Tuesday, August 2, 2011


( Chunky brown full of caddis pupae)
Sorry for the long delay in posts. It has been a heat inferno and we have been managing the best possible. A big cooling trend is starting tonight with temps around 80 F as opposed to the mid-90's..................yahooo!
( another fatso at dark on caddis!)
( caddis images by John Miller @)---the importance of a tiny dark tungstun bead when fishing a dead drifting caddis pupa- just look at the head shape!)
Despite all the bad weather, the Muskegon has been holding up just fine. The cool water bubbler has been giving us dissolved oxygen and the trout are fat and healthy. Sure they would like it colder, but several reasons are helping them and they are in a growth spurt which was totally different than last year.
 Here is a re-cap of what is going on :

  • the cold water bubbler at Croton has been going full steam with two aerators every night ,cooling the water the best it could and giving lots of dissolved oxygen
  • the zebra mussels are all but"FINISHED"............you just have to go above the dam and look at the rocks. Once they were totally encrusted in zebras- now you are lucky to find a live healthy one. Great Lakes EducatioanlResearch biologists and Grand Valley students have been  surveying  the river for steelhead fry, insects etc. and have confirmed the lack of zebras
  • the caddis population has 'exploded' their are nets and cases of cinnamon and green caddis in astronomical numbers along the rocks- the"canary in the coal mine" sign that zebras are done- in the past we lost the caddis hatch to the mussels due to the zebras heavy filtering of plankton from the reservoirs
  • Dave Cole at Consumers says they are rarely finding mussels in Croton and Hardy
  • the deep ,tannin tea stain of the river is a sign that water filtering( as mush as several quarts per day) by one mussel is not occurring- thus the old tannic stain
  • the stain also prevents light penetration in the reserviors and river holding down the temps as much as physically possible
SO...............the trout are eating their butts off with the caddis. Jeff, Bob and I were fortunate to guide the Simms Group of 6 guys fro 4 days last week , and we had somne excellent caddis activity at night with several browns in the 14-19 inch range on pupae at dark. All the activity- except Sunday- which started around 7:00 pm , has been mainly at dusk. But that will change as the air temp/water temps cool. The browns-they have been mainly browns getting fat and tolerating the heat, are very healthy and fat!
( big skams on the Joe are yet to come!)
    Summer Skamania Steelheading will only improve with the cooler spell coming. The St.Joe will cool off and bring in more fresh fish. Indiana's spring -fed creeks have been holding some enormous sized steelhead and has fared better with its colder water.
 Mike has been doing well fishing hooppers/stoneflies on the Pere Marquette and Pine, and there are nice browns at Tippy on the Big Manistee which Jeff and Bob got into on Saturday with the Simms group.
 That is the latest for now!
Cooler times are coming and July of 2011 will burn in hell in the history books- good riddens!