Sunday, April 12, 2015

Flood is gone...steelhead run just starting!

From the coldest winter on record...first time Great Lakes froze over back-to back years...cold and very dry spring...epic flooding last waters are receding...will the real 'global climate change', please stand up? 
AND!!!...for all practical purposes, the spring run is just starting!!!...water is 39/40F...the next 7-8 weeks will be awesome!...we still have a few good dates left if you haven't made your mind up yet....and yes !- thinks its finally safe to come out and enjoy this roller coaster ride of steelheading- never has it been more unpredictable in my lifetime!

And some nice big browns are in the river also.;)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Q&A ...asked to post this by reader

Was asked to post a reason for my obsession with selective trout, steelhead and Atlnatic salmon. This interview was fun and revealed my thoughts about the subject....cheers! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015


(let there be more light!)

The big question is what will affect steelhead migrations most this year after a hard winter and bitter cold and ice lake water and river temperatures. 

Biologists know a good amount about water temps and its affect on spring spawning movement / migrating steelhead. But steelhead need to be in the "right place at the right time" for nature's propagation of the species given to them over millions of years of forming a 'life survival strategy' for evolutionary success. 

BUT!....over the past 20 years of  guiding and writing about these creatures- in all seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter- 365!, I have concluded that photo light period measured by the fish's Pineal gland as the internal time clock for regulation of light and melatonin to be the more overpowering critical factor.

I have seen fresh run chrome migrations in bitter cold February days after full moon cycles that increased photoperiod- water temps 34F. Length of increasing daylight is also genetically imprinted in smolts and gene pools.

I firmly believe that natural selection molds variables. With global climate change at a rapid pace, temperature extremes are much more common and less reliant by the steelhead to align with temperature seasonal variations. Mama nature/ the almighty God is a great adjuster- used to being in the insurance business of insuring species success and life survival. 

Given these extreme variables, me-thinks someone out there should be doing their doctoral thesis on this current rapid fluctuation phenomenon- the steelhead are doing it on their own...ahhh- thank you  they are probably saying "ah, we got it covered mate!- savvy?

Could be a massive run/or?- this is truly an engaging time and we are all taking notes- even the biologists ! 

NOTE: Still have a few good dates available for what will be a very long and dragged out spring run- fish are a steady push now- Lake Michigan cold water temps never rebounded from last year!- thats why the quick solid freeze- global warming!  

Sunday, March 1, 2015



I heard the first chirping of migratory sparrows yesterday despite the below zero temps all week. The sun is strong and despite only 24F today it felt like a heatwave!  Our river had 20 feet of shelve ice, but it melts when a good sunny day and I saw a jet boat thrash and discipline the shoreline with waves.When I do my evening 4 mile jogs I stripped layers off today and wore no gloves- amazing what tricks minus -27 F temps do to your body- knock on wood!- not one cold or sniffle this winter.
The photolight period is in full swing- if you remember reading about it 'Steelhead Dreams' .Thus no love sick steelhead's pineal gland, which regulates light , hormones, migration and sperm and egg development will or can resist it. 
Despite the Great Lakes being locked up in massive 16 inch thick ice, ice caves along Lake Superior, light still penetrates, vertical plankton and shrimp migrations take place, baitfish seek the warmth of shallows... and steelhead are on the move!
We had a very , very weak fall run- everyone, all facets of anglers agree . Unless you "corralled them at the lake mouths "-KILL STEELHEAD was the chosen method when numbers are down. Spawn fisherman need embryos- ova, if you catch one female- you send her to PETER'S GATE SAVVY!. 
In 2004 we saw the same. When that happened, the spring run was amazing!....we hope and pray this is true . I have been guiding now for my 20th year and have never been disappointed in this trend. Trust me...pray for!


( this image from 2004 ( one of the biggest)...and the brown by Murphy last spring 2014, was in late February right down from my dock in Sycamore hole- a years when we had plenty of lake and resident browns in the system- a year when we had a very poor fall run of steelhead previous- another total ' Great Lakes 99% freeze up' those years)

Since our tailwater is extremely fertile and the bubbler is making a difference, biodiversity of food sources is insane, I say ( in my hommie vision),  lets ask, petition, beg the DNR for experimental regs, or a back to TYPE 3,  on a trophy brown fishery- other states do these things ya know!- QUICKLY , efficiently ...we can too get into the 21;st century ! 
One thing gives me massive hope! The floods we had last two years shot tons of steelhead smolts down to the big lake with little mortality.
Stay tuned for more development as we hit the water this week....temperature's rising!

Saw the first creepy wiggly early black stones coming down today..  allocapnia /Tainy 's coming down around 4PM today....amen..they love the cold...more good to come!


Swinging in cold.....Merry , Merry month of May!.. will be awesome! ,,,

Cheers!,,,,,been told I was "too Polish"... MY BAD!...but proud of my heritage!...enjoy and protect- be a creator of vision and always inspire !

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