Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Betsie River Michigan
Although not as popular as some of Michigan's streams,
the Betsie River is one of the state's better steelhead,
salmon and trout streams. It's a tributary of Lake
Michigan. The river has a good population of both brown
and rainbow trout as well as its annual runs of steelhead
and salmon. It's a beautiful river that's a pleasure to fish.

Salmon move into the river from September through the
middle of October. Steelhead follow them and start
coming into the river as early as late September. They
continue and remain in the river to spawn until early
Spring.

Fly fishing the Betsie River for trout can be done all year
but most anglers prefer the Spring and Summer months.
The river is known for its prolific hatches of aquatic
insects and fine trout fishing as well as its steelhead and
salmon. The uppermost section of the river has plenty of
trout.

The Betsie River begins from Green Lake. The very
uppermost part is relatively small, but there's plenty of
trout. The river size increases from the flow of Grass
Lake Creek, a small tributary. The river flows through
Wallin and then picks up more water from the
confluence of Little Betsie Creek.

The best areas for salmon and steelhead starts as far
upstream as Wolf Road. Fishing is normally good all the
way to Lake Michigan, depending on the water levels.
There's over twenty miles of good steelhead water. Most
anglers consider the best steelhead fishing to be below
the Route #115 Bridge.

The lower part of the river is larger, averaging up to
seventy feet in width. There larger and deeper pools
and runs with some shallow riffles. Access is fairly
plentiful with many bridges providing access points.
There are a few roads that parallel the river in some
areas.

You can fish the Betsie from a small pontoon type boat
or canoe or by wading. Many anglers ignore the smaller
Betsie in favor of the Manistee and Boardman Rivers
nearby, but that isn't always the best approach. The
Betsie has some very good runs of salmon and
steelhead and an excellent population of trout.

Seasons:
The season varies with the species and location.
Spring:
Springtime is the best time for trout because of the
numerous hatches. Steelhead can be caught as late as
the end of April depending on the weather.
Summer:
Summertime continues to be a good time for trout.
Fall:
Salmon first enter the river and the steelhead follow.
Steelhead begin entering the Betsie River as early as
middle of September. The fishing is good throughout the
Fall. Trout fishing remains good during the Fall.
Winter:
All but the coldest days of Winter can be good for
steelhead. The extremely cold water of January and
February can make the fish sluggish but otherwise,
fishing remains good throughout the Winter.
Type of Stream
Freestone

Species
Steelhead
Salmon
Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Brook Trout

Size
Medium to Large, averaging up to 50
foot wide

Location
Northwest Michigan

Nearest Towns
Benzonia
Frankfort

Season
Varies with species

Special Regulations
Yes, be sure you check them prior to
fishing.

Access:
Fair to Good

Non-Resident License
State of Michigan

Weather
National Weather Service Link

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Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Betsie River Fishing Report:
11/09/13 Local customer reporting steelhead just now
entering river. He caught none but saw two fish taken.
Water is still low. He called to order flies.  
12/12/13 Very, very cold. High to day 14 degrees. No
reports of anyone fishing during the last couple of days.
Fishing Report Updated 01/28/14
(Bottom Of Page)
12/31/13 Cold air has created very cold water and
hampered the fly fishing opportunities for the steelhead.
Our local contact has fished or hasn't seen or heard of
any steelhead caught during the past week. Stream
levels are also high at this time.
01/28/14 Very cold weather and water continues to be a
problem for anglers. No reports of any fish being caught.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.