My fishing world is torn between two opposing camps: spinning and fly fishing. I am determined to do a lot of both this summer, but one of my main goals is to truly start to really improve as a fly fisher—specifically fishing for brown and brook trout. I live in the southeastern part of Michigan. While we are surrounded by great rivers for smallmouth bass and pike, finding a good trout river down here is a bit more challenging. There are a number of small creeks and streams that do receive stocks of hatchery-born brown trout each year, however, finding a river system where they have established a wild population is another thing entirely.
My current list of rivers containing trout that I can reach in under three hours includes three rivers: The Muskegon, The Rogue River, and the White River. My goal was to find places that I could feasibly drive to and back home from in one day. Over the next few months, I’ll be fly fishing these rivers and many more and reporting back on what I find. As I said, I am a relatively new fly angler so I’ll be focusing on how accessible these spots are for a newer angler and what I find when I fish them. I am planning on getting further North to fish some of the classic trout streams such as the Pere Marquette, Pigeon, Au Sable, and others. For now, though, I’ll be focusing on day trips to the southernmost trout rivers.