Managed by Alex Ermatinger
Alex grew up fishing in Northern Michigan for Salmon and Steelhead, which sparked his lifelong passion for fishing and being in the outdoors. He attended Northern Michigan University and received his BS in Environmental Science and Biology. After working in Chemical Engineering and then Pharmaceutical Research, he realized that his true calling was to be a fishing guide. In 2017, he decided to make a career switch and moved to the Western Slope of Colorado, guiding his first year with the Smith Fork Ranch before moving to the Gunnison River to guide there. Alex returns to Michigan each September to chase salmon on remote stretches of Northern Michigan rivers, guiding on the same rivers that he grew up fishing.
From the end of August to early October, King and Coho Salmon migrate from Lake Michigan into many rivers along the west coast of Michigan. Captain Alex specializes in targeting these fish with a fly rod on remote upper stretches of the Betsie River and Little Bear Creek south of Traverse City, Michigan. Private access allows us to float stretches of river inaccessible to other fisherman. This results in beautiful, scenic floats where it is common to see more bald eagles than other fisherman. Throw in large numbers of fish and you have the recipe for a great day on the water! Both stretches of river are cleared of large debris early in the season to ensure safe travel downstream. However, they are kept overgrown to promote healthy trout habitat as well as deter other boaters from floating it. For these reasons the boat may have to be pushed over a sandbar, under a log, or through brush... but that just adds to the experience! Captain Alex targets these Salmon early in the run when they are fresh, aggressive, and staged up in large holes. Bottom bouncing techniques work best when run with egg flies, wooly buggers, or egg sucking leeches. Certain days will allow us to strip streamers for these fish as well. Spinning gear can be provided to cast thundersticks or float skein under a bobber if anglers wish. Double check with your guide to ensure that this is an option. A hot lunch is also served stream-side on all full day trips. All you need to bring is a good attitude and your Michigan fishing license! Read More
From November to May large numbers of Steelhead migrate from Lake Michigan into a number of rivers along the west coast of Michigan. After spawning in the late spring these fish return to the big lake and repeat the process for 8-10 years. These chrome fish are very aggressive as they have to maintain their bodyweight, and are usually plenty willing to crush an egg fly or spawn sack! Alex and his guides target these magnificent fish on some of the most productive rivers south of Traverse City, Mi with both fly and spinning techniques. Once spring hits and the weather starts to warm we find fish in deep holes, on gravel, and in runs. Customers have success fly fishing with both nymphs and streamers, while spin fisherman use spawn bags and spinners. The weather can be variable this time of year but the exhilaration of landing a beautiful Steelhead makes it worth the effort! A hot lunch is served streamside on full day trips. Please inform your guide of any food allergies or requests. Read More
Had an amazing time and couldn’t ask for a better experience, very well worth it.
We had an amazing time! The guides are wonderful and very helpful! This was my second year going and will definitely go again!
Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead
Artificial Lure Fishing, Fly Fishing, Light Tackle Fishing
17230 Cadillac Hwy, Thompsonville, MI 49683, USA | Bodies of water fished: Betsie River, Little Bear Creek