Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May Update- Muskegon May steelhead run coming...leviathan brown trout caught

                  ( Client John from Connecticut with a May 1st/2016 gorgeous pastel Muskegon steelhead)

The Muskegon always gets a final massive push of steelhead- it has been going on for twenty years since I have been guiding on it. Though the run has appeared to diminish greatly lately, this lull sometimes happens around opening day of trout season like it did this year.
BUT!!!!...it ain't over yet! Spawning run steelhead are still being caught off the pier heads and by trolling anglers signaling a fresh run is staggering and coming.

My scientific reasons for such a claim is as follows:

*River temps are still 48F-2,800 CFS- very low water temps for this time of year

*We had one of the coldest Aprils on record- the first three weeks were very, very cold- with a few "rare' warm days in the middle

*Lake Michigan water temps off Muskegon harbor/ shoreline are 44F as of today- Icy!!!!!

*May run steelhead imprint through pineal gland to increasing daylight levels- thus fish that run in May carry genetic signal to their offspring

* Icy cold water still in Muskegon river Hardy and Croton impoundments

TROPHY BROWN TROUT
Dan Moser's massive brown that was caught last week is now confirmed through digital imprinting as the same one we caught by my client Dr. Murphy on April 30/2014....here are the fish again- they were both caught within a hundred yards of each other two years apart- could be our"smoking gun brown" we need to convince the DNR for more trophy brown regs and discussion which as of today Jay Wesley -Lake Michigan Watershed Director has agreed to- more to come and we will need your support! 
(2016 )
( Same brown 2014)

HATCHES
A few American March Browns and late stone flies around- a week or two from caddis and gray drakes. Lots of chinook fry so streamers are best bet.

Hope to see you at  the Gray Drake!..cheers..na zdrowie, 
Matt





Thursday, April 28, 2016

RIVER REPORT: MAY STEELHEAD COMING IN!- BIG BROWNS

Our May steelhead are just coming in...a massive 29 inch brown was caught this week by Dan Moser on a streamer...same fish Dr Murphy caught in 2014- CATCH AND RELEASE WORKS!!!


Big browns and rainbows are ready for the dry fly action/hatches to come...gonna be an epic spring!!!!
water levels perfect ..2940CFS

THE MUSKEGON IS PRODUCING BROWNS LIKE THIS!...BUT THE DNR DOESN'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT-SAD!

In case some of you have missed this epic leviathan trutta Dan Moser caught this week on the mighty MO , I can now say with digital/pixel imprint comparison/gill plate comparisons and discussion with Dan,, it is 100% the same fish that my client Dr. John Murphy caught with me back in 2014- within a hundred yards from the exact spot!- further proof that catch -and release works for highly selective , aggressive and educated carnivore browns.

This could be the final "smoking gun proof" we need to convince the DNR and others how the Muskegon could be the next great trophy brown trout fishery in the country ( White/Delaware style). We are forming an alliance of serious and passionate trophy brown trout lovers that will pursue in a 'aggressive/active" ...not "passively/dormant" style , like many organizations seem to operate in due to bureaucracy, lack of energy and laissez faire modus operandi otherwise known as "whatever?" As the country is fed up with Washington establishment and showing so at the polls, a grassroots approach has to start with a few passionate people that has had enough BS from the state officials who has offered the consistent response of "NO"..or " CAN'T BE DONE!". 
I have been preaching and pleading with the DNR for over 15 years now to make a progressive move to embrace trophy brown regulations, stock the right strains, make minor adjustments to the regulations that are simple and no brainers with no success and vision on their part- sad, very sad!, despite having conservation organizations(a local one and national one) beating the same drum with no success. 
The Muskegon is a massive fertile system with more aquatic invertebrate/vertebrate/fish eggs for food, tremendous spring groundwater influences and water temperatures on the warmer/marginal side needed and ideal to grow large browns and sustain a massive food chain.
If the DNR can only face up to the ' EXISTING FACTS ', that this fish and other fish like it form the proof in the pudding, these fish are real!!!. ( our one biologist refuses to look at picture proof of their existence- that is not science but calculated corruption) and manage the river for such fish, it would be truly epic!..( more to come-stay tuned for a facebook page coming!- everyone who cares for a fishery to develop would be greatly welcomed!. 
This is a "call to arms' for brown trout bums to embrace and progressively insist for better management on a fishery that already exists! ). Better brown trout management means better streamer, dry fly and nymphing/spinner /hardware opportunities to exist and a great economic boost to the area which is badly needed..( look at the White River and tourism in winter ). We have more CO officers than ever before to enforce regulations. We have a fishery school that would love to track data...all we need is a sincere move to accept FACT, PROGRESS AND WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE RIVER AND FOR ALL QUALITY BROWN TROUT ANGLERS,! (sorry for the long post...che
ers!

Friday, April 15, 2016

SELECTIVE STEELHEAD 'ON THE GRAB'...NOW IS THE TIME



I'm doing a small group corporate clinic on an up north MI river last few days on "Selective Nymphing for Spring Steelhead".Unfortunately, it is a very misunderstood and often abused aspect of our sport due to intentional "flossing/foul hooking" spawning-or near spawning fish. I was amazed to see how actively male and female steelhead, in a crystal clear spring creek close to Lake Michigan, started to zig zag /back-and-forth, as they gobbled emerging nymphs in the afternoon as early black stones and a few Hendrickson mayflies were emerging or crawling towards the banks in shallow gravel, as I perched up on an overhanging tree limb, I wish I had Spencer with his underwater cameras or my Gopro underwater tripod to capture this- it was amazing to watch!
My article two years ago in Fly Fisherman Magazine takes a deeper look at the subtleties of these feeding windows.

I love to swing flies as much as anyone -especially in fall/winter and late spring. But when our Potamodromous "rainbows/steelhead", which "eat, or go through the instinctive motions of such", and are" on the grab", it can be some of the most amazing nymphing you will encounter. But please use caution and don't cast to actively spawning fish, if you take photo opps, keep the female's tail high not to abort eggs, and release fish quickly

These fish are very A/A..aggressive active, and are fooled easily. Often your quick catch and release will make them passive and more spooked easily, thus saving them from the snagger/igloo cooler brigade that cares less about wild spawning steelhead and their success- sometimes you give them a survival chance by your minimal/educating intrusions into their wild world