Located in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula near its neighbor the Jorden River, the Boyne River is a small to medium size river with diverse angling opportunities. It has a decent population of resident trout and an annual migration of salmon and steelhead. The salmon and steelhead fishery is provided from Lake Michigan, through Lake Charlevoix, where the Boyne eventually flows into at Boyne City.
Crossing the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix from MI Route 66 into the town of East Jordan you would be able to pick up MI 32. MI 32 would lead to US Route 131 north. Within a few minutes drive you would arrive at Boyne Falls first crossing the South Branch of the Boyne River on your way.
The river originates from the meeting of the North and South Branches. These two rivers meet just north of Boyne Falls to form the mainstream of the Boyne River. The mainstream is a short river, approximately five miles in length from its origin just north of Boyne Falls to Lake Charlevoix where it terminates. Check all the Special Regulations before fishing.
Both branches provide water that can be fished but they are small for the most part averaging 10-20 feet wide. Casting can be difficult. The South Branch provides the best opportunities for the fly fisher. Small browns can be found in the rivers which are easily fooled most of the time. The mayfly hatches are good providing dry fly angling throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Let’s not forget about terrestrials, caddis, stoneflies, and midges which all provide dry fly action as well. Even attractive dries will drum fish up. Access to the branches can be found from side roads that lead off of US Route 131.
The mainstream is best fished below a dam located a few miles downstream from Boyne Falls. Large browns and migratory fish can both be caught in this area. Moderate in size it averages 40 feet in width. The river pulls fairly strong at your legs and careful wading should be considered. Look for large browns, steelhead, and salmon to hold in the deep slots and seams located from the dam to Lake Charlevoix. The hatches in this area are strong and provide good dry fly angling for the river’s resident trout. The mainstream can be accessed from side roads leading off of MI Route 75.
The Boyne River provides angling throughout the year. Quality hatches provide for excellent trout fishing, best during the spring and summer. Migratory runs of steelhead and salmon from fall to spring, provide the angler with an opportunity to hook into a trophy fish. Next time your in Michigan, stop at the Boyne and give it a try.