I can count the number of times I've been fishing on one hand: once. Despite growing up in a rural town like Allegan I surprisingly do not come from a family of hunters, farmers, or anglers. Though of course, I know plenty of people that do-- we even had "Drive Your Tractor to School Day" for goodness sake!

Though I am no expert angler myself, I did have a rewarding and fulfilling experience during my first fishing excursion in Missouri. Now that I'm back in the Mitten I want to continue dabbling in this new hobby, so imagine my surprise when I recently stumbled across the fact that Michigan is considered a mecca when it comes to fly fishing for trout.

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Given the fact that I've only been fishing literally once in my lifetime, I'm probably a ways away from dipping my toes into the world of fly fishing. If the movie A River Runs Through It taught me anything its that fly fishing is considered more of an artform than a sport.

According to the Pure Michigan website Michigan has, "more miles of rivers and lakes to fly fish than anywhere in the United States." So much so that numerous publications like Field and Stream magazine have named Michigan the best fly fishing state in the country!

It seems if there were ever a place to learn fly fishing, it would be Michigan. With roughly 20,000 miles of trout waters, where does one go to wade? Here are some of the Michigan DNR's favorite spots for beginners:

 Au Sable River - Lower

This river is on ever fly fisherman's Pure Michigan bucket list. The river is stocked with tiny trout to begin with so if you can learn to fly fish here, you can successfully fly fish anywhere according to David Humphries at Guide Recommended.

Dowagiac River

Located in Van Buren County, the river is home to both steelhead and brown trout. A nice gradient makes wading easy and Guide Recommended say the best fishing is found right outside Niles.

Pere Marquette River

This river is considered to be the birthplace of brown trout in the United States. In this river you'll find all fish big and small; everything from minnow to salmon, steelhead and brown trout. You're bound to catch something, no matter the time of the year!


Ready to try your hand? Check out the Michigan DNR's complete guide to streams and rivers for ideal fly fishing.

Michigan Fishing: 1900-1943