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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past couple of years I’ve been monitoring the formation of a couple of beaver ponds in an area I frequently chase grouse. The beavers have been active there for a few years and the ponds are only, say, 2-4 years old. The dams are near the headwaters of an unmentionable here in the north central UP and the river flows down to Lake Michigan.

I haven’t chased trout in many, many years (since college), but now that I’m retired, I’d like to take up the challenge to get me back in to the “way-back” during seasons between morel hunting and grouse/woodcock season. I’m set up with an ultra-light spinning rod/real, a bunch of spinners (panther martins, meps, blue fox, and a few rooster tails. Any other suggestions on what to throw out there?

More importantly, though, I have a couple of youngsters (ages 10 and 12) coming up for a week or so in mid-June and they’ve expressed an interest in brook trout, too. I’m thinking I’ll set them up with hooks and crawlers given the amount of debris in the ponds, in hopes of cutting down on snags/lost gear, and hopefully provide more fun for them. Does that sound reasonable? The ponds have some pretty good access points – meaning places where the tag alders lighten up some and provide some room to get the offerings out there.

I’d sure appreciate any advice regarding tactics, baits, and maybe how best to approach the ponds for the best chance of success for the boys.

Thanks in advance for anything you have to offer. Oh yeah, I’m all set up with themacells and deet – I live in the UP, afterall.
 

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I still want to know why we can't talk more specifically about rivers on this site, even locations who cares were just people fishing trying to share information, over half of us fishing rivers in the U P don't live there and we don't have a clue where to start but there's some big secret about talking about where you're going to fish at...

I just don't get it!?:mad:;):(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Little slip bobbers will keep you out of most of brush. Crawlers or small minnows. Beaver ponds are usually best early or real late because the water warms, but may have a chance this year.

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Thanks, jmo. Just to clarify, when you say they are best early or real late, are you talking about early or late in the trout season or early or late in the life of the pond itself?
 

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I still want to know why we can't talk more specifically about rivers on this site, even locations who cares were just people fishing trying to share information, over half of us fishing rivers in the U P don't live there and we don't have a clue where to start but there's some big secret about talking about where you're going to fish at...

I just don't get it!?:mad:;):(
While I agree that the rules are too strict and river selection of mentionables bad, you should have to put in the work yourself for small streams. It only takes 1 person to take out all of the fish in places like a small beaver pond. I think type 2-4 streams should be allowed to be mentioned.

Thanks, jmo. Just to clarify, when you say they are best early or real late, are you talking about early or late in the trout season or early or late in the life of the pond itself?
I find the best time in the year is before the bugs come out and after they go. I use just enough nightcrawler on a small hook to give the ability to cast where you want. Covering the small hook with the worm and using no sinkers makes avoiding snags easier.

Sometimes I've found that a bobber scares the fish and sometimes I swear the moment makes them come in, but I think they increase chances for snagging.
 

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Yes, I'm a panfisherman (boat) converting to a river and stream fisher.
There is a Major UP river close to my property I would be inquiring about, don't know where or how to start so I'd love to get advice!

Small streams don't require any advice, you just go get your spinner stuck in brush until you can hit your spot and reel like hell or float a crawler and look for deep dark holes with some structure?

Are we allowed to ask generic questions about how to fish a bigger river in the UP and what fish aside from Brook and Brown trout may be in it?
It's a long ways inland from lake Michigan, like 40 miles from lake Michigan if I'm allowed to say that?

Never fished a beaver pond but it sounds interesting!

While I agree that the rules are too strict and river selection of mentionables bad, you should have to put in the work yourself for small streams. It only takes 1 person to take out all of the fish in places like a small beaver pond. I think type 2-4 streams should be allowed to be mentioned.


I find the best time in the year is before the bugs come out and after they go. I use just enough nightcrawler on a small hook to give the ability to cast where you want. Covering the small hook with the worm and using no sinkers makes avoiding snags easier.

Sometimes I've found that a bobber scares the fish and sometimes I swear the moment makes them come in, but I think they increase chances for snagging.
 

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Yes, I'm a panfisherman (boat) converting to a river and stream fisher.
There is a Major UP river close to my property I would be inquiring about, don't know where or how to start so I'd love to get advice!

