Near Traverse City, the Boardman River is considered one of the best trout fishing rivers in the state. It is known for its brook trout, and further downstream, the brown trout. The cold headwaters are spring fed starting in a pine/cedar swamp. The stream heads westward towards Lake Michigan while passing through moraines. During the summer, the river is busy with canoes on weekends. The best fly fishing on the Boardman River is in the Fall, and its usually quiet, when you can find lake run coho and chinnock salmon.
Overall, one of the best sections for fly fishing on the Boardman River is from Forks downstream to the Brown Bridge Pond.
Overall, Boardman River is the 11th most popular fly fishing river of all 26 fly fishing spots in Michigan.