Michigan 4 day canoe trip suggestions?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reports - Out of State' started by canoebill, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. I was planning a canoe trip in Michigan to maybe hopefully coincide with some of the salmon run. However my brother-in-law has had to change his vacation days to just after labor day so I am scrambling to find a river trip by next Monday. If you have suggestions, that would be great. I am guessing that will be too early for Salmon, but would be open to any nice river with some a little wilderness in it and some bass, pike or trout.

    If you know a nice float trip in a state other than Michigan, I would love to read that too. Appreciate the help.
     
  2. ive canoed on the ausable river. its beatutifull and peacefull. and full of brown trout and brookies. crystal clear cold water and a fast flow. Ive been on the south branch near roscommon. The flow was fast enough that you hardly needed to paddle. Ausable means river of sand. Its almost all sand bottom so you can manuver without scraping rocks and you can see the trout really easy. Definitely worth the drive and not anything like ohio at all.
     

  3. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    2,102
    347
    1,268
    I second the AuSable. You can put in at Grayling and float to Acme. You can catch trout the entire float then chase pike and bass and at the dam impoundment at Acme. If you put in at Grayling stop at the Fly Factory. The guys there will fill you in on all the current hatches and bites and fix you up with all the correct flys. You can also put in at Acme below the dam and float to Alcona which is a little more of a wilderness trip. I also prefer the fishing on that streatch of river and the Alcona impoundment. My favorite trip is from Grayling to Alcona. We second night at the campground at Acme then portage the dam in the morning for a two day'er to Alcona. Great river, great fishing, great trip.
     
  4. sauguy

    sauguy river & muskie angler, dayhiker

    754
    10
    823
    you could try the allegheny river in pa. our canoe club floats it a few times a year, and some members have floated and camped. good smallie fishing.
     
  5. Ausable is a good trip. Easy paddling/excellent scenery/good fishing/everything you need. good campsite is the whitepines if you are float camping.

    Pierre Marquette would be another good choice. Salmon are starting to show up from what I have heard, but not in great numbers.

    The rifle river is another option. I have never floated it, but it is closer and offers a variety of fishing.
     
  6. Thanks guys for the great advice. I know these river names but in the past we've canoed in the UP of Michigan, but with a little less time and higher gas prices we're looking at the northern main section rivers. They do sound great but in researching these today, it does seem they get a lot of canoe traffic which is something we're not used to especially on a longer trip. I guess it would be fairly light though during the week. My other concern is some of the sections seem to be fly only while we use spinning tackle (like the south branch of the Au Sable through the Mason tract). On the plus side we should be able to find a livery to shuttle our vehicle. Any particular one to recommend? How easy it to paddle the ponds and are they good fisheries as well?

    The Pierre Marquette sounds tempting if there are a few salmon in there-might mean fishing pressure is lighter. I read a trip report today of a kayaker that did an extended trip on the PM in late september and he said there were hundreds of fish in the water and even more fisherman which of course makes for awkward paddling trying to stay out of their way.

    I've read the Jordan is very nice but the section is too short for more than a day trip. Any thoughts on the Manistee or Betsie rivers? Thanks again guys for the last minute help.
     
  7. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    2,102
    347
    1,268
    The AuSable does get traffic on weekends, but mostly around the few put-in sites. We always start our trips on Sunday and see little, if any, traffic during the week. You will occasionally encounter an abrasive wading fly fisherman that hates canoers though. :confused: There is also fly only stretches, but you can fish flys behind a float on a spinning rod just like alot of steelheaders do here. There is plenty of river available for spin casting. As far as shuttle, the guys at the Fly Factory will take care of you if you put in there and the canoe livery at Acme will do the same if you put in there. Plenty of campgrounds the whole streatch, with some very nice private canoe only sites along the way that have no off river access.
    The dam impoundments can be a bitch if there is wind and or heavy power boat traffic, but by no means the end of the world. When I go there are usually 4 of us in 2 canoes. If I have a youngster in mine I will take my square stern with a 4hp specifically to cross (and fish) the dam ponds. I can tow the other canoe and that makes life easy (I'm getting old). It's also handy for fishing as both ponds are great fishing holes with a wide varity of species.
     
  8. Back from the trip. We ended up deciding on the Manistee as we could try for smallmouth and trout in the upper and end our float in the lower with a chance at Salmon. Plus there are fewer restrictions on the Manistee. Floated from below Hodenpyle dam down through Tippy dam backwaters and then the lower section of the river after portaging the dam.

    The upper section was a very nice float, cold water and no signs of civilization except a couple kayakers. Fishing was not as good, just a single rainbow and a few smallmouth. This section and the backwaters has several nice primitive camps. We camped on government island on the backwaters, nice lake though fishing was slow. Portaged the dam which was a chore with all the camping/fishing gear. The lower section was very nice water and being mid week, the traffic was not bad. There was a few salmon in the river and we landed a couple and a few more bass. Good fun out of a canoe and preferable to casting shoulder to shoulder. It did rain all day Thursday so the salmon should be moving up in much greater numbers soon I would think.
     
  9. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    roger that. we stayed in Mio, Michigan.... beautiful country