Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Platte River Michigan
The Platte River of Michigan is much, much smaller than
the large Platte River that begins in Colorado. It's a
medium size tributary of Lake Michigan. The stream has
a resident population of trout but also a good annual run
of both steelhead and salmon.

Michigan's Platte River is often challenging when it
comes to catching steelhead. It's waters are often very
clear and shallow.

The stream's headwaters start above Bronson Lake,
flow into the lake, through Platte Lake and finally into
Lake Michigan. It's the water downstream of Bronson
Lake that's most popular and productive.

The bottom consist of cobble, gravel, rock and sand.
Parts of it often have deadfalls. There's undercut banks
and plenty of places for trout to hide. Most of the cover
is in the upper section of the river below Bronson Lake.
The farther downstream you go, the wider the stream

Steelhead and salmon fishing is best in the lower
sections of the river. It probably averages between 25 to
40 feet in most places. It gets over sixty feet wide above
Platte Lake and the deeper water provides better places
for the steelhead. The water slows down some and
there's plenty of gravel runs for spawning steelhead and

There's about ten miles of water between Bronson and
Platte Lakes. The trout still exit in the larger part of the
river and seem to be a product of the size of the river.
They are much larger in the lower sections but naturally,
not as easy to catch as the smaller trout in the upper

This river also has excellent hatches of aquatic insects.
Stoneflies, caddisflies and mayflies are plentiful.  
Downstream of Platte Lake is usually not very
productive, has little access and a boat is required to
fish it. Migrating fish can be taken but all in all, it isn't
considered prime water.

Fly fishing the Platte River can be challenging at times. It
can be technical at times. But all things considered it is
one of Michigan's best trout, steelhead and salmon
streams. i

The season varies with the species and location.
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.
Summertime continues to be a good time for trout.
Salmon first enter the river and the steelhead follow.
Steelhead begin entering the Platte River as early as
middle of September. The fishing is good throughout the
Fall. Trout fishing remains good during the Fall.
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. .

Fly Fishing Gear, Trout, Steelhead and Salmon
Type of Stream

Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Brook Trout

Medium to Large, averaging up to 50
foot wide

Northwest Michigan

Nearest Towns

Varies with species

Special Regulations
Yes, be sure you check them prior to
fishing. Closed above Route 31 east
of Honor after Sept. 30th.


Non-Resident License
State of Michigan

National Weather Service Link

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