Small streams don't require any advice, you just go get your spinner stuck in brush until you can hit your spot and reel like hell or float a crawler and look for deep dark holes with some structure?

Are we allowed to ask generic questions about how to fish a bigger river in the UP and what fish aside from Brook and Brown trout may be in it?
It's a long ways inland from lake Michigan, like 40 miles from lake Michigan if I'm allowed to say that?

Never fished a beaver pond but it sounds interesting!
I know a sweet crick that leads to a beaver pond on Drummond. but all I've cought in it are gobies i ask the same question why can't we ask about the streams? I just want to know if there are trout in it I've seen some big ol browns in that creek but it's not worth fishing honestly it's you will see one a day if your lucky. And honestly if you don't have a 4wd with a lift you won't get to this spot.
 

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We were driving around one day with my father-in-law and BIL, trying to find an old Deer Camp he hadn't been to in years, got lost so they parked the truck and decided to go in and deer hunt.

The road was flooded out because of a big beautiful Beaver Dam, I have not been there in over 25 years. I would love to go back and fish it, I never even thought about it, I thought it was too shallow to fish, but I never really paid attention because I didn't have waders so we just avoided it to stay dry!

Man it really makes me want to see it again, I don't know about you guys, but there's several places that I've been to in the U P, only one or two times that stick in my mind, and I want to go back and see them and I know several of them I never will!

I have really enjoyed my travels all over the upper peninsula, what a wonderful rugged land such remote Beauty!
 

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I know a sweet crick that leads to a beaver pond on Drummond. but all I've cought in it are gobies i ask the same question why can't we ask about the streams? I just want to know if there are trout in it I've seen some big ol browns in that creek but it's not worth fishing honestly it's you will see one a day if your lucky. And honestly if you don't have a 4wd with a lift you won't get to this spot.
People don't want to see their favorite "secret" spots posted on the internet. I understand that there is not going to be a flood of people coming to fish a small creek, but people still don't want more people at their fishing spots especially those who just read something and didn't do the work to find the spot. Some of my favorite spots on streams I've never seen another person fishing and I like it that way.

Word gets out, although usually on larger places, and next thing you know there are several people there. It really only takes a few people to visit a spot to lessen the magic of the place. I would not like my favorite spots to be posted on the internet.
 

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People don't want to see their favorite "secret" spots posted on the internet. I understand that there is not going to be a flood of people coming to fish a small creek, but people still don't want more people at their fishing spots especially those who just read something and didn't do the work to find the spot. Some of my favorite spots on streams I've never seen another person fishing and I like it that way.

Word gets out, although usually on larger places, and next thing you know there are several people there. It really only takes a few people to visit a spot to lessen the magic of the place. I would not like my favorite spots to be posted on the internet.
I'm talking about the kinda stuff you need tractor tires on your vehicle just to get to the river.
 

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I know a sweet crick that leads to a beaver pond on Drummond. but all I've cought in it are gobies i ask the same question why can't we ask about the streams? I just want to know if there are trout in it I've seen some big ol browns in that creek but it's not worth fishing honestly it's you will see one a day if your lucky. And honestly if you don't have a 4wd with a lift you won't get to this spot.
Small waters won' t take the pressure.
A couple creeks on my former trout " milk run" held a legal trout or two after a heavy rain shuffled the deck.
If a vehicle was parked there when I arrived the odds of connecting were cut in half.( if they were fishing).

One was written about in an outdoor publication.
Knowing better , I checked it out one day when there were a few vehicles. ( the prior record was about two).

Now ,this is a crick where if you stub a toe on the bank or fart.....The trout panic and dive into muskrat holes ,or burrow under stumps or logs or bank undercuts.
I knew better....
Still ,carried a rod down to the hole.
A grumpy guy on a bucket was catching planters on true turn hooks and dropping what looked like smelt dinner size out of the hole into the bucket. Alrighty then.
Downstream had a couple people hollering back and forth , so I worked the tail of the hole (still knowing better) for a couple puny plants..
A couple guys rolled up and one admired the tail out.
Have at it says I ,and he churned a panther martin a few times. Satisfied no lunker was there he thanked me and they headed upstream. Grumpy looked grumpier as they went past him ,but then again he was not catching anymore smelt.

