Fly-Fish Michigan

Lake Superior     Photo: courtesy of Willard Clay

In Michigan, you're never more than 90 miles from a Great Lake, which is the reason, I suppose, it's nicknamed the Great Lakes State. By those standards, it should also be dubbed the Unbelievably Sick Trout-Water State. The Au Sable, the "Big" and Little Manistee, the Muskegon—there are quality rivers everywhere. But there are also anglers. Avoid combat fishing by hitting the Jordan River, in the northwestern part of the state. It's small water, but the browns grow to impressive size (20-plus inches), and the brookies will go for any beat-up dry fly hanging from your cap. (Grab flies and licenses at the Northern Angler, in Traverse City; 231-933-4730.) Some of the best water is near Graves Crossing, outside Elmira. Just string your rod and fish below the bridge. Grab dinner at Terry's Place, in Charlevoix (terrysof­char­levoix.com). It's stuffy for waders, but the sauteed perch—hey, it's the Great Lakes State, after all—is damn good. Beforehand, shower up at the Weathervane Terrace Inn (doubles, $120; weathervane-chx.com).

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