Salmon runs are on in northwest Michigan rivers

Here they come.

Big salmon in big numbers are making their way up the Pere Marquette, Manistee, Betsie and other rivers in the northwest Lower Peninsula.

So writes Grand Rapids Press outdoor writer Howard Meyerson in a recent article on a lousy day of trout fishing on the Pere Marquette that turned into a wild day of tussling with big chinook, or king salmon.

Meyerson lost battles with all six of the kings he hooked, but that’s not out of the ordinary for salmon fishing.  (Once you see the fish we’re talking about, it’s actually kind of surprising that anybody ever lands one in Michigan’s relatively narrow and log-filled streams.)

Meyerson says this year’s salmon run has so far been “monstrous,” with lots of fish already making their way upstream and plenty more to follow.

And as Meyerson explained in an article a few weeks ago, this year’s salmon–in the technical parlance of a fish biologist he quoted–“will be butt kickers.”

Anglers interested in fishing the Pere Marquette should check in with the guys over at Third Coast Fly for updates on river conditions and photographic proof that kings are indeed catchable.  Those farther south can expect runs to heat up in the next few weeks, and should keep an eye on the weekly fishing report from the Department of Natural Resources.

And if you fish the Grand–MRN’s home river–consider following Meyerson’s 0-for-6 example to save a few for those of us at the upstream end of the migration.

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