Driftless Trout Anglers

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HuggyBear  
#1 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2018 2:46:40 PM(UTC)
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Hey everybody,

I'm going to head up to the U.P. at the end of July, and I was hoping that someone could point me in the right direction. Where to fish, camp, good food, etc... Plan on being up there for at least 5 days, just bumming around and fishing.

I'm looking forward to it, because of all the good stories and reviews I've heard of the fishing in the area.

Thanks!
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JGF  
#2 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2018 3:26:39 PM(UTC)
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Huggy, I was up there a month ago or so. We camped up in the Ottawa National Forest north and east of Watersmeet (home of the Nimrods). Tons of options for camping in the forest.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/...ecreation/camping-cabins

For fishing, know that many of the streams tend to get a little warm if they're dry for too long. We were on the East Branch of the Ontonagon River and the first day it was marginally warm (70*F), then we got rain and it cooled off for the next several days. Lots of fishing options around ranging from pretty accessible to way out there.

Further north and east, there are the Fox and Two Hearted Rivers which I've never fished but they're well known.

For smallmouth, many of the streams lower ends (or not so lower ends in some cases), have good fishing. If you want to fish smallies - check out Sylvania and the Porcupine Mountains - both of which are on the western side of the UP. I'm sure there are some trout opportunities over there as well.

Bring the bug spray...
HuggyBear  
#3 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2018 6:11:49 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for the heads up.

I'm curious - Are you able to wade and fish for the Smalls, or do you need a boat?

JGF  
#4 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2018 6:44:44 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HuggyBear Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the heads up.

I'm curious - Are you able to wade and fish for the Smalls, or do you need a boat?



We waded and did OK.

Interestingly enough we didn't intend to catch smallies. We went to a place on the Middle Branch of the O that we'd read about in an older guidebook that was supposed to have good trout fishing. We caught smallies, pike, and rock bass. Old timer we ran into said it hadn't been a trout fishery in 10+ years.

I don't know as much about the Porkies or Sylvania but they're probably best experienced off the beaten path - backpacking or canoeing.
madguy30  
#5 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2018 11:20:37 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HuggyBear Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the heads up.

I'm curious - Are you able to wade and fish for the Smalls, or do you need a boat?



We waded and did OK.

Interestingly enough we didn't intend to catch smallies. We went to a place on the Middle Branch of the O that we'd read about in an older guidebook that was supposed to have good trout fishing. We caught smallies, pike, and rock bass. Old timer we ran into said it hadn't been a trout fishery in 10+ years.

I don't know as much about the Porkies or Sylvania but they're probably best experienced off the beaten path - backpacking or canoeing.



Love the U.P.! If this was near Burned Dam campground I can confirm there's a few smallies and pike in that area. Fun surprises.

I've seen lots of brook trout rising just below Bond Falls too which is down stream from there so maybe there's more trout closer to a fresh/cool water source.

I think lots of those little streams running through the forest have brook trout but can be hard to get to/around.

Ditto on the camping front in the Ottawa National Forest: There's a few free sites like Burned Dam and Painted Forks, and you can also pull off on a fire road and camp under a few simple/easy rules. North Country Trail is up there too.

Not totally sure how fishing is there for now--I've been up north twice over the past two weeks (Mercer and Flambeau River areas) and the water was high in most areas and the fish seemed screwed up.

Along with bug spray, bear spray and bear bagging might not be a bad idea. They're active and apparently in breeding mode; amazingly I've seen a total of 7 including a mom and two cubs over my two visits. Great and fun to see but I wouldn't want to surprise mommy. :)
Gurth  
#6 Posted : Friday, June 29, 2018 12:09:50 AM(UTC)
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Been up and down that entire coast over the years but have never fished up there.

Lake Superior is a special place.

Haven't seen it in a few years...

Need to rectify that.


Paint River and tribs are supposed to be good and they're fairly close to where my folks live up north. Will hit them one of these years.

Won't have time next week when I'm up there as lots of lake fishing on the agenda on their lake.


Food in the U.P.?

Don't remember anything outstanding. There were decent supper clubs in Munising and some nice stuff in Marquette. Houghton had a variety.


Oh man... I need to get back to the U.P.


Our fave was the Keweenaw. Stayed at the Mountain Lodge along one of the fairways. Got up and got 9 in before anyone else was awake.

-sigh-


.

Edited by user Tuesday, July 3, 2018 4:53:09 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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briz  
#7 Posted : Friday, June 29, 2018 1:56:49 PM(UTC)
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Spent a decade or so in da UP and have family all over & a camp in Baraga Co. The Keweenaw is a special place but have never done well trout fishing on the peninsula. Houghton is a nice place and would recommend Ambassador for pizza and Keweenaw Brewing Company for suds. However, that town did just get rocked by flooding and some infrastructure/roads are still out of commission. Marquette is also an awesome place. In between Ontonagon and Marquette is a lot of good water. The Firesteel, Huron, Otter, Sturgeon and Silver Rivers all hold good fish populations and most any cold trib has brookies. Though in July you may do better higher up in watersheds for trout. Big Eric’s bridge, Sturgeon River Gorge and Canyon Falls are a few well known fishy/scenic places. The Pictured Rocks is also a sweet place and is about 30 miles from the Fox. Would recommend East Channel Brewing in Munising for beers.
Gurth  
#8 Posted : Friday, June 29, 2018 2:48:40 PM(UTC)
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I'll second the KBC for brews.

Have a couple of growlers from there that have been in need of a refill for about a decade or more.
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
NBrevitz  
#9 Posted : Friday, June 29, 2018 4:16:45 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HuggyBear Go to Quoted Post
Hey everybody,

I'm going to head up to the U.P. at the end of July, and I was hoping that someone could point me in the right direction. Where to fish, camp, good food, etc... Plan on being up there for at least 5 days, just bumming around and fishing.

I'm looking forward to it, because of all the good stories and reviews I've heard of the fishing in the area.

Thanks!


Do you have a passport? If so, you can catch Atlantic Salmon in the St Mary’s Rapids on the Canadian side of Sault Ste. Marie.

Food wise, there’s a Pastie Shop in Munising, Muldoon’s, the just awesome. In Sault Ste Marie on the American Side, W Pier makes great burgers, The Palace has awesome Nachos, Antlers has pretty much everything else. Elmer’s and Drifter’s off Hwy 2 in Escanaba are both good. Iron Bay in Marquette was excellent when I tried it.

Fishing wise, you can fish a handful of good Brookie streams on the E End while also fishing for Atlantic Salmon in the rapids. Or,you can find a ton of good Brook and Brown Trout water on the W End.

Edited by user Friday, June 29, 2018 7:57:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
NBrevitz  
#10 Posted : Saturday, June 30, 2018 7:22:24 AM(UTC)
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As for the fisheries.... The west end is much better overall for Trout. The Ont is wonderful as are the Escanaba and Paint. Lots of other stuff I don’t name but you’ll find fish I’ll put it that way. Once you get east of Seney, you’ve got the Two Hearted, the far Upper Tahquamenon, E Tahquamenon, and the perpetually stained and snaggy Pine River. There’s a few smaller creeks by Paradise that aren’t too bad, but that’s about it. That said, the best Atlantic Salmon fishery outside of Iceland is literally right on the Canadian Border, and there will still be Steelhead in there.. Munuscong Bay has a ton of Muskie as well.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
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