Monday, April 19, 2010


( Shawn with perfection in beauty , form and performance)

( another member of the Evening Soirre club)

The hottest steelhead stick in the Midwest, Shawn Murphy does it again! Sunday morning, guiding her and John and drifting a deep fall/winter pool looking for fresh fish, Shawn's rod exploded and a chrome hen went ballistic!Throwing Senyo's Super Ice Man Minnow,( this pattern will be featured with tying recipe in my fall Great Lakes article in Fly Fisherman Magazine)the huge chrome hen did an aerial display and continued to charge under the jet boat as we drifted down river to keep up with it. Shawn was unbelievable holding that fish on using 3x tippet. Three times it went completely under and around the boat-the last time the Orvis Zero Gravity 8 weight was completely at the breaking point- I couldn't look and winced! Miraculously, she eased the fish out after a extremely long battle as we put the net under it. The eyes on the minnow, which were epoxied on firmly were shattered and the 3x Orvis Mirage tippet- despite hitting the aluminum chines on the boat and once through the anchor which John got out(I have to complement him for that) was not abraded- a miracle! It had to be the best fight job I've ever witnessed and only "Shawny" could pull that one off! I almost crashed the boat twice into the shallows and the island trying to maneuver around the fish and low water.

In hindsight, Shawn's delicate -yet firm hand on the Zero G (it has a very light delicate tip on the mid-flex), the perfectly smooth drag of her Abel Super 8 steelhead reel, and hopefully my new improved double Duncan's loop knot I've been tying with the 3x maxi- knot all made a difference. Also , she reels right handed, so her ability to pick up the slack moments was crucial as the fish went up/down/all-around town!

Moral of the story: we had breakfast at 8 a.m., were on the river by 9, let it warm up and heard all the crack-of-dawn weekend warriors and clockwork guides motor over all the gravel redds and knocking the fish into deeper lies(where they best take the fly- when you can't see them and they can't see you!) So, sleep in like Shawn likes to( being the Manager of the U. of M. Cardiac surgery center, she wakes up at 4:00 a.m. daily) so on a weekend relaxation trip, sleep is good!......AND YOU STILL CAN BE A STAR!

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!
Now for Evening Soiree...Part Trios. The Murphys left early after I did Joyce's famous pea soup and my Black Forest Ham Panini sandwiches back at the lodge. Seeing it was somewhat warm, calm(thank god!.. after two days of 40 mile wind gusts) I saw a few black stones coming off. So armed with Helios 10/5 and I went looking for some "heads popping the surface". It was ideal for selective tailwater trout- overcast, calm and not too many stones, just a few to satiate their fat bellies that have been stuffed by stone nymphs and egg layer adults for 5 weeks and going.. Didn't have to go far to find some hogs slurrping.BUT.......they were very selective to dead egg laying quad winged spent female adult stones.

The picture tells the story! Those Eagle Lake Rainbows are getting huge!!!- and ain't dying at 10 inches like they are supposed to!....SORRY RICH!- YOU KNOW I WAS GOING TO SAY THAT....LOL....LOL!

River conditions .Water at 2,020 cfs, water temp 50 F- rain or Icelandic volcanic ash would be very welcomed if you hear me big guy up there.

Still nice chrome hen steelhead coming in- saw more in the last three days then all spring. We are always a late river and in 20 years of consistency on that note, it won't change. Still a lot of fish off the piers in Muskegon. That is the way it is on the Mighty Mo.