Here are some of our favorite rivers in our area. As is common with any fisherman, we're not going to give away the secret of our VERY favorite spots.
Marquette, Mi. Steelhead, King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Brook Trout. Falling over 15 miles down a very steep gradient of nearly 600 feet the Carp is one of the best kept secrets of the UP. Clear cold waters rampaging over granite rock and boulders with a gravel bottom offer the angler a varity of fish all the way up to the Carp River Falls about 5 miles upstream. From the rivermouth in the Marquette Lower Harbor local anglers give moderate pressure to this river but nothing like a downstate quality stream. Fly fishing and/or spin cast generally with spawn is the ticket here. Easy parking and lodging almost next door make the Carp an excellent destination river. Lodging: Nordic Bay Lodge( 800-892-9376) Guides Uncle Ducky Outfitters (906-228-5447) Fly/Bait/ Tackle Gander Mountain (906-226-8300)
Marquette, Mi. Steelhead, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Pink Salmon, Chinook Salmon . The Chocolay River rises in eastcentral Marquette County and flows north into Lake Superior at the village of Harvey about 4 miles east of Marquette.About 35 miles long the watershed is approximately 250 square miles. The Upper Chocolay drains permeable sand and gravel moraines in an area of steeply sloping glacial drift, which release and abundance of cold groundwater into many tributaries. Ninety percent of the river is ice free even during the coldest winters and the gravelly moraines provide an adundance of spawning habitat. Salmonoid reproduction here is excellent. The river is fished year-around. The Chocolay wea a fabled Steelhead stream in the 20th century and still has an excellent run today. Many Steelhead even overwinter in the river. Many fish rest in the downstream holes at bends in the river and at tributary mouths. Brook Trout are found in the upstream portions and in th! e tributaries. The river can be floated with a small canoe or kayak. Lodging: Nordic Bay Lodge; (800-892-9376) Guides- Uncle Ducky Outfitters (906-228-5447) Fly/Bait/Tackle Gander Mountain-(906-226-8300.
Little Garlic River
Marquette, Mi. Steelhead. Brook Trout. Located about 10 miles north of Marquette on county road 550 the Little Garlic is a notable Steelhead River especially during the early part of the season with the spring run-off. Filled with large granite rocks and boulders the river is fishable either at the rivermouth or upstream from the DNR parking lot just west of County road 550. You can trek upstream about 3 miles to the Falls. Just below the falls there are many small pools that hold many spawing Steelies. I've spent hours at the base of the falls just watching the fish trying to make the upbound leap. Spawn works best for the Spin casters and muddlers and streamers for the Flyfisherman. Lodging; Nordic Bay Lodge(800-892-9376) Guides Uncle Ducky Outfitters (906-228-5447) Fly/Bait/Tackle Gander Mountain (906-226-8300)
Gwinn, Mi. Brook Trout. Brown Trout. The Escanaba River is one of the Upper Peninsula's largest river systems and has many miles of flotable water. Draining more than 900 square miles of remote hardwood forests and conifer swamps in the central U.P. from south of Marquette to Escanaba the river has several tributaries that form; most notably the East and West Branches and form a confluence to the mainstream near the village of Gwinn. The drainage area is found on the precambrian shield, with rugged outcroppings of rock, sheer cliffs, towering hardwood forests, and pine plains. It can be a very swift flowing river especially early in the spring run-off. One of the best Michigan rivers for trout the Escanaba and its tributaries offer a varied and challenging experience. For a float rip the main stream from Gwinn to the Boney Falls Basin (25 miles) is best. Just below Gwinn the East Branch dumps in and the fishing is great below the confluence. Also for a shorter trip there is access at Sawmill Creek about 10 miles below Gwinn. This is the best float area. The river runs about 40-60 feet wide and 3-4 feet deep over a bottom of solid stone mixed with sand. Riffles are spaced from 1/4 to 1/2 miles apart. Trout hang out in the alternating pools or at the base of the riffles. Like a Western river it is wide open for flyfishing and is wadeable. Fishing pressure is light. Guides Uncle Ducky Outfitters (906-228-5447) Canoe and Kayak Rentals Uncle Ducky Outfitters (906-228-5447). Fly/Bait/Tackle Gander Mountain (906-226-8300)
Seney, MI. Brook Trout. The Fox River rises from a semi-open marsh draining the Deadman Lake in eastern Alger County about 10 miles southwest of Grand Maris. It flows in a southeasterly direction for 35 miles mostly in Schoolcraft County until it empties into the Manistique River near the village of Germfask. The Fox River Basin is about 10 miles wide and 26 miles long. An excellent brook Trout Stream it is widely accepted that this is the river Ernest Hemingway fished when he wrote the Nick Adams stories and not the Big Two-Hearted. No one knows for sure but they are both excellent Brook Trout streams. The Fox and its east Branch have been included in Michigan's Natural Rivers Program. In addition, 18 miles of the Main Stream above Seney and 15 miles of the East Branch from M-77 to the Luce County line have beeen designated Michigan Blue Ribbon Trout streams. It is still possible to catch the 2 or 3 pound Brookie here although most are in the 10-11 inch range. It is a beautiful pristene trout stream largely unchanged since the days of Hemingway's visit. It is not an easy stream to flyfish or canoe. But, those with some skills at both pursuits will be amply rewarded. Lodging. Seney, Mi. Motels. Guides and Canoe Livery and Camprgound. Northland Outfitters. (906-586-9801)
The Ontonagon River, along with its four branches and tributaries drains an enormous area of the western Upper Peninsula in Ontonagon, southwest Houghton and northern Gogebic Counties. The system offers a wide diversity of opportunities for wading, canoeing, shoreline, and even boat anglers. Much of the flow is through wild, secnic country. Sevral beautiful waterfalls and whitewater rapids appear along its journey.The river is currently a candidate for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.. A 12 mile stretch of the East Branch (from Lower Dam Falls to Sparrow Rapids has been designated as a Michigan Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. The Middle Branch supports a good population of resident Brown, Rainbow, and Brook Trout. Access is fairly good with sections flowing along the Ottawa National Forest. A few anglers tube or canoe and the river is wide enough to permit flyfishing in most stretches. Overall, the Middle Brance supports the best trout fishing on the ! Ontonagon and the village of Watersmeet is in the heart of several of these great fishing areas. Down stream from Agate Falls, the river becomes receptive to anadromous fish, and anglers enjoy an extended fishing season. Espect good Steeelheading in spring, with browns up to 6 pounds and salmon showing up in the fall. Some Brook trout also frequent the river here. Resorts and Motels in Watersmeet and Ontonagon. Guides- Uncle Ducky Outfitters (906-228-5447)