Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summertime Small Spring Creeks- Michigan's Under Explored Mecca

                              ( A tiny small Michigan spring creek minutes away from our lodge that was running 49-52F , despite air temps in the 90's and heat index near 100. They are loaded with wild browns, brookies and rainbows that love to eat tricos, midges, caddis and terrestrials all day!- way under utilized and under explored )

It's amazing how many think you you have to be in a boat to explore Michigan's wild trout treasures. As a guide that lives in his boat, I too become lethargic and lazy and rely too much just on boats. Sure they are amazing and everyone should own a StealthCraft ( I am very particular to StealthCraft built in Michigan and their amazing showroom/arsenal of every trout/salmon/steelhead/warm water boating options...visit their web site to see it:

But!.., we have to get in touch with the thousands of miles of blue ribbon wild trout/ small spring creek waters our magnificent state has.Our Baltic corridor-like wooded debris and sandy soil spring creeks collect water and hold it like the chalk downs of England and limestone country of PA/VA/WI/MN. The wild and wild-strain stocked browns , brookies and rainbows they have in them year-round, on a pounds per hectare basis is truly amazing and most don't know these streams exist in every part of our state- from Detroit to the Gold Coast of western Michigan, to the hallowed northern waters, to the upper peninsula . 
                                ( watercress, chara, elodea, duck wort and extreme clarity -plus very cold water temps in the dead heat of summer, give you an indicator of their existence- keep in mind many are tributaries and spring creek feeders to more famous rivers)
Given the fact they have lots of wood, versus the often wide-open, less cover pasture streams, make them so much more habitat friendly to groom larger wild trout.Plus they are often closed to fishing over 6 months (September 30th closures) of the year to protect spawning habitat, you thus have extreme natural reproduction and year class development. The extreme clarity of the water and very cold temps they produce year-round- (48-58F even in the sweltering heat of the 90's/100's we've had all spring and summer!), they are truly amazing micro-regional ecosystems we very much take for granted, 
( within 15 minutes from our lodge we have 4 ice cold spring creeks that have wilds feeding all summer in the extreme heat. Yes you have to get out of the car, walk and hoof-it through the woods, get amazing exercise and sweat -off  the pounds, which we all need to do!- but are well worth it!))
When many river temps are and were pushing into the mid-upper 70F range, that is the time we need to love these little spring creek gems where the trout are happy and cozy and feed all day in the ice-cold temps.
In a way, we are so extremely over endowed in Michigan with all the choices-Big rivers/medium ones/tailwaters etc. and these little gems I'm focusing on. They give us a chance to strap on our Patagonia backpacks, put our bug spray on and trek into the woods and national forests like I did when I was a little boy exploring the small streams of the Allegheny National Forest in my boyhood homestead of NY/PA.

( these are the #groundzero spring creeks where the first German browns came to the western hemisphere back in 1883- the bottom brown from yesterday had 82 red single/double/triple/quad red spot alleles on just one side!- truly amazing!)
Armed with light two/.three weights and making super tactful presentation approaches with side-arm casts, slow stalking etc. small spring creeks are pure hunting and brings us in full touch with nature in the most intimate setting.I often see black bear, cougars, bald eagles, fox, wild turkey, ...the wildlife list goes on- plus all the wild edible foraging opportunities!- mushrooms of August are coming:red chantrelles, boletus, oyster mushrooms etc.

Right now, mornings are filled with trico and midge hathces, with flying ants and BWO'S soon to start. Caddis are always around. But the true gems of these waters are the terrestrials:ants, beetles, hoppers etc. When thunderstorm's muddy the water, its time to hunt the lunker structure with sculpins and game changers.

   Keep in mind these creeks are wild and fragile- so despite your best laid intentions, the dense wooded debris protects them and makes them trout country forever! Get out and explore them!- the adventure and chase was the excitement that brought us to the passion we once had as little kids-time to become kids again! 
Enjoy!- na zdrowie!, Matt

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Thinking of Atlantics and Cooler days Ahead- Bucket Lister's, here is your chance!

