Monday, June 22, 2015

TROUT HATCHES, SUMMER STEELHEAD UPDATE

Depending on what today's severe weather does to the rivers, we have great water flows and excellent river temps on western Michigan rivers.
                                                                     Isonychia-JGM

 The Muskegon is at the peak of the Isonychia, still a zillion gray drakes, steno Cahill's, sulphers,  caddis, midges, with the planters getting very heavy. The larger browns are targeting salmon and steelhead fry, hatches and crayfish next to shore now that the sucker spawn is over ( now is the time for the meat slinging streamer addicts!!!)
                                                                   Hexagenia and Lithro-JGM

 Hexagenia is starting slowly with water and weather delays up north and almost winding down south- but weather has kept them hatching on small streams like Coldwater/Rogue/SW Michigan stream- the heavy rains, cold nights have delayed the hatches significantly

SUMMER SKAMANIA STEELHEAD
                   ( Christine LaRocca from New Jersey with a 18 lb summer steelhead last summer 2014 on the St Joe on a Skamania beetle- dry line)


Some summer steelhead are being caught off the Michigan City and St. Joseph pier heads with a few in the rivers and creeks. With the cold winter and spring, the run will be long and heavy with some large fish being caught trolling in northern waters of Lake Michigan...along with Atlantic salmon strays from Lake Huron. Brian Breidert from the Indiana DNR just sent me another picture of an Atlantic salmon caught by a young boy off the Indiana coast. 

NOTE: I will begin guiding for summer Skamania steelhead July 10 thru early September- still have some good slots available for guided trips. If you are in PA/OH/IN/WI ...or Chicago bound, the St. Joe and Indiana tribs are very close.If you have caught winter strain steelhead and never experienced these amazing fish, you owe it to yourself.  With my new Stealthcraft, I will be able to cover more water and smaller waters than ever before. 

All indications are that the reduction in Chinook /Coho forage feeding on baitfish will greatly improve the summer steelhead fishery and size of fish since they will have the bait fish spoils. Last year we landed 9 fish in the 17-19 pound range and I expect more. If you are into streamers, dry line nymphing or swinging these magnificent fish are for you...NO LEAD CHUCKING!!!!
(B. Breidert IDNR biologist sent me this image of a boy with an Atlantic caught off the Indiana coast just the other day)

video


video


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

YEP!..SUMMER CHROME STEELHEAD TIME!

YUP!...time to start thinking about summer steelhead chrome...cottonwoods are falling!- with the Arctic cold water temps of Lake Michigan from our global warming winter and cool tributaries with good flows, this summer run will be insane and very little run staging off the piers- bonus for river fly fishers!

booking dates now!...will be my 18th year guiding for them...they are truly an amazing fish of a lifetime!!!!...hope to see you

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MY NEW SOFA PILLOW GRAY DRAKE RECIPE -GRAY DRAKE CLINIC THIS WEEKEND-6/13/14

                                                               ( Gray Drake sp. Sofa Pillow)
By popular request, here is the exact recipe for my new deadly gray drake sofa pillow: 
THREAD: UNI BIG FLY BLACK
HOOK:DAIICHI 1270#10
TAIL AND BODY/SEGMENTATION : A THICK BARRED GADWALL FEATHER- TIE IN TIPS FOR TAIL AND HOLD FEATHER OVER HOOK EMBEDDING/COVERING HOOK SHANK THROUGH THE FEATHER LIKE YOU WOULD BE TYING A DEER HAIR BODY MAYFLY. TAKE UNI THREAD AND MAKE EVENLY SPACED SINGLE PALMER BANDING SEGMENTATIONS
WING: LOWER;SENYO'S/HARELINE CLEAR PREDATOR WRAP- UPPER: PEARL KRYSTAL FLASH
THROAT: HARELINE UV PEACOCK ICE DUB
HACKLE:HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE SOFT HACKLE
HEAD:HARELINE SLOTTED TUNGSTEN BEADS -BLACK-3/32

NOTES: THE IMITATION IS ABSOLUTELY DEADLY BEFORE AND AFTER THE SPINNER FALL- AND EVEN DURING IT FOR THOSE ULTRA SELECTIVE /REFLECTIVE BIGGER BROWNS AND BOWS THAT REFUSE A NATURAL LOOKING SPINNER. FISH HEAVY TIPPETS WITH THIS FLY BECAUSE THE STRIKES ARE HARD AND HEAVY. CAN BE FISHED WITH A DOWN AND ACROSS WET FLY SWING/ DEAD DRIFTED , OR WITH CONSTANT UPSTREAM MENDS/DRIFT PAUSE AND REPEAT MENDS- LONG TWITCHS ON HANG TIME DOWNSTREAM. THE COMBINATION OF THE PREDATOR TRANSLUCENCY, TINY FLASH FROM KRYSTAL PEARL, THE SOFT HACKLE PULSING AND THE DEADLY UV PEACOCK ICE DUB/SOFT HACKLE MIX MAKES THIS FLY A CONTENDER FOR A 'ONE FLY COMPETITION"- CAN BE TIED IN ALL SIZES.

