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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys !

Thanks for your welcome on this forum. I'm Ben from France.

Here we are: I went in 2013 and 14 on the Salmon River NY for steelhead fly fishing, and I'm addicted !

I'd like to try the PM this year (or next one), and have few questions for you:

- Is it better Fall or Spring fishing (flyfishing streamer or nymph)
- Is the PM Lodge is a good option ?
- What kind of flies is the best ?

Sure I'll have more questions, but that's all for now !
 

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Here's my opinion.

I like to fish for Steelhead in the fall, and winter. Fall fish fight the best, and bite the best. Spring fish often just want to spawn, and won't bite well - although sometimes they bite just great in spring.

PM Lodge is a great place. They can hook you up with a guide, and the guide will know which flies to use at any point in the year. Baldwin Bait and Tackle is also a great bunch of guys, and can also put you on fish.
 

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I'll be drifting the PM this weekend.

Guys at PM Lodge are personal friends and will put you on fish. I have heard that the numbers are quite down this year from quite a few diehards I know.

Its a great river, though after last week in Feb it becomes a three ring circus with too many folk and many walking all over Redds. Being an 18 yr steelheading west coaster it was quite a horrid site to behold. I will only fish it dec-end Feb.

Good Luck in your quest.
 

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I would say mid November. A lot of Michiganders are out deer hunting and the river is not packed. The fish are extremely aggressice and fight well in the fall. Not a fly guy, but a guide will help and egg patterns will certainly catch fish. As stated above spring fishing can be decent, but a lot of people and uhh...questionable methods are the norm.
The PM is a gorgeous river and you have the Manistee system and a couple other good rivers in the same area, some of which are less pressured.
 

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PM a special river(been fishing it since 1980). For steelheading I would pick march (expect winter conditions) or November (last two weeks during deer season). Nymphs, eggs, and streamers are the flys of choice. Good trout fishing is available all year. It's not a big river, here is a picture from December.
Bg

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Winter and Spring fish bite just fine. Give them what they want and they'll take. Hit the bigger rivers now like the St.Joe. The Joe is turbid and holds a lot of fish throughout the Winter. I am confident even in below zero temperatures I can hook fish around the Dam there.
 

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If I had just one time to fish the West Michigan rivers, (PM is my first choice) it would be Nov. into the first couple of weeks of Dec. The Steelhead are aggressive, you might find some Silver Salmon, (Coho) and the Lake Run Browns will be showing up.
For flies, my boxes have too many to describe in a short answer.;) As stated egg flies always work in the fall, medium size streamers in several different colors, and from there ask what nymphs are working at the time.
For lodging, PM Lodge, BBT (Baldwin Bait and Tackle), and Red Moose Lodge are all nice and are operated by some good guides. All three have web sites that you can check out.
Hope this helps,
D
 

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I've stayed at www.pmlodge.com and have always been very happy.

I would request to fish with Frank or Drew. Both are top notch guides and will work really hard to get you fish.

You should come to Michigan in middle to late October. Fall steelhead typically fight harder than spring steelhead. Also, the fish are in the river to eat.

The Fall color change is spectacular. The weather is still usually good.

There also will be some king salmon around to play with though they'll be pretty moldy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So many replies ! Thanks guys. Like I suspected, Mid/late Fall is best ! (Like in Upstate NY). As far as for flies, if there are salmon eggs in the river, I have every kind of egg flies patterns (Suker spawn, beads, soft plastic eggs, estaz, ect....) I saw pictures and videos, and this place look so nice. I'd like to try also Muskegon River, but maybe difficult without a drift bboat ! What about the PM ? is it easy to wade ?
 

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Ben,

While the PM is more wadable, please exercise a bit of due caution. The clearer water sometimes gives the impression of being shallower than it really is and the current can be deceptively strong. Also, if standing in one place for a while, the current tends to hollow out a small depression just below your downstream foot and can trip one if not anticipating it.

You are correct that the Muskegon is better fished from a boat. Being a bigger river, most fish there from a jet boat (gets around quicker from spot to spot), although a drift boat works fine there also. That said, there are spots you can wade on the Muskegon, but just can't move around like you can on the PM.

If you fish with a guide on either river, you most likely will fish from a boat on either river. Most of the PM is no motors allowed, so you likely will fish from a drift boat. On the Muskegon, depending on the guide, either a drift or jet boat.

Enjoy.
 

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Baldwin would be a good place to stay as then you would be on the PM And within an hours drive of the Muskegon and big manistee rivers. If I was coming from Europe would want to experience at least two rivers. Muskegon and big manistee is more spey friendly than the PM although many people do use spey rods on the PM. Their are guides that Are very knowledgeable in all of these rivers. Lots of guide web sites for more information.

BG




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