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Pine River

Working a brown on Michigan's Pine River

The Pine River is the coldest, highest gradient river in Michigan's lower peninsula. Its clear, high quality water makes it one of the finest trout rivers in the East. Protected by seasonal fishing and restricted outfitters and individual access, the Pine continues to offer incredible appeal to the serious fly angler for trout.

The wild strains of fish in the Pine are cared for with intensity by the Michigan's Department of Natural Resources. No hatchery fish are placed. Every fish in the river is wild and shows it.

The Pine is a tributary of the Manistee River, but the confluence of the two is upstream of Tippy Dam. Tippy Dam is the furthest upriver that Lake Michigan migratory fish can go. With no competition from their larger cousins, the brown, rainbow, and brook trout in the Pine compete with only themselves. Still, it's a wild fishery, and not all of them reach trophy size. All do, however, live wild and unassisted, or unencumbered by the machinations of fisheries' managers.

Only two outfitters offer fishing access to the Pine. As one of them, we take great care with our passing. With our flies only, catch-and-release policy, we want to ensure that you have as quality a fishing experience the second time as you do the first time. You'll see right away that the wilderness quality of the Pine River is well worth the care we give it.

The Pine is a "National Wild and Scenic River." So designated by the US Forest Service, it is also a "Natural River" designated by the State of Michigan. During the lumbering era the Pine was an important highway to transport logs to the mills of Manistee. This is how the this river got it's name "Pine" as in White Pine, the tree that lined its banks.

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