About The Festival
The Michigan Brown Trout Festival began in 1975, and is still going strong. Located on the waters of Thunder Bay in Alpena, Michigan, we are one of Michigan's best freshwater fishing tournament, and the longest running fishing tournament in the Great Lakes. We are run by a few dedicated volunteers and the entire volunteer community of Alpena and surrounding areas.
Over the course of the 10-day festival anglers can enjoy several different fishing tournaments including the one-day Lafarge Super Tournament, the Jack Daniels Ladies Classic, our Walleye Extravaganza, and more! But if you just want to spend a few days enjoying the great fishing Thunder Bay has to offer, we have daily prizes for the largest fish, and our tournament long leaderboard for Brown Trout, Walleye, Steelhead, Salmon, and Lake Trout.
Fishing isn’t the only thing the Brown Trout Festival has to offer though! Come visit us on any day, and you're sure to find something you'll love! We have daily and nightly events throughout the festival - Whether it's listening to the sounds of Michigan bands, striking up conversation with locals in our beer tent, taking your kids to the Family Fun Day, or watching the fish weigh-in, you'll be sure to have a great time!
Big Brownie: The O'fish'al Story
Watch this documentary film about the Brown Trout Festival, made by filmmakers Elizabeth Kaiser and her husband Kyle Maddux-Lawrence.
"Big Brownie: The O'fish'al Story" dives into the origins of the Michigan Brown Trout Festival, as well as the history of it's continuation, and how the people of Alpena, Michigan have kept it afloat throughout the years.
If you're interested in purchasing a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of the film with bonus features, contact the filmmakers here.
Our Recycling Initiative
In previous years, the Michigan Brown Trout Festival would go through roughly 25,000 plastic drink cups. In 2018, in time for the 44th annual festival, we decided enough was enough. Thanks to our new partnership with the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility (ARRF) we have committed to recycling as many of these cups as possible. In 2022, we decided to switch entirely to serving drinks from their original cans & bottles, further reducing our plastic footprint.
Festival guests will now see more than a dozen recycling containers in and around both tents where they can place their plastic cups and bottles. By recycling as much as we can, we help to ensure that the beautiful waters of Thunder Bay and Lake Huron remain plastic free for generations to come.
Alpena: The Sanctuary of the Great Lakes
"It’s what sailors have always searched for when the weather took a turn for the worst, a sanctuary. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for today amongst these shouting headlines? Our friendly, historic city may be just what the doctor ordered. Alpena is that place where history and heritage collide with relaxed outdoor adventure. Your base camp for adventuring through Northeast Michigan. A modern city at nature’s doorstep. We’ve turned the volume down and slowed the pace a bit so you can relax, rejuvenate and discover your family and what matters most in life, all over again, in your Sanctuary of the Great Lakes."
Find Out More at visitalpena.com