FOR IMITATING HEXAGENIA/POTAMANTHUS/ BROWN/GREEN DRAKES/MARCH BROWNS/ISONYCHIA ETC. JUST USE MALLARD FLANKS IN YELLOW NATURAL WOOD DUCK TAN AND GOLD, BROWN- ALL AVAILABLE FROM HARELINE ETC- VARY THREAD TO DARK BROWN OR DARK GREEN. IF YOU WANT TO FISH IT HIGHER NEARER THE SURFACE, TAKE THE BLACK TUNGSTEN BEAD OFF- GREASE UP WINGS BUT NOT SOFT HACKLE- FOR MORE SINK AND SEGMENTATION, YOU CAN USE COPPER WIRE WITH THREAD....

GOOD LUCK!

STILL HAVE A FEW SPOTS FOR THIS WEEKEND's CLINIC- COUPLES WELCOME!



GRAY DRAKE SELECTIVITY CLINIC AGENDA
JUNE 12-14
( for those that want to stay away from the weekends and want more individual attention, we offer one day evening mini gray drake selectivity P.M. clinics for 295.00 one- 395.00 for two
Come learn the intricacies and mystery of the gray drakes and the super hatches of the caddis , sulphers and Isonychia- how the masking hatch and emerger/spinner sequence can cause a ton of confusion if you dont pay attention to rise forms and feeding profiles- also meat slinging streamer chuckers welcomed and encouraged!
(plus bring your appetite!- we have been known to serve up some good eats!)

FRIDAY-12TH- 
CHECK IN AT OWN LEISURE- LIBATIONS/FIRE PIT/VIDEOS/SLIDE SHOWS/TALL TALES/LIES ! ( FRIDAY NIGHT LODGING AND GOURMET BREAKFAST 'FREE" AND COMPLIMENTARY)

SATURDAY 13TH-FULL DAY
 EARLY BREAKFAST- GUIDED FLY FISHING FOR MORNING GRAY DRAKE SPINNER FALL AND CADDIS HATCH UNTIL 1;00 PM
LUNCH AT LODGE
THAN POWERPOINT/DVD PRESENTATION ON THE HATCHES/SELECTIVITY

FLY TYING BENCH FOR SPECIALITY PATTERNS( BRING YOUR FLY TYING KITS!
REST PERIOD-NAP/WALK
P,M- EVENING GUIDED HATCH MATCHING FOR SULPHERS, ISONYCHIA AND GRAY DRAKES
MIDNIGHT- FIRE PIT/HOT TUB LIBATIONS AND TALKING ALL THINGS FLY FISHING/POLITICS AND ANY BS THAT COMES UP!
SUNDAY AM-
 GOURMET BREAKFAST- THAN EVERYONE ON OWN FOR CATCHING MORNING SPINNER FALLS IN GRAY DRAKE RIFFLES OR OTHER NEARBY SMALL SPRING CREEKS 
AWESOME SINGLE PRICE- ALL INCLUSIVE- $475.00 !!!!!
SPECIAL COUPLES PRICE OR TWO PERSON PARTY- $650.00
email us at 
matt@graydrake.com
or call us 
231-250-2845
231-250-2846
Ps.' and yes we saw fresh steelhead yesterday still coming into the river!- go figure!)


Sunday, June 7, 2015

GRAY DRAKE MYSTERY HATCH SELECTIVITY CLINIC ONE IS IN THE BAG- NEXT CLINIC 6/12-COME JOIN US!

                ( gorgeous fatty trutta that took a sunken/emerger gray drake sofa pillow this weekend at the Gray Drake on the Muskegon)
( new addition this week to the arsenal!- gray drake sofa pillow soft hackle)
Anytime you can get a few passionate trout bums together to share their never ending quest for more knowledge , techniques, fly patterns, tall- tail fish stories and to witness the amazing fertility of the aquatic insect conundrum of the masking hatch: mayflies, caddis, stoneflies, midges , micro caddis etc., going from one level of emergence /spinner fall egg laying, to the next phase, and the next phase etc., gives the trout addicts a mesmerizing experience that is an addiction nothing can match other than a leviathan brown or bow screaming into your backing!