Vehicles were parking beyond the parking area now , and two gals dressed like a trout fanatics anonymous catalog cover arrived thumping down the bank in their waders and more bucks in cloths probably than my truck was worth.
They were not hurting the scenery though , and looked pretty fresh( for trout fishing folks anyway).
However they had no rods....
They were not bloody ,or muddy ,or stinky or splattered with anything ,or on fire ,but they hopped in the area of the hole and thrashed around churning up the water like they were washing their waders pretty good(Or like they were on fire?), while laughing.
Then they thrashed back to and up the bank and were gone(!).
Still not sure what that was about. Maybe they had encountered grumpy on his smelt bucket earlier in the day, and were protesting his grumpiness?

Time to get out of there for me too.
Traffic stayed heavy ( for a one fisherman site anyways) for a couple years and I just drove past to more peaceful waters.

Picked up way too much trash metal detecting it one spring and the landowner finally had enough of what was probably varied things and closed the access for vehicles. (Now some readers know right where that is!)
Still see a vehicle there now and then from hikers in to fish.
But...the point is it takes little to put trout down ,or shut them down completely on tiny waters.
Kill the couple few legal ones and it ends all but catching sub legal ones / (smelt for some).
So pressure matters more on small playing fields.

Check after a heavy rain on a weekday when no one else is around.
Then again when water is lower and clear.

One old boy on one itty bitty crick would drift a worm into a culvert in a foam cup ,then tug the worm out of the cup when it was well into the culvert.
If his tire tracks were there from recently I usually kept right on going.
If not ,after a rain shuffled the deck I could usually scratch a catch or two .
Usually below "his" culvert.
 

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Yeah but I've just named the stream or a river without even talking about a particular location and Got a warning or a guy like you getting all paranoid...

I think it's ridiculous, so I'd have to say I disagree with you, if you started naming specifics like Downstream of or by a certain Road but we're talking about so much territory here again it's ridiculous and I disagree with your statement, most of us are just looking for general information and want to talk about the general area that we want to fish what kind of fish are in there!

QUOTE="ShoreFisher, post: 6740052, member: 100158"]People don't want to see their favorite "secret" spots posted on the internet. I understand that there is not going to be a flood of people coming to fish a small creek, but people still don't want more people at their fishing spots especially those who just read something and didn't do the work to find the spot. Some of my favorite spots on streams I've never seen another person fishing and I like it that way.

Word gets out, although usually on larger places, and next thing you know there are several people there. It really only takes a few people to visit a spot to lessen the magic of the place. I would not like my favorite spots to be posted on the internet.[/QUOTE]
 

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Yeah but I've just named the stream or a river without even talking about a particular location and Got a warning or a guy like you getting all paranoid...

I think it's ridiculous, so I'd have to say I disagree with you, if you started naming specifics like Downstream of or by a certain Road but we're talking about so much territory here again it's ridiculous and I disagree with your statement, most of us are just looking for general information and want to talk about the general area that we want to fish what kind of fish are in there!

QUOTE="ShoreFisher, post: 6740052, member: 100158"]People don't want to see their favorite "secret" spots posted on the internet. I understand that there is not going to be a flood of people coming to fish a small creek, but people still don't want more people at their fishing spots especially those who just read something and didn't do the work to find the spot. Some of my favorite spots on streams I've never seen another person fishing and I like it that way.

Word gets out, although usually on larger places, and next thing you know there are several people there. It really only takes a few people to visit a spot to lessen the magic of the place. I would not like my favorite spots to be posted on the internet.
[/QUOTE]

I'd put you on the creek I mentioned. And give you all I knew about how to score on it.
I no longer fish it after 20 years of it being part of a run of multiple locales.
Was not much of a stretch of it really fishable though.
Once learned there were two results if some one was ahead of me. Fish hiding (negative mood) ,or unfished that days water proven by active fish ,if it existed.
Folks are welcome to fish. Wading a small creek has an effect.
Watching some one wade downstream always made me have to bite my tongue , but it was their fishing ,not mine. The fish just got out of their way.
I may have waded a couple in summer ,but serious fishing ,same as the river runs of spots ..was stealth from the bank.

