Headwaters for Brook trout?

Discussion in 'North West Michigan Streams and Rivers' started by Booterl, May 1, 2018.

  1. Booterl

    Booterl

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    Ive been fly fishing for about six years now and have never caught a brook trout, probably because I have never truly targeted them. Though I figured I’d catch one accidentally fishing dries or egging behind steelhead and salmon for Browns. Basically I’m wondering if I should be targeting headwaters or just smaller colder/spring fed streams. I don’t need a river or even a county, I like the chase and the satisfaction that comes with it, just trying to ease the learning curve slightly. Also, I know a lot of people use spinning set ups for them which I’m certainly not opposed to so any input is appreciated. Hell, it’s our state fish and I’ve never even seen one in person.
     
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  2. zig

    zig

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    Honestly, if you're fishing the right waters, brook trout are the easiest to catch of all the trout in Michigan. I don't fish many waters that have steelhead or salmon, but I'd say that the reason you're not accidentally catching brook trout is that the types of waters that have those fish are quite a bit different than waters that would have an abundance of brookies. That's not to say that there are none in there, but the water temps and cover are not generally going to be where brookies like to hang out.

    Brookies are aggressive eaters. So, when you find the right water, you should not have a problem catching your first one. It might be six inches, but it will happen a lot sooner than you may think. Try the headwaters of the streams you know, tributaries, smaller creeks, etc.. Look for timber in the water, smaller water, cooler temperatures, etc. Also, check out the DNR site for stocking information. However, there are lots of waters in Michigan that don't get stocked that have brook trout. Also, fill out your profile. I don't know where you are from, so it may be that you need to travel to find brook trout. If you're in southern Michigan, you might be fishing waters where you slay the browns, but there are no brook trout in there at all. As for setup, spinners work well. Fly fishing as well. Worms are also great. Unlike the other trout of Michigan, you can literally dunk a spinner in between some logs and have a brookie rush out after it. Good luck. Also, they are (in my opinion) hands down the best eating of all Michigan trout, and some of the best eating fish in Michigan period. Lastly, if you're like a lot of us small stream guys, you may also find that the areas with a lot of brook trout tend to be some of the most beautiful in Michigan.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018

  3. -Axiom-

    -Axiom-

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    You don't need to go to the head waters to find brookies though you will usually find brookies there.

    Some rivers are better for brookies than others, you need to seek these out and find the right sections of river.

    Creeks, brookies are in the creeks also.
    Tthe Manistee river has something like 200 creeks that feed it, most of them have brookies in them, for example.

    If you fill out your profile people will have a general idea of where you may be fishing and can offer more specific advice.
     
  4. strmanglr

    strmanglr

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  5. Bighunther

    Bighunther

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  6. MEL

    MEL

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    It seems as tho my best Brookie areas are the more remote, hardest to get to. However, I have caught Brookes within a few yards of my parked car.
     
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  7. slowpaya

    slowpaya Premium Member

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    :Welcome: to Michigan sportsman booter,not much casting room on the tribs and headwaters,go with spinning gear id say.cover some ground ,check some lil creeks and you will catch them soon,go get em
     
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  8. zig

    zig

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    [/QUOTE]I've seen good brookie areas that didn't really look like trout water....

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Michigan Sportsman mobile app[/QUOTE]

    Ha! Yeah. After I finished my post I thought "Crap, I didn't say that." To the OP, this is so true. When you're more up north in Brook Trout country, this is a very fun thing to remember. What looks like a ditch, or a creek so small that it would not have anything, may have a 12" brookie hanging out in it. Heck, in UP, you can get what seems like a good bit away from the creek, drop something in a hole of a cedar root canopy and get something. Pretty cool.
     
  9. Fishndude

    Fishndude

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    Brookies need rivers/streams/creeks that stay cold year-round. They are the Trout that are least tolerant of high temps. Find water that is too cold to swim in comfortably, in summer, and you'll find Specs. Beaver ponds can really concentrate Brookies, and Browns. Any undercut bank can hold a trophy Spec.
     
  10. Booterl

    Booterl

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  11. Booterl

    Booterl

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    We have a cottage in baldwin and and I live in Grand Rapids so my trout fishing is pretty much split down the middle between those two areas. I do appreciate all of the responses, it makes targeting a new water and fish much easier. I’ve got a 3, 5, 7 and 9 weight, but with each being 9ft it’s looking like a spinning set up is going to be much less of a nightmare maneuvering. While I’m at it I might as well ask for reccemondations on a trout rod. I’m assuming 5.5 to 6.5 ft lightweight running 4-6 lb test? Sorry, I’m not too familiar with a worthwhile set up for casting smaller small spinners, rapalas or possibly bottom bouncing.
     
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  12. -Axiom-

    -Axiom-

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    You can use fly gear & tactics to bait fish, think chuck & duck on a smaller scale...
     
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  13. slowpaya

    slowpaya Premium Member

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    9 ft rod(have used 11-12 fts) is my go to.it has its advantages sneaking around smaller streams.a lot of casting is pendulum type so there is that benefit.if its thick cover I often break it down,just takes a sec.also allows you to stay away from the bank a bit.everybody has their fav tho,some prefer smaller rods as you mention.good luck booter
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  14. Boardman Brookies

    Boardman Brookies

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    I love fly fishing but some of the brookie creeks I like to fish are just to difficult to fly cast. For them I use a single piece 5ft UL St Croix with a small abu garcia reel spooled with 4lb maxima. Basically just pitch small spinners.
     
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  15. Booterl

    Booterl

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    I never even thought about a downsized chuck and duck, I like that.
     
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