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Beaver Island’s NorthernIslander, The Pere Marquette – A Two Way Street by Kevin Morlock

The article "The Pere Marquette – A Two Way Street" by Kevin Morlock appeared in Beaver Island’s NorthernIslander in the November 2009 issue.  You can visit the NorthernIslander web site here.

The Pere Marquette – A Two Way Street by Kevin Morlock

Jeff Powers with his 39 inch king salmon

Spending the last few summers working as a fishing guide on Beaver Island has become more than a means to and end, it’s become my lifestyle. The easy going demeanor of the island, inspired by the residents who make up the fabric of Beaver, has provided the perfect haven for expanding my business and charting new territory in the world of Michigan fly fishing.

Of course, I’ve learned to recognize Beaver Island for what it is; a throw back to a way life once lived all across America. A place where community means something. Neighbors helping neighbors, and individuals working together to inspire a sense of togetherness amongst all who

Guide and author Kevin Morlock

carve their life from the pristine natural elements of a place yet to spoiled by the hands of progress.It has taken a couple years, but I’m really beginning to feel at home.  I hope it’s because you recognize my understanding of how special your place is; just as it is. My goal has been to fit in as a believer in Beaver’s mystique, while bringing the right kind of visitors to your home. Hopefully, my fishing clients have made a little impact on the overall economic achievement of the island.

One aspect of advancement I’ve made with the locals that has made me especially proud, is the fact that some of you are beginning to come down to fish with me at my home near Ludington on the beautiful Pere Marquette River.

Dr. Jeff Powers and his son, Forrest, came down this past August to fish for King salmon. Jeff, an avid Beaver Island salmon fisherman, caught the largest king of his life, a 39-incher.

The Pere Marquette River is a very special waterway. The history of the river includes the first stocking of brown trout in North America, and today the PM is the only major river in West Michigan that doesn’t receive stockings of salmon and steelhead. All of the fish we target are naturally produced fish. I assume that you, my friends from the pristine

Forrest Powers and a king salmon taken on the Pere Marquette River

natural paradise of Beaver Island, can appreciate this fact.

The last two summers, I have hosted Indiana based outdoor writer Brandon Butler on Beaver Island. Aside from serving as Public Affairs Specialist for Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources, Brandon writes for a number outdoor publications, including Michigan’s Woods N Water News. He’s fished with me a number of times on the PM, as well.

“I just don’t know how you can stand it, dividing your time between the two paradises you call home,” he said. “Of course, I tell all my fly fishing friends about how amazing Beaver Island is, but that’s not to take away from the Pere Marquette. I’ve lived in Montana and Colorado, and given one day left to live, you’d find my standing knee deep somewhere in the steelhead and salmon filled waters of the PM. There’s definitely be some Beaver Island “sand in my shoes,” though.’”

Gavin West has taken several guided trips with me on the Pere Marquette. We’ve fly fished for spring steelhead, and thrown both crankbaits and flies for fall salmon.  Each trip has been wonderful. I’ve greatly enjoyed learning more about life on Beaver Island from my new friends.

"Steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette with Kevin is amazing. He and the other guides who work for his company, Indigo Guide Service, are just simply great guys and incredible fishermen. There’s lots of fish, lots of action, and the beauty of the Pere Marquette River is breathtaking. But what really brings it all together, is the strength and aerial acrobatics of the fish in the PM. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced anywhere else."

Gavin West and a steelhead

You have been so gracious to me as a new business person on the Island. I can only hope I have progressed in ways that have made you comfortable with my presence. All I can say is that I love the lifestyle of Beaver, and respect your desire to maintain your special way of life. So please accept this invitation to come on down to my home water, the Pere Marquette River. I’d love to share a day on the water with you.

Guided fishing trips for salmon or steelhead can be booked with Kevin by email at Kevin@indigoguideservice.com or by phone at (231) 898-4320. For more information and to view pictures of what PM fish look like, visit www.indigoguideservice.com.

<<You can find lots of information about the island at the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce site.
>>Jeff Powers is the islands veterinarian and owner of Powers’ Do it Best Hardware and Lumber.
<<Laurain Lodge is a great place to stay!
>>McDonough’s Market — We often have guest happily stay at some of the McDonough’s rental properties.
<<Fresh Air Aviation is a great way to get on and off the island quickly.
>>Beaver Island Boat Company — One of my favorite things is standing on the ferry deck in May watching the island get closer and  knowing that I won’t have to leave until August!