter steelhead season. There’s plenty of fish throughout the system as well as other area rivers. Be safe driving up and use caution if floating the river in smaller crafts like canoes or one-man pontoons at this time of year. Swimming is not recommended. Neither is losing gear!

Remember to practice catch and release on wild steelhead! Our steelhead fishery on the PM depends on successful natural reproduction that happens within the Pere Marquette River watershed. We want as many as possible to stay alive so they can thrive! Try to use a net with a rubber or cotton bag which are much easier on trout and steelhead to prevent them from damaging their gills when thrashing about. Barbless hooks are also not a bad idea. The Flies Only water is FLIES ONLY! Seeing bead rigs, spawn bags and even hot’n tots in trees throughout that stretch is pretty lame. The future of our steelhead fishery is in OUR hands! Seems like a good idea to take care of it…

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 
 
 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

OCTOBER 11TH, 2017

Rain! Finally, the much needed precipitation has brought the river up a little and given it a dash of color. It looks great on all fronts: streamers for trout, prospecting for steelhead or looking for that last batch of kings, there’s something for everyone on the Pere Marquette right now!

There was another push of kings in the lower river last week and new fish can be seen moving upriver daily. The rain also brought in some more steelhead with more of those being seen or hooked regularly. The trout fishing has been decent and egging the pockets and active gravels is still producing nice fish. Streamer fishing with black, olive and copper flies in the medium size range of 3-5″ will pull fish from the undercuts and many pieces of timber strewn about the river.

Get your fall steelhead dates booked for those wanting to ride the lightning! Late October, November and early December chrome is the best out there in my opinion. The fish are charged up and aggressive trying to obtain extra calories before their winter hold-over in the river. Give the lodge a call at (231) 745-3972 to check guide availability for whatever dates best suit your schedule.

Stop by the shop if you need any help with gear or have any questions. Keep in mind that trout season is closed to fishing on the Little South Branch, Baldwin River and Middle Branch upstream of M-37 bridge. It’s been chilly out there in the morning so be prepared if you’re hitting the river.

Thank you all for keeping us busy this salmon season! We look forward to seeing you for the fall/winter steelhead season which is shaping up quite nicely with this added water. Be safe driving up and we’ll see you around!

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

OCTOBER 3RD, 2017

Not much new to report this week. Kings are being caught up and down river in various conditions. Lots of salmon spawning with a few pools still holding good numbers of fresher fish. Small and natural flies have been the keys to success in the low/clear water. 0-1x Mirage has been the rule for tippet running 0x to the first fly and 1x to the trailer. The fish we are finding in the holes are still a handful like they were in late August and early September. It’s been a fun season trying to tame these brutes for a photo!

There is some rain in the forecast for tomorrow and later in the week. This should push up the remainder of the chinooks and hopefully a nice batch of steelhead, which are being seen more and more every day. The trout bite is still decent but many are getting ready to spawn and have their minds elsewhere. We should have at least another week to 10 days of good king fishing should things continue playing out the way they are.

Get your fall steelhead dates booked for those wanting to ride the lightning! Late October, November and early December chrome is the best out there in my opinion. The fish are charged up and aggressive trying to obtain extra calories before their winter hold-over in the river. Give the lodge a call at (231) 745-3972 to check guide availability for whatever dates best suit your schedule.

Stop by the shop if you need any help with gear or have any questions. Keep in mind that trout season is closed to fishing on the Little South Branch, Baldwin River and Middle Branch upstream of M-37 bridge. The river has been busy so be patient with one another and relax. It’s hard to have fun with your waders in a bunch.

Thank you all very much for fishing, staying or shopping with us this season! We appreciate all of your business and hope to see you again either at the Lodge or on the water!

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 
 
 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2017

Not much has changed in the past week. The river is still in desperate need of a good rain and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any until late next week. There are fish in various stages of spawning throughout the middle and upper river as well as a few pools and deeper/woodier runs still holding some good numbers of pre-spawn fish. These fish have been a handful on a fly rod this year and very humbling. The display of sheer power from these mini submarines has been nothing short of awesome!

Trout are definitely taking notice of the increase in spawning activity. Fishing small egg patterns (glo-bugs and nuke eggs being great choices) on very light fluorocarbon tippets with a stealthy approach and good presentation can provide some awesome sight fishing opportunities to some really nice trout. A few steelhead have been seen throughout the river already as well as a few aggressive cohos mixed in with the kings.

I’d expect with the next good rain we’ll see another push of kings but until that time, covering water is the name of the game no matter what stretch you’re in. Traffic will increase this weekend so be prepared. Wading anglers please respect the fact that the water is very low so a boat can only stay so far away from where the fish might be holding in certain instances and those who are floating please respect those who are wading and try to stay as close to them as possible while maintaining as low of a profile as possible. Please try to pick up any trash or excess line you might stumble upon. Respect the resource and you’ll be rewarded.

The shop is open at 6am and is well stocked with rods, reels, lines, flies, and all the gadgets you could need. Be sure to call ahead to confirm bookings in the Lodge or cabins or check availability. Adam, Ben and Westley are all very helpful and can steer you in the right direction should you have any questions. The guides all appreciate everyone for keeping us busy this season and hope to see you back for what is hopefully a great fall steelhead season!

Everyone has been in great spirits on the river lately. Those chasing kings have been more than happy with the numbers of fish around. The weather for floating the river in canoes or kayaks has been ideal and the colors are starting to pop in certain areas along the river. The first day of fall did not feel like fall at all. High’s expected to reach 90 tomorrow…shorts and sun shirts are definitely in the forecast.

Have fun, keep it light and be safe out there. We’ve been very fortunate for the front half of the 2017 chinook run in terms of size and numbers of fish. Here’s to hoping the back half is just as fun!

Kyle Hartman -Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

 
9-4-17

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.
 
 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

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

 
08.01.2017 
 
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 
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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.
6-25-17
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.
 
 
 
5-15-17 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PERE MARQUETTE RIVER REPORT

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

 

 

2-22-17

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.
fullsizer2
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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