Sunday, December 26, 2010

Muskegon River trout

Spent a couple afternoons this week out on the river and am pretty excited to see trout starting to move into their winter runs.  Fishing was good, headed to great real fast I think.   Scuds are of course a constant food item on the menu at the River Benthos Cafe' during the winter.  Also picked up fish on midge and black fly larvae imitations.  
Remembering to slow down your drift at this time of year is critical to catching good numbers of winter trout.  Checking new winter trout runs periodically can pay off big too as water levels are low and runs that may have been standards in the past may be weak now.

Had a great flurry with sun peaking through one of the days and stood in awe, taking in the raw beauty that I'm pretty sure I was one of just a few to observe.  I guess that is one of my favorite reasons for winter fishing it that is so surreal, quiet, unique.  It is well worth the occasional discomfort to be a part of something so incredible.  Get out there and be a part of it!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

manistee river browns and coho

Well, the weatherman said the high was going to be 30 and I'm fairly confident we were lucky to hit the mid 20's.  Such is winter fly-fishing and over the years I feel I've developed an odd longing for this time of year and its harshness.  It's true that there is some great fishing to be had during this time of year but I don't think that explains all of the desire it brings.  Why we fish in an environment the causes most animals to hibernate is a question worth asking.  But nonetheless, it is so enticing that we layer-up with our warmest tech gear and wade out into the icy waters knowing that the day will push our fingers and other extremities to their limit.  And push them we did.  Greg, Scott, and I headed

 to Tippy for a short afternoon to do some nymph fishing for trout.  Fishing was good with scuds fished in the deeper dark water in between the gravel shoals.  We even managed to land a coho salmon!  We didn't get many pictures because it was hard enough to fish let alone make ourselves get the camera out.   We had a lot of fun and the water was beautiful.  We'll be back for more.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Furious Fall Steelhead

It's been about a month since rumors have been spread about the secret ascension of our much anticipated silver friends.  Water has been hard to come by here lately, so a consensus as to how the fall migration would play out was hard to find.  But we did finally get a good first dose of bright, healthy fall steelhead!  After the first push we have had little rain so it has been a while since we have seen any fresh fish but the fish being caught are on average very good fish with many of them hitting the double digits.  Having one of these fish hit a swinging fly will blow your mind and scare you at the same time.  If you are prone to day dreaming you might even want to tether you rod to your arm for insurance.  I've been swinging flies with a spey rod which is new territory for me but what a great way to present flies with sink tip lines and do it with ease.  On top of presentation, these rods are amazing tools for fighting a fish that has unspeakable power.  On a trip last Friday a client hooked a big male that looked like it was shot out of a nuclear sub.  I was watching the caster in the front of the boat when he said "I got one".  Having had many novices the weeks prior, I half-heartedly looked up thinking "snag"only to see this thing hitting orbit.  Jaw dropped.  This thing traveled so far in the air it looked as though it might burn up on re-entry.  Seriously, it traveled about 8 feet in the air at about eye level!  I don't think I'd experience as much elation from kicking and watching the winning field goal in a Super Bowl soar through the uprights.  The fish was played beautifully and brought to net after 8 jumps and weighed 9 pounds.  Well, we've had some good rain in the past couple days and more is in the forecast.   Things should only get better...