                  ( These stunning Salmo salar are right in our Great Lakes of Michigan for the                                                              taking-a bucket list in your Midwest/East Coast backyard!)
Each year I marvel over all the amazing Salmo opportunities we have in Michigan. Trophy leviathan browns to amazing Atlantics are at our beckoning call.
I have been chasing and guiding these Atlantic beasts now for 25 years on our glacial lakes chains and the Great Lakes, and the fishery keeps expanding. I have guided people from all over the planet and they can't believe our fish are so well fed- and they don't cost a small fortune to get to!
The tremendous diverse forage afforded the salar in the Great Lakes systems allows for their maxing growth potential unlike the lakes of Maine/Canada that see longer winters and less fertility.
Our IGFA world record Atlantic still stands in the record books from my client Tom Auferio when I guided him back in 2010-26 lbs!
(Tom's massive IGFA record Salmo)
So as we struggle with the heat, the deep cold waters of the lake systems  are allowing our Salmo to go on the hunt 24/7 until they return in the fall. Bait fish of all kinds, hex wigglers, fresh water shrimp all add to the mix of forage.
If you love big browns on the streamer gig, love to see /sight fish your fish and watch them attack the fly, this " bucket list " fish is for you!
I am just finishing my fall guiding calendar and still have a few openings if you want to experience these amazing fish.
Call or email us through our web site for more information
It's time you stopped talking about " bucket list's"( they are meant to cross-off, not ponder) and actually do it!- a truly amazing fish is waiting for you- these folks did it!
Cheers!- Stay cool and think cold Salmo coming!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Trico Tutorial 101- Doesn't Have to be a curse anymore!!!

                    (Tricos smoking a cigerterre after sex- what a pitiful end!Colin Monihan image)

The British called the Caenis/Trico hatch "the white curse".Because they were so minute and hard to find a hook in those days small enough, it was the impossible fish the hatch
 But today from the big fertile tailwaters like the Delaware to the the Bighorn, freestoners like the Beaverkill and Big the small spring creeks from Pennsylvania, Driftless area, Michigan to Montana, tricorythodes or the "trico psycho time" is the summer gig and staple hatch lasting up to 5 months. It provides the very consistent bread-and butter nourishment for trout along with terrestrials on every trout stream you find them.

So don't be " CURSED", here are some small tips on how to catch Trico trout...and LOTs of them, and yes even 20 inchers will eat  500 plus tricos in a day !!!
* Have both patterns: males and females: one is all black thread, the other is white clear theard with a ice dub peacock thorax- also have double patterns of a male and female connected in a longer shank #16 hook..use Organza Hareline wing material
*Use larger, wide gape hooks like Daiichi's 1110-1140, (#20) and bend the gape out and to the side, this greatly enhances your hooking potentials

* Long, very long leaders (16-18 feet) allow you to cast into multiple pods of fish without lining them...long 6-7 feet tippets of subtle Varivas or Cortland fluorocarbon tippet's 6-7x allow for long inspection times, since most fish are sipping in pods in pools and tail-outs where dead spinners accumulate after spinning near shoreline riffle areas.
* concentrate on the biggest trout which usually has the biggest sipping bubble...stay with the fish and switch patterns from M/F to double...8x only at last resort.
* be out really early on very hot days-sun-up- later as fall progresses
* hook set is downstream of fish, with rod tip almost touching water, very slowly and deliberately for small hook to penetrate- the lower rod tip profile maintains rod tension

That's it!!!...a 20 plus incher like thsi will have throatfulls of black and whitw gobs of spinners. So for the ultimate big trutta chase- hex fish all night and do last call on the daybreak trico hatch- double whammy!!!

Here is a our Muskegon Leopard Eagle Lake Rainbows that love to sip tricos everyday- note the belly full of tricos!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nexus book video trailer is out...enjoy !

Very special thank you to Spencer McCormack for editing/producing this, and the amazing video talents of Andrew Steele Nisbet, Simon Perkins/Sharptail Media, Dave Adams- Gaspe,St. Jean/Gardiner Mitchell, Justin Stuart/Wheremenfish, Tom Harman....very cool stuff!!
Here is the YouTube link for HD: