Muskegon River Map

The Muskegon river is the second longest river in Michigan, spanning over 200 miles from its source in north central Michigan, down to the port town of Muskegon, where the river flows into Muskegon lake and then lake Michigan.

A classic tailwater fishery below Croton dam outside of Newaygo, MI, the river is very wide, often spanning 100+ yards.  It’s in this stretch that the cold water fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead and lake run brown trout is best.  Other stretches both up and down stream from this area, provide very good smallmouth bass fishing during the summer months.

Pere Marquette River Map

The historic Pere Marquette river is located in north west portion of Michigan’s lower peninsula.  The main stream  of the river is nearly 70 miles long, running from Lake county near Baldwin, west into Pere Marquette lake and then into lake Michigan.

The river is named after the French Roman Catholic missionary Jacques Marquette, who explored the Great Lakes and Mississippi river areas in the mid 17th century.

The “PM” is designated a Blue Ribbon Fishery by the United States government because of water quality, accessibility, natural fish reproduction, fish management practices and other criteria.  The Baldwin river is a major tributary to the PM and in 1884, was the first river in the United States to ever be stocked with German Brown trout.  Considered by many to be one of the more unique and intimate rivers anywhere, it hosts excellent fishing for resident brown trout, as well as migratory salmon, steelhead and lake run brown trout.

Manistee River  Map

Originating a few miles to the east of Mancelona in northern Michigan, the Manistee flows south for approximately twelve miles while nearly paralleling the famous AuSable River which is just a few miles to the east. The difference between the two rivers is that after paralleling each other, the AuSable turns east and flows into Lake Huron while the Manistee turns southwest and eventually flows through Tippy hydroelectric dam into Lake Michigan. The Manistee flows for nearly a hundred miles from its headwaters to Lake Michigan.

The Manistee River can be broken up into 2 sections, above and below Tippy dam.  Above Tippy dam the river is a medium size trout stream, with fair-good walk in access to trout fish for resident Rainbow and Brown trout.  Some Smallmouth bass also occupy the upper water, but closer to Tippy itself for them.  Below Tippy dam the rive is a large tailwater, which holds both resident Brown and Rainbow trout, along with migratory runs of fall Chinook and Coho salmon, fall Steelhead, fall and winter lake run Brown trout and spring run Steelhead.

The best trout water is found in its upper reaches from the vicinity of Mancelona Road (M-38) downstream over thirty miles to M-66.   This stretch of river is small at first (approximately 15-25 feet wide) and gradually gets larger and swifter as it nears the M-66 Bridge (approximately 100-120 feet wide). The upper reaches of this stretch is home to beautiful brook trout.   The farther downstream you venture the more brown trout you will find. There is also a healthy population of rainbow trout in the lower reaches of this section. The size of the fish can vary greatly. The overall consensus is that the farther downstream you venture, the larger the fish (there are very large trout found in the mid to lower reaches of this section).

 Access can be found in many areas along the Manistee River. Access to the upper section of Manistee River can be found near M-38 (Mancelona Road) and is best fished with a light fly rod (2-4 weight). Below Mancelona Road you will find access in the town of Deward off of Fayette Road, County Road 612 Bridge, the CCC Bridge, and Sharon Bridge. There are also plenty of other areas to access the upper river. Access to the lower river can be found from numerous side roads off of M-55. River Road (parallels the north side of the river) and East River Road are found near the river, and lead to Tippy Dam. North High Bridge Road crosses the river a short distance below Tippy Dam while other roads parallel and lead to the river.



White River Map

The White River is located in Western Michigan of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The White River rises from the extensive Oxford Swamp in north central Newaygo County and flows out into an upland area. The rural town of Hesperia borders the river here.

Continuing onward, the White River flows in a southwesterly direction through the southern section of Manistee National Forest. The river passes through Oceana County and into Muskegon County and White Lake. The lake and river discharge into Lake Michigan, near the towns of Whitehall and Montague.

The White River system drains a surface area of approximately 300,000 acres (1,200 km²) and includes about 253 miles (407 km) of streams. A wetland river, it is bordered by ooze for much of its length. The swampy conditions make the river and its tributaries an ideal living area for beaver and other wetland small game. During the fur trade era, trappers found the White River was one of the most productive rivers in lower Michigan. Later, loggers harvested old-growth timber along the river. The timbers were floated down to now-vanished sawmills in Montague and Whitehall.

The White river is popular to the fly fisher for salmon, steelhead and trout. Trout fishing slows a bit once the heat of summer settles in, especially a couple miles below the Hesperia dam. Fall steelhead fishing can be either very good or very slow, it’s simply “that kind” of river, with very little middle ground for some reason. Spring steelhead and fall salmon bring anglers to the water below the Hesperia dam due to it being a rather small and wading friendly river system.