Betsie and Platte River


Fishing Reports June 2014

Michigan Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Guided Fishing Trips on the Betsie & Platte Rivers  for Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout.

Guided Fly Fishing Betsie River Salmon Fishing


2014 looks like another early run of salmon! Look for salmon reports in early August!


Betsie River Fishing Report 

This report is from Jon's Guide service a Michigan based fly fishing guide service located in South Boardman Michigan and having remote locations in Baldwin Michigan and Newaygo Michigan, providing guided fly fishing and instruction on Michigan's Betsie River & Platte River. Fly Fishing reports for Salmon, Steelhead & Trout. Jon's Guide service offers year round fly fishing on the Betsie River & Platte River.

Fishing Report & Water Conditions: 

The 2014 season is fishing well, but we are still behind! Cooler night time lows, rain, and a couple days in the 60’s has again dropped water temp and feed our fish well. The Hex hatch this year will fall well into July, and for some water such as the Rapid river Hex’s will be around into August.

Currently we are seeing good to great Iso hatches along with a few nights of scattered Brown Drakes. Stone flies have been in good numbers around the water, and have produced some great day time results. Larger Golden and Brown stones mixed with Yellow Sally’s and some smaller Olive Stones. Cahill’s, Mahoganies, Grey Drakes, and Sulphur’s round out the insect options. A few Hex Duns have been seen from back waters and are starting to hatch on a few of our local lakes in the area. I am looking at the last couple days of June to start seeing Hex’s, and look for the peak fishing in early July.

Day time fishing has been up and down and smaller rubber legged stones and Iso’s have been the answer. Terrestrial fishing has also started to produce with the use of Ant patterns, Beetles, and Damsels! Streamer fishing has still been productive in low light, overcast days, and has been best after local rains!

Night time fishing has been about the spinner fall. We have had some awesome nights with clouds of bugs, and others that only the fishing gods could explain why things were not in our favor. Mouse and Bat Fly fishing has started to produce, and has been pretty good on nights with little moon or light.

The local rivers in the area are starting to see more angler pressure in the evenings with the hopes of good Drake hatches and the Hex expected at the party anytime. Please remember you are not the only angler out there and you need to give space and respect to other anglers. I myself have been shocked at already seeing people walking in and posting for big bugs with no regard for private property and trash left behind. Expect a busy next couple weeks on streams in this area!

Fishing early in the morning has been pretty productive the past week. Mixed spinner falls and fish willing to chase streamers has been the end result. Fish seem to be looking up pretty good until around 9:00 am or a bit earlier on sunny days.  Fishing spinner patterns along structure and seams has been the ticket.

With everything being behind in 2014, and some of the arrangements that customers make a year in advance, we still have some fantastic dates open in July for Hex and night fishing.

Guided salmon fishing in the Benzonia and Frankfort areas on the

Betsie river and Betsie Lake.



Jon's Guide Service offers salmon fishing on the Betsie river as well as Betsie Lake. Guided Fishing year-round fishing out of Benzonia Michigan located on the banks of the Betsie River.

Salmon / Steelhead / Lake Browns  

Betsie & Platte River and bays Guided Fly Fishing & Light Tackle fishing Services.


Fall Salmon Fishing Fall / Winter / Spring Steelhead!

Our "Favorite Salmon River" during late Aug /Sept 


Jon's Guide Service offers fall salmon fishing on the Betsie river, Betsie lake, Platte river, and Platte Bay. Guided Fishing year-round fishing out of Benzonia Michigan located on the banks of Betsie River.

Salmon / Steelhead / Lake Browns  


The Betsie and Platte river are known for great runs of Chinook and Coho salmon. Look at late Aug and Sept for great opportunities at fresh salmon from Lake Michigan. Streamer fishing for these fish can be fantastic early in the season.

This is a great river during Late August and most of September for chinook Salmon fishing.  Days are limited and advanced bookings are needed!

Betsie & Platte River Guided Fly Fishing & Light Tackle fishing Services.



Ways to rig for Michigan Steelhead


Photo Gallery

Current River Flow data



Betsie & Platte River Guided Fly Fishing

Betsie River Steelhead Fishing

Salmon / Trout / Steelhead

 Betsie River / Platte River

Michigan’s Betsie River runs into Lake Michigan, and is known for its runs of steelhead and salmon.  It also has a very good population of resident trout.  Hatches can be prolific providing exciting dry fly fishing.  The river is one of the most scenic in the state.


