Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WINTER STEELHEAD GUIDING....BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME, RIGHT FLY....RIGHT STATE OF MIND!

(Terry, "Big buck/ Elk/Whitetail-guy!-one of the best winter steelheaders with a "hawg male!- check out the perfect dorsal fin__wild........?)

("Steely Stan"- was a road manager for the original"Steely Dan -best jazz/rock group ever !!!!!- this was was his second nice female- awesome for a dude that never fly fished for steels!---day two.

( A very nice skipper that jumped 4 times in 33F water- the future of G.L. steelhead-----as long as he doesn't become "candy' to the frying pan.)


("Steely Stan"- with first ever fly rod caught steelhead- day one)



Just got off the river -love docking the boat by the moonlight-soothing like Beethoven's moonlight sonata. Had the pleasure of guiding Terry and Stan from Wisconsin for the past two days. Two very positive , fun guys that had more dirty jokes then I did-they set the bar on that one!.We are all loving the global warming weather- snow- wind- cold- warm- snow........weather gods could not make up their global warming mind!




Water- low and VERY clear.........stealth tactics, no flying around fast-jet sled Alaska style.......you had to approach each hole like a spring creek with fussy browns sipping tiny midges.




Tonight was redemption time for my guys. They learned how to "think like a winter steelhead', be patient, watch other boats and guides run around like monkeys F'n a football,and just chill and wait to "Pounce- at the right moment!"




Here are Terry's and Stan's awesome fish!!!!!- CONGRATS GUYZ. Terry's "big buck " came at 6:40 PM, Stan hit another hen at 6..ish?.




The cool thing about these fish is they came from pools that two excellent Muskegon guides, fishing together on a day off , worked the pools very thoroughly.That's the sniff test............fish behind very good anglers and pull "rabbits out of the hat" at the eleventh hour, or as the "fat lady sang and light was diminishing. For the fish to take tiny flies- or on the flip side- road kill!- in such low light conditions, is a testimonial to a steelhead's eyesight.




Hint!!!!!. As Dec Hogan said in his book,"hint- don't mend!". I have ONE powerful note for guides..........boat positioning and long -term knowledge of pool guts, contours, nervous water seams........etc......... was everything tonight!......... as it always is on winter, gin clear Great Lakes rivers!




DANG.......this is my favorite time of year to guide. It is extremely cerebral, technical and more emotionally rewarding then parking on gravel.....which is also the other hat that we wear..........even the purist guides have to do it to pay the rent!