For over twenty years, Little Forks Outfitters has served those who are passionate about their outdoor activities. From cutting edge technical outdoor clothing and footwear to the latest fly-fishing tackle, here you will find the selection and expertise that few shops can provide. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff will guide you to the right choices among the best quality gear, clothing and footwear brand names available today. It’s all about helping you make the most of your next outdoor adventure, whether that finds you fly-fishing the Au Sable River close to home, or exploring exotic lands far off the beaten path.
Why is the shop named Little Forks Outfitters?
The name Little Forks appears frequently in the history of the Midland area. In the days when forests of towering white pines and mosquito-infested marshes made up the interior of Michigan’s Lower Penninsula, the waterways were the arteries upon which the Chippewa tribespeople, and later fur traders and settlers, moved about. Traveling by canoe up the Saginaw River from Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, the confluence of the Saginaw and Tittabawassee Rivers were known as the Great Forks. If you paddled up the Tittabawassee to the north, the next major tributary is the Chippewa River, which flows in from the west. This confluence was known as Little Forks. This was a major landmark on the Indian trail that eventually led past Houghton and Higgins Lakes to the Straits of Mackinac.
The first business in this area was established by Charles Rodd in 1819, and was known as Little Forks Trading Post. Later, when the native Chippewas were being forced onto smaller and smaller parcels of land, there was a Chippewa Reservation made up of some 6,000 acres that occupied the western shore of the Tittabawassee, across and downstream from the fledgling town of Midland, which bore the name Little Forks Reservation. The name Little Forks Outfitters pays homage to the wilderness roots of the area we call home.