Can you guess the location in the photograph to the right? No, it’s not a Caribbean coastline. No, it’s not Indonesia or Thailand. Unbelievably, this is an image of Sturgeon Bay, which makes up the north-western tip of the lower peninsula of Michigan.
Without a doubt, Sturgeon Bay, Michigan offers hands down, the most incredible fresh water flats fishing experience to be found in Michigan. Combine its midwestern location, pristine beauty, and immense privacy, and you’re as close SUP fishing nirvana as anywhere in the world.
Sturgeon Bay is just one hour north of Harbor Springs, which is a beautiful, quintessential Lake Michigan community. Mackinaw Island, famous for its fudge and rich history, is an hour to the east. Legs Inn of Cross Village and its popular Tunnel of Trees can be explored just 30 minutes from this amazing fly fishing destination, making Sturgeon bay an incredible destination for anglers traveling alone or with spouse and family in tow. The wide assortment of summer activities in Northern Michigan, including art fairs, music festivals, farmer’s markets, mountain biking, boating, and restaurants, offer the opportunity to spend a busy week where everybody has something to enjoy.
We accessed Sturgeon Bay from Wilderness State Park where a day pass is required. There are a couple options to launch, depending on wind direction and water height. I had the good fortune of spending the day with Northern Michigan fly fishing guide and SUPonthefly brand ambassador, Brian “Koz” Kozminski.
We launched two SUP’s loaded with SUPonthefly custom coolers, rod holders, paddles and push poles. Nine miles and almost five hours later I had seen over two hundred fish and experienced one of the most beautiful paddles / excursions of my life. The water was gorgeous and crystal clear. We encountered only one solitary angler all day. The fish were not excited about what we were serving, but it was the best fishing (non catching day) either of us had had in a long time. We are sure to be back… and it is my vow that the fresh water bone fish and small-mouth bass will not win the next time.
Brian Kozminski’s passion for fly fishing is apparent within minutes of meeting him.
Years ago, Koz traded in countless nights serving up bottles of Jägermeister & Captain Morgan’s for a much more rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle of chasing fish and discovering the life cycles of bugs. He studied macro-invertebrates at Grand Valley State University and continues his learning by volunteering for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council as a Stream Monitor.
Koz also teaches kids at a local elementary school about the life cycle of salmon through the DNR & Trout Unlimited sponsored “Salmon in the Classroom” project. When in his Adipose FLOW on the serene Jordan or Upper Manistee rivers, Koz’s clients benefit from his many decades in the service industry as he prepares food using local produce from the Boyne City Farmers Market. From scones and sandwiches to cheeses and fruits, every season brings a new bounty and rich array of cullinary experiences. Take a float with Koz through TRUENORTHTROUT.com and prepare for a memorable time on the water.
Image Gallery: Sturgeon Bay Fishing on a Stand Up Paddle Board