Friday, March 14, 2014


( sorry for the 'hog shot'- I am probably more guilty for starting this crap!..:(.Mia culpa!( but  for client Steve, that was an enormous hen- a stone's throw down from the Gray Drake! ,first hour of our journey this early week!.. but Steve, a total newbie to steelheading and fly fishing caught this massive hen- 16 lbs on the Boga-Ice are running very large this year with a good alewife year class from two years ago )
So sad about that tragic pile up on the Ohio Turnpike..we sometimes don't understand how devastating this winter has been...  when things are out of our control. Had clients coming from the east this week that turned around because of that nasty north Ohio storm. This winter with the book signings and tours I was on the east coast four times and I ran into the worst weather- once I was closed in on I-94 going to Chicago in early February going to Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters- blizzard and squalls- thank God I called 911 and the troopers came and escorted me off with chains! 

Anyways...sorry for the weather drama, but looks like the worst is finally over. Despite the river temps being so low, the river is flowing wide open in the upper stretch by the lodge above Newaygo- by the M-37 bridge this morning it turned to slush after minus 6 below last night. His friend , Al, a true trout bum got his first steelhead about twenty minutes later.....on Ice Man minnows, Hex's and small string leeches/Steely Iceman blue/ copper UV flash...allocapnia/Tainy stones have not hatched yet due to the very cold water temps. 

Here is Al, trout bum with his first steelhead..nice buck...back lighting of low sun did not show the double red band steelhead traits.

( more detail on a smaller red bander)

Anyways, the good numbers and size of the fish bodes well for a great spring run that will last well into June with all the ice on the Great Lakes. They have been draining Hardy reservoir down to nothing to allow for the snow melt off. But the good thing so far there is no significant warm up which would cause flooding and warmer days and very cold nights in the forecast-PERFECT!
The browns and rainbows have all been cookie -cutter fat footballs in the 14-16 range and have been caught with the steelhead.They chowed down heavily on the salmon eggs and have been eating midges and scuds all winter- now the early black stoneflies and Chinook sac fry will nourish them until the steelhead start spawning. Did a quick stomach pump and they were loaded with midges/brownish/cream and black-size# 24 ish,  1 dace , scuds and sowbugs, and two black stones, several tiny green caddis larvae. Due to the Muskegon's alkalinity the scud and sow bug populations are very impressive and looking at the water you would not think that of an oligotrophic freestoner
Dates:Due to all the scheduling cancellations/changes from all the nasty winter weather we still have good dates available for the spring so email us or give us a jingle.


SELECTIVITY CLINICS: I will be doing these in all four seasons- custom made for individuals or for two fly anglers Selectivity Clinics on the water.Check the top of our web site for more information
MARCH 15 TH- Looking forward to seeing all my Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and friends and clients at Orvis Cleveland starting noon. It will be a very fun day as I do book signings on my two new books -'Selectivity ' and "Steelhead Dreams-12 Year Anniversary', I will be doing a cool power point presentation on the Selectivity Concepts- Fishing Fussy Trout, Steelhead and Atlantic salmon around the world and on all types of rivers- tail waters, spring creeks and large freestoners from North America, Europe, New Zealand, to Patagonia.
I will also be playing video clips from the newly edited 'Selectivity-Trout'-DVD. It was filmed on the Delaware, PA Limestone Spring Creeks, Michigan rivers, WI/MN Driftless area spring creeks and Montana.
Rumpf Fly Fishing Wholesalers will be distributing the product .
To make the event more special, we are very proud to have Great Lakes Brewing Co. - award winning Micro Brewers from Cleveland giving a beer tasting "FREE" to those that come by. Noted fly fishing guide, poster child and knowledgeable fly shop manager- Jimmy Lampros, will be happy to show you the new Orvis products for 2014 and get you ready for spring. The new award winning Sonic zippered waders, the amazing new fly tying upgrades Orvis has made is probably the best in decades. Also we will have a gorgeous 'live mount' replica Summer Strain Skamania Steelhead that went 20 lbs last summer and was taken by client Chris Bamford on the dry line with a surface scudo bivisble on the St.Joe. Mounting fish doesn't mean killing them and live mounts are the only proper conservation way to go.

MARCH 22- STREAMSIDE ORVIS- TRAVERSE CITY, MI- Seminars and book signings

APRIL- Besides steelhead guiding my book and presentation commitments stil roll on. I  sincerely enjoy presentations , speaking and  teaching and try to make them very exciting and different from the average slide show. 
I am really looking forward to being one of the headline presenters at the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival- second weekend. I will be doing programs and two special Advanced Spring Creek Tactics clinics on the water along with a presentation of ,"Spring Creeks of the World and Selectivity"- Mossy, Beaver and Buffalo spring creeks are close by the festival. 
Will also be speaking twice in the Detroit area the at the Clinton Valley TU in Detroit, Speaking at the Metro Area Michigan Steelheaders . And finally will close out the famous Mike Schultz Outfitters- BAR FLIES, in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, tying Selective Trout and Steelhead flies at the brewery.
Hope to see you on the water!...give us a call or email!...gotta get going to Cleveland- Cheers!- Na Zdrowie