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Michigan Steelhead Overview

Steelhead in the Great Lakes start to pour into the tributaries of the West side of Michigan in October. Peak fishing time is the whole month of November. These Great Lakes fish are dime bright, acrobatic fish. Multiple jumps in the first minute of hooking up is not uncommon. Many strong runs and direction changes are par for the course. Hang on when you hook up to one of these beasts.

Destination Quick Facts

Location: Michigan
Season: Fall
Capacity: 2 Anglers per boat per day
Closest Major Air Hub: Gerald R. Ford International Airport(GRR) Grand Rapids, MI
Target Species: Steelhead, Brown Trout

Book Single Day


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Book Multiple Day


1-2 Angular

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Lodging Details

Lodging can be booked near the airport in Grand Rapids, or closer to the river near Baldwin, MI. Nice hotels can be found in the booming city of Grand Rapids. Their are many other attractions and family activities in Grand Rapids, if you would like to make this a family trip. Lodging in Baldwin tends to be rustic cabin settings in the woods.

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Minturn Anglers Prides itself in upfront Honesty & No Hidden Fees. There is no fine print on our website. We do not advertise a low price and then nickel and dime our clients for flies, leaders, tippet and equipment rentals at the end of the day. We include all the flies, leaders, tippet, waders, boots,  rods, reels and lunches on full day  guided fishing trips. If you see a lower advertised price, and additional charges in the fine print for flies, rentals etc. proceed with caution! On a typical full day float trip with two anglers, it would be common to use 24 flies. See the difference below for comparison….

Our Advertised Full Day Float Price: $495
Amount We Charge at the End of the Day: $495

Competitors Advertised Full Day Price: $475 (does not include flies, leaders, tippet & gear rental)
24 Flies: $60
2 Leaders: $9.90
Gear Rental: $40
Amount Competitor Charges at the end of the Day: $584.90

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Michigan is the only state in the US with 4 runs of steelhead migrating to the rivers at different times.

This means we can guide fly fishing trips in Michigan any time of the year. We generally fish and host our Michigan trips starting in September, and going all the way through to June. The later months prove rewarding when the Skamania strain of steelhead is running. These fish love to eat dry flies and provides for a very visual steelhead experience.

The Big Manistee in the fall can be some of the best “swinging” you’ll ever see with plenty of fresh steelies trying to pull the rod out of your hands!  Out of all the places we’ve caught steelhead this is still the only one we’ve seen fish jump more than 10 times during a fight!  The Big Man and Pere Marquette are the two most famous Michigan rivers and with good reason. Both rivers have large trout and fiesty migratory fish. There are plenty of other smaller gems we would love to take you fishing on all through the western part of the state and even the UP.  The fishing stays good all throughout winter which is some of our favorite time to guide in Michigan because of the small crowds. These trips tend to peak in late March/early April where you can get into some big numbers of fish.

Minturn Angler’s founder, Matt Sprecher as well as many of our guides were born and raised in the Midwest, so they knows all the in’s and out’s of catching huge steelhead in Michigan.  Our clients come from all over the country to fish with us in Michigan and for many of them, this trip is within driving distance, and an amazing way to experience world class fly fishing in your own backyard instead of ours here in Minturn, Colorado!

As always with Minturn Anglers we have all sorts of lodging and food options to fit any budget.  Give a call to the shop and talk to Matt about a guided Michigan fly fishing excursion with us on our “hometown” trip.

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Travel Details

Anglers will be flying into Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids, MI. Rental cars can be booked from the airport. From the airport a scenic northbound drive awaits you, through the woods of Michigan. This drive is approximately 1 1/2 hours. Your guide will meet you the morning of the trip, near the river.

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Other Info


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Guided Trip Reservation & Cancellation Policy

Denver: 720-851-4665
Vail Valley: 970-827-9500
Email: flyfish@minturnanglers.com

Reservations/Booking & Payment Info

To book a trip, use the BOOK NOW button or call us and let us know when you would like to go & any other special trip information you might have. To hold a reservation, we require a credit card number to complete your reservation. The trip is charged 100% at the time of reservation.

Cancellation Policy

Payment in full is due upon trip confirmation. Trips are fully refundable up to 72 hours before your trip. If you cancel within 24-48 hours in advance of your trip you will receive a 50% refund. If you cancel within 24 hours of your trip, no refund will be given.

All trips are guided by Minturn Anglers, and rates reflect most current Minturn Anglers pricing). Minturn Anglers operates under special use permits from the White River National Forest, DOW, and the BLM. Colorado Outfitter #2597. Equal opportunity service provider.

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Why Minturn?

We have a passion for these migratory Midwest fish. They have a special place in our heart. This passion drives us to chase these fish to the best of our ability.


It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

About the Author

Justin Nolan

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