The Tittabawassee River stretches a lengthy 72 miles through Gladwin, Midland, and Saginaw Counties before joining the Saginaw River and heading north to Saginaw Bay. Its headwaters are cold and support trout and sculpin ranging to a warm water fishery where largemouth, smallmouth, pike, and walleye join the mix with other species. With various impoundments along the way, temperatures and habitats vary. Our focus on this river begins in the town of Sanford and ends near the city of Saginaw. Known for it’s legendary runs of walleye in the spring, it is also home to some of the hungriest smallmouth bass Michigan has to offer.
The Chippewa River is a tributary of the Tittabawassee River and begins its journey near the town of Barryton and meanders through Isabella County including right through the city of Mount Pleasant and heads east towards the city of Midland. It is a popular summertime tubing, canoeing, and kayaking stream that is shallow, semi-shaded, and has a gentle flow throughout. At 90+ miles long, it is a major source of recreation spanning three counties.
There are a number of rivers with the “Pine” name in Michigan. This tributary of the Tittabawassee runs adjacent to the Chippewa before joining the two and emptying into the main stream in Midland. The Pine runs 103 miles and is one of the more scenic out of the three rivers. It is quite a bit more shallow than the other two but runoff from nearby lands channeled this river providing bottom structure for smallmouth bass and other inhabitants.