If you’ve done your research, you probably already know that the Beaver Island Archipelago is home to some of the best flats fishing in the nation, perhaps the planet, not to mention home to some of the largest carp to swim in North America. Located approximately 32 mile northwest of Charlevoix, Michigan, Beaver Island is a breathtaking oasis in the middle of Lake Michigan. Accessible only by plane or ferry during the summer months, Beaver Island is the perfect getaway for the carp enthusiast.
My first visit to Beaver Island was back in 2011, with a group of my fellow fly fishing peers, including Will Rice of The Drake Magazine and Kirk Deeter of Field and Stream. I was quickly blown away by the beauty of the islands as well as the sheer number of large fish. I was even more impressed with the knowledge, character and professionalism of our guides from Indigo Guide Service. The quality of the fishery is outstanding, with the average size of carp being caught pushing twenty pounds. Fish in excess of thirty pounds are not uncommon to be caught, a forty, or even a fifty is possible. Beaver Island will redefine what you think about fly fishing for carp. Throw away everything you know and head to Beaver Island.
The dates for Carp Camp 2013 hosted by roughfisher.com are July 11th through 16th, 2013. This five night, 4 ½ day guided fly fishing trip is priced at $1499 per person.
Carp Camp 2013 differs from the other trips offered through carptrip.com by Evan and Cameron. Carp Camp is designed for the diehard carper. While there are abundant football shaped smallmouth the size of small carp that can be caught, this trip will be focused on the sumo sized carp that swim the flats of Beaver Island. Be prepared to fish, a lot. This trip provides you with the most days on the water than any of the other carptrip.com offerings. Every guest will get the opportunity to fish alongside the host, JP Lipton, from roughfisher.com. While we encourage all guests to relax and have a great time, if you are looking for a more laid back experience you may be more interested in the other trips offered by carptrip.com. It is not necessary that you be a professional angler to join the trip, anyone and everyone is welcome to join. Please come prepared, however, come with an open mind and a realistic set of expectations. Great Lakes carp, while often aggressive, are not a gimme fish. Like any type of flats fishing, decent accurate casting into the wind is necessary, as well as proper fly selection and placement. It may require a bit of time on the water before finally bringing a fish to hand. It is the challenge of the pursuit of Carpzilla that drives us all to these waters and these fish. The reward for finally capturing that trophy carp, or that fish of a lifetime, is well worth the effort.
July 11: Arrive on the island via plane or ferry. Make sure to plan your arrival for after 2pm (we will tell you everything you need to know to get here). You will be met at the airport or dock where you will be driven to the Fisherman’s House. This is a great time to unpack, get settled in and take a stroll around town. Around 6:30pm we will all meet back at the Fisherman’s House for the BBQ. Your guides will join us to talk about what to expect and answer any questions you have. After dinner, we will get gear and everything ready for the morning.
July 12: Start your day around 7am getting ready and prepared for the day ahead. At 8am we will all head over to the Dalwhinnie Bakery and Deli for breakfast, just a short one block walk down the street. They have great breakfast options like bacon and eggs, omelets, muffins, bagels, juice and coffee to choose from (get what you want, it is included!). After breakfast, you will pick out your lunch from the deli and we will hit the water for the day. This is a full day of fishing. Lunch will be served on the water and your guides will have bottled water. After a full day of fishing you will be dropped off at the Fisherman’s House where you can unwind for the day.
Dinner is up to you, but there are plenty of options on the island. Feel free to join the guides and me. There is also an excellent grocery store only a block away if you would like to prepare something in the full kitchen. If there is interest, we will have a fly tying demo in the evening.
July 13: Day 3 is the exact same as Day 2. We meet for a hot breakfast then hit the water for the day. Back to the Fisherman’s House to decide on where to eat and more time to hang out with the other participants and your guides if you choose.
July 14: Another full day of fishing, like Days 2 and 3.
July 15: Another full day of fishing, like Days 2, 3, and 4.
July 16: Your last day on the island starts just like the previous days. Breakfast at 8am, then hit the water for a half day of fishing with your guide. After noon we will wrap up the fishing and head back to the Fisherman’s House to pack up. We will need to be out of the house by early afternoon so you will need schedule your departure or your alternate lodging accordingly. The last ferry of the day leaves Beaver Island at 5:20pm. We will drive you to either the airport or ferry dock for departure.
- Five nights lodging at The Fisherman’s House
- Four and one half days of guided fly fishing with Indigo Guide Service
- Breakfast each morning at Dalwhinnie Bakery & Deli
- Lunch from Dalwhinnie Bakery & Deli
- Bottled water provided by the guides
- Day 1 ‘Meet and Greet BBQ’ with all participants and guides
- Evening fly tying demos with your guides and host
- Unlimited pre-trip advice and individual assistance on the island
- Fly rod, reels, leader, tippet , flies (guides have it all, but bring your own if you prefer)
- Roughfisher Fly Fishing will be providing all guests with a Beaver Island custom fly assortment (don’t be afraid to stock up and bring along your favorite patterns though!)
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- Transportation to and from Beaver Island, Michigan
- Michigan fishing license
- Waders and boots
- Rain gear
- Polarized sunglasses (a MUST for sight fishing!)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Dinners (except for Day 1)
Carp Camp 2013 hosted by roughfisher.com is priced at $1499 per person with a $500 deposit to be paid at the time of reservation. Balance is due upon arrival on Beaver Island. If you have any questions or would like to be part of this trip please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For a further taste of the Beaver Island experience check out these posts from roughfisher.com:
Beaver Island Land of the Carp Flats
The Badasses of Beaver Island
Flats of the Third Coast (video)
Lake Michigan feature article, Money Shot, CarpPro magazine Issue 1
BEAVER ISLAND INFO:
Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce
Transportation options to and from Beaver Island:
Beaver Island Boat Company
Fresh Air Aviation