On one river the ex would hear a trout near dusk and send me after it. Usually with a decent trout as a result. You might still be able to watch folks wade downstream during prime times and getting fired up when one of the crowd catches a little shaver...

Trout react. We took some nice ones and most went back.
Took years though to learn their haunts and habits.

Then there were the senior couples who would come down on hot summer evenings to soak in the river.
One old bear would lean against a favorite rock and a few minutes later say "come over here ,I have trout in here with me". L.o.l..

Or the discrete"camper" folks tenting and fishing. Now no longer allowed.
From other countries and overly polite to passers by. Not trashing the site or bothering anyone.
Show them a good sized trout and smile at the excitement, laughter, and communication without a common language. There were trout fans in some of them ....

Other people are not the end of the world.
Effective fisherman ,in high numbers just strain a finite resource more than a vast one.

It's all good. Get out there and get teased by trout,while trying to tease them.
 

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So if I've got a small stream on my property,
And I don't want to put waders on what am I looking for a deep hole and what are the chances that I could put a bench up in that spot and sneak up to it and consistently catch trout or do you have to move around. Can you fish trout successfully from the bank or do you need to have waders and get right in the small stream?

I'd put you on the creek I mentioned. And give you all I knew about how to score on it.
I no longer fish it after 20 years of it being part of a run of multiple locales.
Was not much of a stretch of it really fishable though.
Once learned there were two results if some one was ahead of me. Fish hiding (negative mood) ,or unfished that days water proven by active fish ,if it existed.
Folks are welcome to fish. Wading a small creek has an effect.
Watching some one wade downstream always made me have to bite my tongue , but it was their fishing ,not mine. The fish just got out of their way.
I may have waded a couple in summer ,but serious fishing ,same as the river runs of spots ..was stealth from the bank.

On one river the ex would hear a trout near dusk and send me after it. Usually with a decent trout as a result. You might still be able to watch folks wade downstream during prime times and getting fired up when one of the crowd catches a little shaver...

Trout react. We took some nice ones and most went back.
Took years though to learn their haunts and habits.

Then there were the senior couples who would come down on hot summer evenings to soak in the river.
One old bear would lean against a favorite rock and a few minutes later say "come over here ,I have trout in here with me". L.o.l..

Or the discrete"camper" folks tenting and fishing. Now no longer allowed.
From other countries and overly polite to passers by. Not trashing the site or bothering anyone.
Show them a good sized trout and smile at the excitement, laughter, and communication without a common language. There were trout fans in some of them ....

Other people are not the end of the world.
Effective fisherman ,in high numbers just strain a finite resource more than a vast one.

It's all good. Get out there and get teased by trout,while trying to tease them.[/QUOTE]
 

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[So if I've got a small stream on my property,
And I don't want to put waders on what am I looking for a deep hole and what are the chances that I could put a bench up in that spot and sneak up to it and consistently catch trout or do you have to move around. Can you fish trout successfully from the bank or do you need to have waders and get right in the small stream?]

Even when I could wade ,I seldom did.
Fish can sense and see you. Yes ,you can scratch a couple that way. Or more if you wade upstream far enough through "good" water.

A deep hole is always worth a study.
It has a head ,a middle ,and a tail.
Depending on what is going on fish can be holding ,or working any part of it.
By starting at the tail you are alarming fewer fish. If the vibrations from the bank ,or your profile ,or shadow does not sound the alarm.

Away from the hole there is usually a riffle ,run,hole pattern if enough water exists.
A hole does not need to be deep to have the effect of a deeper on on where fish hold ,or feed.
Current is less near bottom. (In theory).
But.... During certain times fish can be in a notch of a bank,or clump of cover ,or under the bank.
What affects the when and how ,the fish will let you know if you work it all before moving upstream...

A beaver dam is different. If current seams exist below it they would be good to work.
Where calmer water meets current edge.
Working all "fishy" looking cover edges ,banks and notches up to nearer the dam.
Depends on age of dam and beaver activity ,but fish often hold somewhere below.

A large trout can hold in just enough water to cover it's back sometimes.
Interesting to spot one watching you ,and the jig is up...
One of my few wading trips had that very result with me midstream and a biggin up near the bank.
Others could be watched (while watching me) and caught later in the day when they went into a run to wait for a brunch ,or dark.

