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Fishing in Michigan is as easy as one – two – three.

Here you will find HOW, WHEN & WHY. This is a comprehensive (idiot’s guide) to how it’s done without breaking the bank!!

  • Location
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Guides
  • Vehicles
  • Fishing equipment
  • Food
  • Spending money
  • Fish species
  • When
  • Recommended Guides
  • Total cost

I have decided to add this information page to my website because many times in the past I have dreamt about fishing somewhere new and exciting, somewhere outside the UK; and many times I have surfed the net looking for information – only to find a million and one companies offering the earth! The thought of trying somewhere different always filled me with the feeling of dread! And when I did find what looked like a reasonable offer from a guide; I still had the headache of finding accommodation, and transportation etc etc. Well this year’s trip to Michigan went like a dream, so I have decided to pass on how to achieve this in a few easy steps without having to re-mortgage your house! If you want to go on a fishing trip and catch fish from 5lb – 30lb – then this is for you.YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. Between the six of us who were fishing we were averaging 50 fish per day.  I was amazed by how few Europeans fish in this great state of Michigan.

Location: The areas that I recommend is somewhere around the mid west state of Michigan. You will need to be fishing between half an hour to an hour and half, as the rivers you will want to be targeting are the Manistee, Muskegon, Pe re Marquette, Betsie and the Platte.

Flights: There are various ways to get to Michigan at a reasonable cost. I have listed a few examples which I am sure will get you on the right tracks.

  1. Heathrow – Chicago – Grand Rapids – Collect car. The approx cost (including a car) per person (based on 4 people sharing) £700
  2. Heathrow – Chicago – Collect car. The approx cost (including a car) per person (based on 4 people sharing) £550
  3. Heathrow – Detroit – Collect car. The approx cost (including a car) per person (based on 4 people sharing) £525

Accommodation: I can highly recommend the Crystal Mountain resort at Thompsonville, this is primarily a ski and golf resort, so around the Summer/Autumn period they are always prepared to make you a special offer. The houses are superb and have everything that you need to make your stay that extra bit special. Our  house included a drinks bar, Jacuzzi, pool table and a mountainside view to die for! The approx cost (based on 4 people sharing) £45 per night.

Guides: Like with all guides or Gilles there are some that are good and some that are bad; the guides we used were absolutely superb, they catered for all levels of competence:from a double handed Spey caster to someone in our group who had never held a fishing rod or reel in his life (I have since directed him to my website).  Nothing was too much trouble for them, they also provided lunch and drinks, but watch out for the supplied lunch, as it caught us out on the first day!! It consisted of a T bone steak, vegetables and baked potatoes and finished off with dessert! So there is no need to prepare a packed lunch or stop for breakfast. Included in the cost is unlimited flies, which was a nice surprise so by the end of the trip we had not spent a single penny on equipment  – for anything we did not have – was supplied. They had pretty much thought of everything which was quite reassuring. Listed below are their websites and how to contact them.  If you thinking of fishing without a guideDONT WASTE YOUR MONEY GOING – if you are thinking of walking on the river and fishing from the bank you will be disappointed as there will be plenty of locals fishing. Being on a boat the Guide can reach places that are impossible to reach on foot, he can move you away from the crowds, and put you at an angle on a pool that would otherwise be impossible to reach. The cost of the guide (based on 2 people sharing a boat) £130 per day per person. The guides are also happy to “hang-out” with you in the evening and swap fishing tales! (And trust me I heard some whoppers this holiday!!)

Vehicles: The vehicles were included in the cost of our flights and we were given a Ford 7 seater 4 x 4 and a Chrysler Jeep which were more than adequate

Fishing equipment: No need to go over the top! as I said above what you don’t have they will supply. Those of us that took rods and reels had between us #7 – #9 rods and matching reels (remember you need a good drag) as these fish – even small 5lb ers – are going to kick your butts! Trust me I know, on a few occasions it was like bringing a knife to a gun fight! Breathable waders are not essential but recommended, you will need lots of layers as some mornings can be cold reaching -8 but by the afternoon you are stripped down to shorts and T shirts! There is no need to take loads of clothes as there is a washing machine and tumble dryer, as well as a drying room, in your house at Crystal Mountain. You will just need to stay warm and dry.

Food: We took snacks and chocolate bars to munch on during the day, but as I said above, the guide will supply lunch and drinks. An evening meal with alcoholic drinks (and we had plenty of them!) at Crystal Mountain Resort worked out around £30 ish, per person per evening, but we were just as happy to buy food  at the store and eat in the house and this worked out around £10 per person per evening.

Spending Money: Between 6 of us we had a £30 (per day per person) whip which was more than enough and covered all of our food and drink and fuel. Other than that we were too busy fishing to go shopping and buy something for our wives (not recommended for all if you are planning a fishing trip the following year)

Fish Species: Salmon (Chinook/Kings and Coho) Steelhead, Rainbows, and Lake run Browns

When: the best time to go is around the end of September to the middle of November (but in my opinion the prime time to fish all the rivers is the early part of October) what is nice about fishing in Michigan is that as one river comes to an end for salmon another half an hour away is just getting going, so a good guide should ALWAYS be able to find fish to catch.

Total Cost: all prices are shown in GBP (pound sterling)

Recommended Guides:

Kris McHugh

Jeff Stuhan