Last week some friends and I fished the Pere Marquette river in northwest Michigan. All of us have fished the river before and have come back for good reason. It’s designated wild and scenic and host healthy runs of wild steelhead. Not to mention it’s one of the best brown trout fisheries in the country. This is the FIRST river in North America to have brown trout introduced. As a result of the successful rate of natural reproduction in this FREE FLOWING RIVER since that time these fish haven’t change much since the arrival of their ancestors from the late 18oo’s. There are many trophy sized trout in the Pere Marquette for anglers who like to fish with large rodents or streamers. As much as I love brown trout, we made the trip for some fall steelhead. This river is not the easiest Lake Michigan tributary to fish. It’s basically a giant spring creek filled with log jams where fish can really hide well on a bright, sunny day. With some kings in the river still spawning we knew we could count on some fish feeding close behind them. So that’s where we tried to focus most of our effort. The day we arrived we had enough time for a short float and we decided to check out the lower river to swing some flies in the deep bends. While Andrew was waiting at the launch for Brett and I he waded in the first bend downstream and within ten casts hooked and landed a chromer. Our float was a bust, but we still had some confidence for the next day. The next day we floated the “fly only” water, and this time while we were shuttling the car Pete was already sending us pictures of beautiful browns. When we rowed up to Charlie and Pete at the first bend Pete was grinning like a school boy who just saw his first set of boobs. When we asked what was so funny he tells us about the 10 lb buck steelhead he just released. The rest of the day was slow. A few small browns, a couple steelhead smolt, and a missed tug for Andrew which was an adult steelhead that hit his fly TWICE! He pulled in the fly to check it out and it was fouled up around the leader. So the fly was swimming backwards and the fish still made two attempts. I went home two days before the rest of the guys, but left satisfied with getting to know this amazing river a little more.