Go to the St. Joe
Harley guides flyfishermen on several Michigan tributaries in late fall but says the 63-mile stretch of winding St. Joseph River in southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana is the most productive and least pressured. "You'll hook far more fish and see fewer people on the St. Joseph than you will on any Great Lakes stream," he says. The St. Joseph receives substantial steelhead stockings from both Indiana and Michigan as part of a unique cooperative agreement created in the early 1980s. The $11 million project, funded by the Anadromous Fish Conservation Act, Sport Fish Restoration funds and state funds, enables migrating trout and salmon to pass over five dams between St. Joseph, Mich., and Mishawaka, Ind. The system was completed in 1992.