Evening rise is the best scouting time sometimes. Some fish slam a drifting insect ,others sip. But you can get good idea of numbers of fish on the right evening...

A tiny stream/crick is a miniature river. They have sweet spots for fish that change with weather ,temp,conditions,traffic,predators, water clarity.

A brown might explore fresh flooded banks and even brush. A rainbow might hug a hole bottom in the same conditions.
A brookie might be sniffin fresh oxygen where a trickle enters a crick.
Or all the trout could be if it is hot out.
Some right in it. Some yards below but still in that cold inletted water. Even quite shallow. They can see. They just move/leave if threatened or alarmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for the tips and especially the stories. It really wasn’t my intention to re-kindle the debate about which waters can be mentioned, but it’s always an interesting discussion. I admit to being secretive and protective of the various small coverts where I chase grouse and woodcock and where I now hope to pursue trout in the small streams, tribs and ponds that are associated with this particular unmentionable. We’re talking pretty small water here because this area contains the very beginnings of the headwaters of this stream.

I hope I don’t come off as greedy, but I’ve spent decades and a lot of leg miles researching and exploring my small corner of this part of the UP. I don’t travel far and wide to bird hunt – rather, I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about the nooks and crannies of the wilderness in this area. To that end, I have probably spent a couple hundred bucks on plat books (old and new), on topo maps, and on books and brochures about the area. I spend our long winters pouring over DNR forestry management reports (from the DNR compartment reviews) learning the hyper-local characteristics of areas I want to hunt and explore (topography, forest cover types, stand densities, etc.. On google earth aerial photos, I’ve learned to discern aspen from hardwoods from lowland conifers, etc so I can pick out small pockets of potential bird holding cover and I match these photos to forester reports in the compartment reviews to get an idea of stand ages, past and future harvest activities, etc. I mark all these little areas on my maps and, when spring comes, I put on my boots and go take a look. I’ve been lost – er, confused – more than a few times, but I’ve seen some great territory and this is how I manage to come across these small streams and beaver ponds. No one is going to drive up to the beaver ponds I’m talking about – the nearest two-track is ¼ to ½ a mile away.

Sorry to ramble, but I guess my point is: There are a lot of great resources out there and you can learn as little or as much about a particular area of wilderness as you care to. I guess some folks do the same kind of research when planning ocean cruises or vacations to big cities or foreign countries. I just focus closer to home. I enjoy the research but I can really fall down a rabbit hole sometimes – getting into the minutiae to the point of losing track of time. But then, winters are long up here.

Good luck and have fun.
 

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Scout the Beaver Pond a day or several hours before fishing. The flooding will begin to kill the vegetation - even the Alders.

Also, there will be areas of shallow water, even just mud flats too. Try and discern where the original channel flowed the best you can.

Where the overhead leaf cover is gone, the Trout will only be in the deepest water - the centerline of the original channel. This could be at the center of the dam, or off to one side or the other.

There still could be leaf cover in areas with water too shallow - again figure out where the original channel flowed, under current leaf cover - a very good spot, if such exists. Use the remaining Alders to approach the channel and where you can get a pole to the water, use the Alder as cover so you can get a line in the water around the "corner" created by a gap in the vegetation.

Just put a small split shot a foot above a small hook. Teach the kids to wait for a tug, then lower the rod tip briefly and then try and hook the fish.
 

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There is a huge difference between discussing a stream with just a few miles of Trout water and one with more than 3 miles of it. Everyone in Marquette, St. Ignace, and Sault Ste. Marie knows there are Trout in the Carp River. Ditto Bear Creek in another peninsula. Being discussed on this site is not going to ruin anything. This rule just drives people away from this site, pretty regularly; a place where if people hung out, they might learn good sportsmanship, something I doubt they will be exposed to on Facebook.

Bait shops, the DNR, and outdoor publications don't act like Trout are a Top Secret fish; they all want people to fish for them. Trout need more fishermen, not less.

To answer the question "Are there Trout in it?" just look at the Type 1-4 Stream maps:

https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79119_79146_82436-448503--,00.html

Note how many segments are not included in the Type 1-4
designations, particularly in the eastern U.P.



Have fun tomorrow, everyone!
 
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