Pere Marquette River Report

October 14th, 2020

While there are plenty of salmon still around, the season is just about history for many of us. Fresh fish continue to migrate upstream in singles, pairs and small groups. A lot of the salmon are in the later stages of spawning and have their better days behind them. Carcasses are starting to collect in certain inside bends and the leaves are falling and finding hooks once floating downstream. It’s definitely a time of transition. Guides who are burnt out on salmon are filling their egg boxes and getting switch rods rigged with floating lines in anticipation of fresh, chrome, fall-run steelhead. The river came up a bit with the rain two days ago and gained some color. You can bet there’s some new chromers (steelhead) riding the higher flows upriver following the smell of sweet, stinky chinook eggs; which there’s absolutely no shortage of right now. With more rain in the forecast, I can only suspect that more steelhead, coho and the remainder of the chinooks will push upstream here soon.

Nathan and Karen had an epic day!

Nate with a couple nice kings!

Nick using his saltwater fighting skills to tame big freshwater fish!

Rudy with a big boy!

Nemel doing what he does, catching big fish!

It is with a heavy heart that I must admit that this is my last report as a Pere Marquette River guide. It has been an amazing experience and have cherished every minute of it. The PM has captivated me from my initial exposure to the river 20 years ago. While that time frame doesn’t hold a candle to the greats like Jac Ford, John Kluesing and Walt Grau, I admired all of those guys as a kid. Most kids my age were looking up to basketball and football players. Not me. The guys who made a living off the river by creating the scenarios that make the memories that last a lifetime for their clients. The fact that I’ve been able to call those guys colleagues these past few years is crazy. It’s like being drafted to the same sports team you watched your entire childhood. I loved the gratification you get out of guiding. Seeing the look on someone’s face when that fish of a lifetime is in the net is priceless. That first giddy yelp as a big salmon or steelhead goes cartwheeling downstream. Watching a father and son spend time together on the water. All of it. I still remember telling Frank in the paring lot in front of the shop that I wanted to guide here one day. Thinking it would actually happen was beyond anything I could wish for. Starting a family and a career here in Baldwin has made this area even more special to me. So, to all of you who I’ve had the pleasure of having in my boat over the years, to all of the guides and outfitters who have given me a chance and a hand getting started in all of this, to everyone who has supported me or inspired me to do better and try harder, I sincerely thank you. Please continue to visit and care for the PM. Support the businesses around town. Have fun on the river. You’ll definitely be seeing me out there. 

Kyle Hartman – Guide

Pere Marquette River Lodge

231 745 3972

  • Flow
    Moderate
  • Visibility
    Slight stain
  • Water Temperature
    Low to mid 40's
  • Best time of day to fish
  • Indicator
    Blackbird
  • Recommended Leader
    7' 20lb fluoro for salmon, 9' 0x fluoro for steelhead
  • Recommended Tippet
    12-15lb fluoro for salmon, 1-2x fluoro for steelhead
  • Best Rod Outfit
    11' 7wt for steelhead, 9' 10wt for salmon
  • Best Techniques
    Nymphing
  • Comments
  • 6 day outlook
  • Our thoughts on the outlook