Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Traditional comets and bosses, west coast California style like Bill Schaadt days and the Russian river gunslingers!...most exciting pool fishing in Great Lakes...like throwing thunder sticks on a fly rod!
AND!!!!..for those of you who wondered why I didnt cover Pacific salmon in my Selectivity book?...chapter would be one sentence ,"48 hours A/A...then all P/D downhill from there"

'RIVERS OF A LOST COAST'....sums it up!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Ever since the FERC relicensing for stable flows on the Muskegon, Big Manistee and AuSable occurred back in the early 90's the diptera/simulium midge populations have steadily been building- THIS SUMMER THEY ARE EXPLODING TO EPIC PROPORTIONS! At dusk below Croton and Tippy dams the midges are so thick you will need a mesh mask to breath...thick is an understatement! The trout still key in on the continuing to grow in  abundance cinnamon and little green caddis hatches, tiny Pseudo olives, steno cahills etc., but once the midges are on the water at dusk, they chow down on them by the thousands nightly. Midge pupae and emergers will take good trout up to 18 inches all day before the caddis afternoon/dusk hatches.
Midges love the detritus from the pond/reservoir releases as food- plus decaying fecal matter from zebra mussels fuels their food chain with the vegetation- just like scuds which are becoming a stable food source for Muskegon trout year round just like on all other tailwater/spring creek environments. Your same midge/bwo/scud boxes you use for spring creeks (20-28#) work great on the Muskegon- 7x a must!
Yeah...all the kool/bad ass buzz is about throwing big streamers !...but if you want a real true fly fishing challenge at the highest and most pure level...midging is the real deal- ask the San Juan/spring creek boys . Fooling a large trout on a size #22 you tied is beyond cool!.... not a Michigan tradition yet except for maybe the purists on the Au Sable. But if you want to catch big selective/reflective trout year round- mostly summer and dead of winter when trout rise on the Mo and Big Man even on the coldest snowiest days...MIDGING IS THE NEW SUPER GLORY HATCH!...GET YOU OPTICIAN TO GIVE YOU A CHECK UP AND BIFOCALS AND GO HAVE FUN!...its contagious...NEXT WEEK- MIDGE PATTERNS FOR MICHIGAN TAILWATERS
( my biggest spring creek/tailwater trout yet -28 in.-came on my WMD ( weapon of midge destruction) #24 midge pupae in Wisconsin Driftless area-big fish love midges cause nobody is tormenting them with midges- big streamers they see all the time and yawn-except at night in the A/A kill artist phase- there they are lethal- Tommy Lynch knows!
( the same midge /scud boxes you use on spring creeks work well all year on Michigan tailwaters- late summer/fall-cream and tan are the colors- black is winter)

Thursday, August 14, 2014


This summer's ice age weather is the most glorious I have ever experienced in the Great Lakes since I was a kid growing up in Niagara Falls. 40F nights and highs in the 60/70 F range... cool/dry afternoons with polar fleece on as the sun sets is a glimpse of heaven if I get there.
Spent two great days with Jeb Betar from Cumberland Valley PA Trout Unlimited chasing summer steels on the St Joe and Big Manistee, tuning his Scandi/skagit-ology  game for his trip to Skeena/Bulkley. The fish crush the fly half way thru the swing like Gaspe Atlantics when water temps in low 60's- this summer is a whole new game!...the trout , steelhead and salmon are loving it!

More summer steelhead and early silver coho are on their way. With healthy water levels up north we will see early kings and a great fall steelhead run. 
The Muskegon and Manistee tailwater trout are loving the cold nights. The white Stenonema cahill hatch of the lower rivers has started along with the caddis....the lower marginal trout water sections are all fishable and are holding very nice trout .
We still have some good dates for fall salmon and steelhead and will be fishing summer steelhead thru September. I also have an amazing late fall..October thru December lined up for Atlantic salmon which were amazing last year...these fish will be twice the size and if last year's number of fish was any indication on the year classes, this year will be exceptional!...if you have never swung dry lines and no sink tips for Atlantics, it is breathtaking how they take your flies near the surface!

Saturday, August 9, 2014


The amazingingly cool summer of 2014 continues to break all sorts of records in a very positive way for the trout steelhead and Atlantic/Pacific salmon fly anglers. The summer Skamania steelhead run on the St. Joseph river and Indiana spring creeks has been the best we have seen since 1999/2001. The size and girth of the fish is exceptional and we are able to take them on all methods ...dry line nymphing and terrestrials, swinging etc. The run is a month late and continues to get better each week. Just spent the last 16 days guiding there and the results have been phenomenal.

Trout conditions,,,especially on the cooler than normal Muskegon tailwater have been exceptional. Upper river has caddis and midge hatches...lower river has white cahill stenos, tiny Pseudo BWO's, caddis. Iso's and early am tricos.This year's stockers are growing fat as footballs- especially the wild Gilchrist browns planted in June, and the holdovers are S/R Muskegon savvy as ever!...switch patterns often when you get refusals- don't forget the midges!. Some nice browns are being caught on the dry and cold night conditions are all that is forecasted....come out and see us!..cheers!

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