This great Midwestern mixed-bag trip moves from the legendary trout streams of northern Michigan to the smallmouth, walleye, pike, and muskie waters of the Upper Peninsula, the rugged, hermetic land that so attracted a young Ernest Hemingway. The Route Start in Traverse City, go east to Grayling, then north to the U.P. Head west to Curtis, Seney, and Escanaba, then loop back. The Fishing Long-line for steelhead, three species of salmon, and burly brown trout in Grand Traverse Bay. Fish sulfurs in the evenings for trout on the Boardman (where the indispensable Adams fly was invented), Manistee, Au Sable, and Pigeon Rivers. In the U.P., South Manistique Lake near Curtis has muskies up to 40 pounds and keeper walleyes. In Seney, hit the Fox River, the supposed setting for Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” stories. The Little Bay de Noc near Escanaba has great walleye fishing near the creek mouths and rock piles. Local Color Hartwick Pines State Park (989-348-7068) near Grayling has the last remaining virgin stands of the white pines that once covered northern Michigan. In the U.P., hit Whitefish Point on Lake Superior to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum (877-SHIPWRECK; www.shipwreckmuseum.com), which houses the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald. Take a drive through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge (906-586-9851; midwest.fws.gov/seney). Insider Tips Make sure you stop by the Bayshore Tackle Shop (906-428-9687) near Escanaba for their excellent selection of crankbaits. Shortly after walleye season opens (May 15) in the U.P., try minnow jigs near the mouth of the Rapid River in Little Bay de Noc. Where to Stay and Eat Treat yourself at the Grand Traverse Resort (800-236-1577; www.grandtraverseresort.com). After crossing the impressive Mackinaw Bridge into the U.P., stop and get a Pasty (pass-tee), a football-shaped meat pie that was once the staple of Cornish miners in the area. Have a burger and beer at Andy’s Seney Bar & Grill (906-499-3382).
Where to Go