Top 10 Rivers To Fly Fish in Michigan

  1. Manistee River: Renowned for its scenic beauty and excellent trout habitat, the Manistee River is a prime destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. Its upper reaches offer cold, clear waters, providing an ideal environment for brown and rainbow trout.

  2. Au Sable River: The Au Sable River is a meandering gem that winds through the northern Lower Peninsula. With a mix of freestone and spring-fed sections, it provides diverse trout fishing opportunities. The famed Holy Waters section is especially popular among fly anglers for its hatches and challenging trout.

  3. Pere Marquette River: Known for its wild and scenic character, the Pere Marquette River is a favorite for both beginners and seasoned fly fishermen. Its cold waters harbor brown and rainbow trout, and its remote sections offer a tranquil fly fishing experience.

  4. Muskegon River: Flowing through west-central Michigan, the Muskegon River is a versatile destination for fly fishing. Known for its steelhead runs, it also boasts healthy populations of brown and rainbow trout. Its diverse habitat and hatches make it a year-round fly fishing hotspot.

  5. Jordan River: The Jordan River, winding through the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, is prized for its clear water and strong populations of native brook trout. The river's beauty and the challenge of its wild trout make it a favorite among fly anglers seeking a more secluded experience.

  6. Boardman River: Located in the northwest part of the state, the Boardman River offers excellent fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout. Its cold, clear waters, coupled with scenic surroundings, create an inviting atmosphere for anglers looking to connect with nature.

  7. Rifle River: While perhaps less famous than some other Michigan rivers, the Rifle River in the northeastern part of the state is a hidden gem for fly fishing. It's known for its brown trout population and offers a more secluded and intimate angling experience.

  8. Betsie River: Flowing into Lake Michigan, the Betsie River is celebrated for its steelhead runs and offers fantastic fly fishing opportunities. Anglers can target not only steelhead but also resident brown and rainbow trout in its upper reaches.

  9. Clinton River: The Clinton River, located in southeast Michigan, provides urban fly fishing opportunities. Its diverse sections offer a chance to catch brown and rainbow trout in a setting that contrasts with more remote rivers in the state.

  10. Black River: Running through the eastern Upper Peninsula, the Black River is known for its cold water and the potential to catch brook and brown trout. Its upper reaches, surrounded by lush forests, create a picturesque backdrop for fly fishing adventures.

Before embarking on a fly fishing journey, always check fishing regulations, obtain necessary permits, and be aware of seasonal variations in fish activity. Each of these rivers offers a unique experience, and exploring them can lead to unforgettable moments for fly fishing enthusiasts in Michigan.

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