The summer months on the Betsie are the best time for the river’s resident trout with hatches of mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies existing.  Resident brown and rainbow trout are found in excellent numbers, some of which reach large sizes.  Some resident browns have been known to easily break the twenty inch mark, especially in the river’s lower reaches.


Early fall runs of Salmon in August produce fantastic salmon fishing on Streamers and nymphs. Late fall, winter, and early spring are the best times to fish for the Betsie’s steelhead.  The salmon runs occur in late August and will last into late October.  Steelhead will follow the salmon into the river to eat their roe.  Steelhead will continue to enter the river through the winter and will stay until the main population of steelhead enter the river to spawn in the spring.


The upper Betsie, above where the Little Betsie empties in, is a small river littered with fallen trees, shallow runs, quiet pools, and beautiful trout.  The upper portion of this stretch, from Green Lake (the Betsie spills out of this lake) to where Grass Lake Creek flows in, is not known for being a very productive stretch of trout water.  It is still considered small here, averaging approximately 30 feet across with a sand and gravel bottom.  Although trout populations are still good, they are better below Grass Lake Creek where the Betsie gains some volume, cool water, and has more deep pools and runs.


The river continues and flows through the town of Wallin before reaching the junction of the Little Betsie.  A few access areas are found in this stretch, one of which is at Wallin Road Bridge.  Three species of trout can be found in this area; brown, rainbow, and brook.


Below the junction of the Little Betsie, the river gains a little more volume, size, and cool water, averaging 50 feet across with a gravel and sand bottom.  Wolf Road crosses the river a short distance below this junction.  The river above Wolf Road is closed after September 30th.  Check the special regulations before fishing.  Below this point, steelhead and salmon fishing can be outstanding all the way to Lake Michigan.  The best steelhead and salmon water is found below Route 115.  Resident trout fishing also remains excellent throughout this stretch.  Several roads cross the river and many of them provide access for anglers.  A couple of these access points include Psutka Road Bridge and Route 31 Bridge.  Below Route 31, the river bottom consists mainly of sand, silt, gravel, and clay with an average width of 60-70 feet.  Several beautiful pools, deep runs, and charming riffles are found in this approximate 25 mile stretch from the junction with the Little Betsie to Lake Michigan.


Access can be found in many areas along the Betsie.  Several roads cross and/or parallel the river.  Route 31 and Route 115 are the two major roads that cross the river.  Wading in the Betsie is fairly easy.  Most anglers will wade although some choose to use a canoe.


The Betsie River is an excellent Michigan fishery.  Although smaller than many rivers, it still harbors a superb population of resident trout and is run with tremendous numbers of steelhead and salmon each year.  The Betsie River is a short drive from its neighbors, the Manistee River to the south and the Boardman River to the Northeast.


Although the access and wade fishing is good on this river, the use of a guide will always provide a safe, exciting educational experience, and put you on the best fishing the river has to offer at that time of year.

Jon's Guide Service offers guided fly fishing and instruction on Michigan's Betsie River & Platte River

Special Regulations, Betsie River

Betsie River from Wolf Rd. downstream to M-22: Type 4

·  Open Season - All Year

·  Possession Season - Brown trout, Brook trout, Atlantic salmon Last Saturday In April - September. Other species all year.

·  Tackle - All

· Daily Harvest Limit - 5/3* *5 fish, with no more than 3 fish 15 inches or larger, and no more than 1 Atlantic salmon.
All grayling must be released immediately.

·  Brook Trout 8", Brown Trout 10", Rainbow Trout 10", Splake 10", Lake Trout 24", Coho, Chinook, & Pink Salmon 10", Atlantic Salmon 15"

Note: All stretches of water not listed are Type 1 Regulations

·  Open Season - Last Saturday In April - September 30th

·  Possession Season - Last Saturday In April - September 30th

·  Tackle - All

· Daily Harvest limit - 5/3* *5 fish, with no more than 3 fish 15 inches or larger, and no more than 1 Atlantic salmon.
All grayling must be released immediately.

·  Brook Trout - 8" Lower Peninsula 7" Upper Peninsula

·  Brown Trout - 8" Lower Peninsula 7" Upper Peninsula

·  Rainbow Trout - 10"

·  Splake - 8"

·  Lake Trout - 24"

·  Coho, Chinook, & Pink Salmon -10"

·  Atlantic Salmon - 15"



  • Betsie & Platte River Fly Fishing
  • Guided Fly Fishing Betsie River / Platte River.
  • Guided Salmon / Trout / Steelhead on Michigan's Betsie & Platte River


 Phone # (231) 518-0118

Cell # (231) 590-3483 


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