Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing St. Marys River Michigan
The St. Mary River, sometimes written as the St. Mary's
River, is a seventy-five mile long river that drains Lake
Superior from the end of Whitefish Bay into Lake Huron.
It is an international border between Michigan, U.S.A.
and Ontario, Canada. There are several tributaries to
the river flowing in from both the Canadian and U.S.
sides of the stream. The St. Marys rapids flow from the
rivers exit from Lake Superior.
The most important area along the river are the rapids
and the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Sault
Ste. Marie, Michigan, with the most famous man-made
feature being the Soo Locks. The rapids of the St.
Marys (Sault Sainte Marie in French) are just below the
river's exit from Lake Superior.
St. Marys River carries a huge amount of water and
ranks in the top ten rivers in American in terms of the
rate of flow. It has a very diverse fishery with over eighty
species of fish, over half of which spawn in the river and
its tributaries. From a fly fishing standpoint, it is world
renowned for its Atlantic Salmon fishery at the rapids
section of the river. The rapids are also a popular
steelhead and salmon fishery.
In late June, two to five year-old, five to eight pound
Atlantic Salmon make their way upstream from Lake
Huron through the St. Mary’s River. These fish hold up
behind the Sault Edison hydro plant from June through
August. It's a popular fly fishing destination for fly
anglers from around the world.
You can view these fish when they arrive at the Edison
plant online by pulling up the underwater FishCam.
Early in the run of Atlantic Salmon, large schools of
baitfish spawn in the river and provide a source of food
for the salmon.
Great Olive Winged Duns, Hexigenia species of large
mayflies emerge in the river during July and become a
prime source of food for the Atlantic Salmon. Our
Hexigenia nymphs,are very popular flies for the St.
Marys River during July, as well as other Great Lakes
We also have several Perfect Fly Atlantic Salmon fly
patterns of our own that are popular with anglers fishing
the St. Marys as well as Atlantic Salmon in other
locations around the World.
The season is species dependant. Check the current
Atlantic Salmon show up in early May and remain in the
rapids area until the middle of June. Steelhead show up
in the rapids in the middle of May with the run continuing
into the middle of June.
Atlantic Salmon are below the Edison plant from June
through August. Chinook, Coho and Pink salmon enter
the river in late Summer.
Chinook, Coho and Pink Salmon are in the rapids until
mid October. The Atlantic Salmon spawn in the St.
Mary's rapids in late October.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
5, 6, 7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate
type rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
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