Our thanks to Dan Donarski for this great guest blog entry on salmon fishing in Michigan
The recent heavy rains have sent hoards of salmon into Michigan streams throughout the state. Rivers of serious note in the Lower Peninsula include the Pere Marquette, Muskegon, Betsie, Boyne and Manistee. In the Upper Peninsula the rivers of note include the Carp in Mackinac County, St. Marys, Manistique, Menominee and the Carp in Marquette County.
River anglers are dealing with some high water due to the rain and the visibility is in some cases quite clouded. Big wobbling plugs or heavy thumping spoons are out-producing flies during these conditions. Spawn as well is producing better than flies. This is due to both the smell of the spawn and the vibrations given off from the plugs and spinners. A day or two after the run-off decreases to normal levels and clarity look for flies to start whomping in the fish.
If you don’t wish to wade or float one of these rivers then head for the pier-heads located at the river mouths up and down Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. (Lake Superior has very few of these.) Spawn or casting spoons rule the breakwalls here and catches have been outstanding. Anchoring the spawn to the bottom on a slip sinker is the best technique to use with the eggs. Fan-casting spoons in blue and silver or green and silver or simply silver are the three top producers.
Expect this action to continue for another two weeks or maybe even a bit longer before it trickles off. With the serious lack of rain this September, and higher than normal temperatures for most of the month, the salmon moved later than in most years.
A recent foray into the St. Marys rapids saw hundreds, maybe thousands of pink salmon and big pods of chinooks. Egg patterns and large nymphs brought smiles to more than a few anglers throwing flies.