What Is the Fly Fishing Season in Michigan?

Fly fishing in Michigan is an age-old tradition that continues to attract anglers from all over the world. With its varied terrain, lakes, rivers and streams, Michigan offers some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the United States. The state is home to over 150 species of fish, including brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

Fly Fishing Seasons in Michigan

In Michigan, the fly fishing season starts at the beginning of March and runs through October. During this period, anglers can take advantage of some of the best conditions for catching their Target species.

The fish are most active in spring and summertime when water temperatures are warmest. This is when you will find that fish have more energy and are more susceptible to taking flies.

The key to successful fly fishing during this season is understanding which hatches are occurring when and where. Hatches refer to the emergence of aquatic insects which attract fish to certain areas. Knowing when a particular hatch is occurring can help you decide which type of flies you should be using to maximize your chances of catching your Target species.

During summertime, look for hatches within rivers and streams as they tend to offer better fishing than in lakes or reservoirs during this season. In fall months, focus on lake fishing as lake temperatures remain high longer than those in rivers or streams.

Equipment Considerations

When it comes to fly fishing in Michigan there are a few pieces of equipment that you should consider bringing along with you on your trip. A rod and reel combination that matches your Target species size is essential for success on the water.

Waders or boots will help keep you dry while wading in the deeper parts of rivers or streams. Landing nets are also important as they allow you safely bring a hooked fish onto shore without damaging it.

When selecting flies for your trip make sure that you have an assortment that covers all types of hatches for whatever time frame you plan on being out on the water.


The fly fishing season in Michigan typically starts at early March and runs through October giving anglers plenty of opportunities throughout the year to cast their lines into some great waters and catch their Target species. Fly selection should be based off which types hatches occur when and where as well as having appropriate equipment like rods/reels, waders/boots, landing nets etc., ready to go before heading out onto the water.

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Emma Gibson