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Fly Rod & Reel magazine has listed Traverse City as one of its "12 Top Fly-Fishing Retirement Towns." Together with such spots as Key West, Durango and Park City, editor Jim Reilly chose Traverse City as one of a dozen "finest places for living out the dream."
So whether your dream is battling with a lake trout from a charter boat on West Grand Traverse Bay or casting a fly for steelhead or trophy trout on the Boardman River, you'll agree that Traverse City is an extraordinary place for freshwater fishing.
Dozens of fishing charters operate out of East and West Grand Traverse Bays, Leland Harbor, and other nearby areas. During the season running from May through October, anglers fishing from the charters catch lake trout, salmon, steelhead, and brown trout.
Traverse City's Boardman River, along with the nearby AuSable, Manistee and Cedar rivers provide excellent fishing for brown trout. The lower reaches of the Boardman, where it empties into Grand Traverse Bay at Traverse City, are among the many areas enjoying spring runs of steelhead and salmon.
From Glen Lake in Leelanau County east to Antrim County’s Lake Bellaire, numerous inland lakes abound with game fish of all sizes, from bluegills to muskies.
The fishing season in Traverse City does not end with the advent of winter, as ice fishing shanties pop up on lakes and bays throughout the region.
A fishing license is required for all persons 17 and older, and they're easy to get for a day (under $10), a week, or all season. You can pay for them and print them out online at www.mdnr-elicense.com/welcome.asp. In the Traverse City area, licenses are available at K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Meijer, at most tackle shops and at some gas stations.
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