Brown Trout Fishing in Michigan

This post was last updated on April 8th, 2014 at 05:02 pm

Brown Trout Fishing in Michigan

The state of Michigan has a lot of fishing opportunities available. Brown trout fishing is better than average.  Perhaps it is most wellBrown trout fishing in Michigan. known for it Salmon fishing on the great lakes, or maybe the Walleye fishing on lake Erie. But the brown trout cannot be ignored. They arrived in Michigan in the 1880’s and were planted first in the Baldwin river. From there they quickly spread into the great lakes forming one of the greatest natural reproduction examples in the US.

There are a lot of places in the state of Michigan where brown trout fishing is great. A brown out of the Big Manistee river for instance, had

Fish weir on the little Manistee river in Michigan
The little Manistee weir, where Steelhead and Salmon eggs are collected for fish planting. A testament to the quality and health of michigan trout streams. Image courtesy of Michigan DNR

the world record for a few years. The little Manistee which is a smaller branch, has a weir which collects fish in order to procure eggs to disperse throughout MI and to nearby states for fish planting. You can read more about the weir here. This is just one example of a trout stream so healthy that is actually has fish to spare.

Multiple ways of Catching Browns Include:

Down riggers and planer boards

Common ways Michigan fisherman go after the brown trout are trolling in the great lakes, and of course fly fishing, and spinner fishing on the rivers. The trolling fisherman on the great lakes will typically use large spoons. (a thin metal lure resembling the kitchen utensil sort of) They also use down riggers, and planer boards. The down riggers are a device that lowers a weight down deep in the water. Your line attaches near the weight and this will allow you to fish in extremely deep water effectively. This method is the most effective for trout and salmon species, because they tend to live in extremely deep cold water. They will simply drive around at a slow rate waiting for a rod to be triggered by a pulling fish. They have perfected this method and it is quite popular. This is also one of the only ways to catch the lake trout which also live in extremely deep water. There is a world renowned lake trout fishery on on lake Superior in the Upper peninsula of Michigan. Fish are quite common over 30#.

Fly Fishing

This is my personal favorite method. There are a ton of different rivers in Michigan to fish on. I learned to fly fish on the Ausable which is one of the more popular ones in the state. The Pere marquette and of course the Manistee which I already mentioned are both very popular and productive rivers.  There are way more rivers than I can fit on this page. Visit the Michigan dnr site for a complete list. Brown trout fishing in Michigan is remarkable experience. The insect hatches are great and most trout streams have a more than healthy population of fish available to catch. They are almost always eager to take a fly during a hatch.


Spinners and spoons

Using small mepps and panther martin style spinners is effective. Its a great way to get your foot in the door of fishing for brown trout. This is the easiest method to learn (next to worm fishing) and can be pretty exciting. Watching a huge brown come out from underneath a logjam to eat your lure is enough to get a smile on anybody’s face.

Brown trout fishing in Michigan if filled with great opportunities. You don’t need a boat or any expensive equipment. Just a couple of cheap lures and the will to go find the trout stream nearest you to go after them.