Add  browns and rainbows of all sizes that come to the multiple hatch scenarios and all hatch matching junkies will break out in the jitters and cold sweats in the thrill of the pursuit nothing can replace. This year 2015 we are seeing more 20 inch browns on the Muskegon than we have seen since the Thornapple 15 inch limit back in early 2000's- the extreme and ever increasing by the year fertility of the river's food source has gone into overload . Hopefully with the new Muskegon River Fishery Alliance formed by river resident, retired corporate CEO and passionate trout bum- Mark Guzniczak-(see Face book page)- they are working for more exciting trophy trout changes to come in the very near future- please sign up and get involved if you are passionate about trout, steelhead and salmon on the Muskegon.With the help of TU/FFF and legislators, the Muskegon can become a viable world class tailwater that will benefit the tourism and cottage industry economy of Newaygo that has so badly been needed for decades!!n 8 inch Double!!)  
(Image: a little Gilchrist brownie that quickly shakes off the drab dull grayish hatchery raceway color for the real deal once it starts a diet of caviar, mayflies and scuds-image taken this week,)
 I was shocked and very  pleased ( since I have been lobbying the MDNR for over 10 years to resume stocking the wild strain Gilchrist brown trout , which they did experiment with in the early 2000's,- and actually gave us 4,000 last June thanks to my good friend Gary Whelan- at that time Chief of MDNR hatcheries.  The strain gave us some of the best holdover 16-20 inch plus browns we ever had!),  to find out last week in a completed stocking report that they stocked approx. 30,000 Gilchrist browns at 5-6 inches in the lower and upper  river- whether it was by design or circumstances, I would just like to say a very big "Thank You Mr.Rich O' !- these little elusive wild gems disappear and then show up a year or two later as fat gorgeous 14 -18 inch feeding machines !!!-CAN'T WAIT, btw- you can tell them by their red spotting and very selective/r/shy/reclusive nature..yet at the same time aggressive/a kill-artist attitude that will smack a dry with the same enthusiasm as crushing a double D- D &D meaty streamer!
( Hatch matching aficionado John Zielke experiencing a morning masking hatch of caddis. sulphers and drake spinners Saturday)
( some of the neat patterns we were tying this weekend at the gray drake school- Thank You Mr. Marcos at Hairline for some of the cool new materials you guys just keep creating and revolutionizing the art!)




GRAY DRAKE SELECTIVITY CLINIC AGENDA
JUNE 12-14
( for those that want to stay away from the weekends and want more individual attention, we offer one day evening mini gray drake selectivity P.M. clinics for 295.00 one- 395.00 for two
Come learn the intricacies and mystery of the gray drakes and the super hatches of the caddis , sulphers and Isonychia- also meat slinging streamer chuckers welcomed and encouraged!
(plus bring your appetite!- we have been known to serve up some good eats!)

FRIDAY-12TH- 
CHECK IN AT OWN LEISURE- LIBATIONS/FIRE PIT/VIDEOS/SLIDE SHOWS/TALL TALES/LIES ! ( FRIDAY NIGHT LODGING AND GOURMET BREAKFAST 'FREE" AND COMPLIMENTARY)

SATURDAY 13TH-FULL DAY
 EARLY BREAKFAST- GUIDED FLY FISHING FOR MORNING GRAY DRAKE SPINNER FALL AND CADDIS HATCH UNTIL 1;00 PM
LUNCH AT LODGE
THAN POWERPOINT/DVD PRESENTATION ON THE HATCHES/SELECTIVITY

FLY TYING BENCH FOR SPECIALITY PATTERNS( BRING YOUR FLY TYING KITS!
REST PERIOD-NAP/WALK
P,M- EVENING GUIDED HATCH MATCHING FOR SULPHERS, ISONYCHIA AND GRAY DRAKES
MIDNIGHT- FIRE PIT/HOT TUB LIBATIONS AND TALKING ALL THINGS FLY FISHING/POLITICS AND ANY BS THAT COMES UP!
SUNDAY AM-
 GOURMET BREAKFAST- THAN EVERYONE ON OWN FOR CATCHING MORNING SPINNER FALLS IN GRAY DRAKE RIFFLES OR OTHER NEARBY SMALL SPRING CREEKS 
AWESOME SINGLE PRICE- ALL INCLUSIVE- $475.00 !!!!!
email us at 
or call us 
231-250-2845
231-250-2846
Ps.' and yes we saw fresh steelhead yesterday still coming into the river!- go figure!)

GRAY DRAKE PHOTO GALLERY- HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!









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