Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Seriously... swinging flies on the big Muskegon to winter holding lies, that can average 6-11 feet, in the deep spring-fed pools for steelhead, that often won't move far to take a swinging fly is not an easy gig. If I get one steelhead per client in 35F ICE COLD WATERS?- WE ARE DOING WELL, AND EACH FISH IS RELISHED AND APPRECIATED.!!!- that is the beauty of the challenge of deep winter swinging.
Maybe I'm not as good as the other guides to keep my realistic low, yet totally satisfying expectations- I hope to be more enlightened someday. 

But. When we start to get stupid numbers of fish on the swing in deep pools and runs, along with those amazing browns I have been posting, I'm elated but confused, by the  abnormal conditions and how they will affect future expectations
Needless to say, I should logically accept and feel the need to relish and appreciate what has been divinely given to me for the last week of guide trips. I think my sorrow sometimes for catching too many fish is born out of my 'twisted sense' of over respect for the elusive chrome mykis warrior that  more often humbles us and I like to often label as 'selective'- a term that is obviously dear to me.

Anyways, the day we had today: dense fog in the morning with next to zero visibility, a very cold , damp, deep chill in the bones that played capriciously on my sports Arthritis, and then finally sun at 4 PM, gave me and my client one one of the finest days I have ever witnessed in February-  in the winter's' classic deep ice box month. 
( I never talk numbers, but when you hit 6 for 6 on the swing in February- epic/thankful is all I can humbly say!)
So, this 'manna from heaven day', couldn't have happened to a better dude than my client Dr. Jeff Territo, who has guided with me since I started my business back in 2015. Jeff has had epic days in the last two decades; and 'paying your dues'  shunk days. But today?,  the mykiss gods came smiling . 

Also, what impressed me the most was the size of our steelhead that are getting bigger and back to normal like the big river Muskegon has always produced. After two years of small sized migrating steelhead, I' seeing some very thick and healthy fish- rather than slinked out snakes. Things look good for the Lake Michigan forage base in my secular 'up the river homie experience'. But Chuck Madenjian ,  my friend from Ann Arbor-'the  Great Lakes forage base guy", might think otherwise.

I hope I didn't' offend anyone by my observations and success, of what is often jealously labeled' shameless self promotion", but my feelings are real and sincere. 
Can't wait for the next episode of climate change coming this weekend!
Matt....PS. would love to see you this spring and see what is in store -love the learning curve!