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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I am taking a freind of mine who is in a wheelchair salmon fishing on the big river next Wednesday and Thursday. I usually wade this time of year and have little experience fishing the big river from a boat. Any help as far as which launch would be most wheel chair accessible to locations and setups would be greatly appreciated. I appreciate your help.

Thanks,
Skipster
 

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Are you fishing from a boat?

If not then go to Tippy Dam/Brethren side where just downstream from the launch there is a disabled angler fishing dock. It is at the far end of the parking lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My thought was to try to fish from a boat. We have a 16' with a 40hp. I took a charter trip a few years ago with Mark Chmura........but that is the only time I have fished on the river from a boat. I used to fish Tippy years ago and would like to avoid it at all costs :lol:.
 

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My thought was to try to fish from a boat. We have a 16' with a 40hp. I took a charter trip a few years ago with Mark Chmura........but that is the only time I have fished on the river from a boat. I used to fish Tippy years ago and would like to avoid it at all costs :lol:.
Your friend is in a wheelchair? Without knowing the reason for him or her being in a wheelchair or how much mobility they have I'd say that a sixteen foot boat may not be the way you'd want to go.

Other launch sites that you have would be at High Bridge and Bear Creek both of which are a few miles below Tippy Dam.
 

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Whit1 has given you some good advice on fishing the Big M with the information you provided. If you do decide to put in with your boat, suggest that you use the high bridge access as you can get the boat in a better position for wheel chair access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. He is pretty mobile. The cabin that we are staying in is in Brethren so Highbridge would be pretty convenient. As far as the boat goes. It fits him and his chair really well. We use it to fish Manistee lake. I appreciate the help.

-Scott
 

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I'm guessing you need a dock??? You could launch at the city launch on the lake and run up the river. Instal-Launch is just inside the river. And maybe Matson's Campground a few miles up river.

Mitch
 

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Scott,

As a survivor of a broken neck I commend you for being a great person and helping your friend still get out and enjoy the sport that he does, regardless of his reasons for being in a chair. I was very lucky not to have been confined to one and thank the powers that be for that and for people like yourself.

As Whit said, there is an excellent access site on the north side of the dam that can put you and he into good fishing.

The High Bridge ramp is wide and gradual and may be the easiest place to go. I will say that Bear Creek or Rainbow Bend are a little steeper and may make it easier to pull up a chair along side of the boat at the sake of being a pain to get up and down.

One thing to also note, if you're in a prop it may make sense to go down lower then up high as there are fewer obstacles down low. Last tidbit, even though I have a jet I usually launch below where I fish and run up higher when in the river. I do this so that if I should have a boat problem I at least can float back to the car.

Seriously, have a great time and post some pics when you get back.

Rob
 

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I'm guessing you need a dock??? You could launch at the city launch on the lake and run up the river. Instal-Launch is just inside the river. And maybe Matson's Campground a few miles up river.

Mitch
There are a couple spots that would make it very tenuous if you try boating from Insta-Launch up to Matsons. VERY shallow water across the entire river, with a large bunch of logjams making the deep side impassible. If you can get your friend into and out of a boat without needing a dock, I recommend either Bear Creek or Rainbow Bend launches. Prime middle river water in those areas, and you can launch and park easily. You can run downstream a long way from Rainbow, before you hit a major obstacle in the river. If you need a dock, then Insta-Launch and Tippy Dam are the only options. Of those two, I would recommend Insta-Launch, and fish the banks in the lower river.

As Whit mentioned, there is a fishing platform at the downstream end of the lower parking lot at Tippy dam, which is specifically made for handicapped anglers to use. It gets used quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is great info. My buddy is an electrician and fell out of a scissor lift at work about 6 years ago. He is a go getter and we still do a lot of fishing and hunting together. We have just changed our methods a little. We used to do a lot of river fishing together and I think that trying the boat thing in the river would be a good way to get back into it. I sincerely appreciate the help. This site rocks!

Thanks,
Scott
 
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