Thursday, October 10, 2019

THE MOST PERFECT BROWN TROUT!- SIMPLY SALMO TRUTTA MAGNIFICENCE

                         ( Master Muskegon River guide, associate and friend: Jon Fortuna, one of the fishy-est dudes I know, with "THE" most perfect brownie I have ever seen!- a true massive congrats Jon! )
In case you haven't noticed, I'm passionately obsessed, possessed and compulsive with all things  Salmo: salar and trutta-browns and Atlantic's- the "Atlantic trouts" . My Nexus book on them was the most difficult and thought draining tome I've ever embarked on. #browntroutatlanticsalmonnexus
 When a fish touches your soul at at a very early age in the impressionable boyhood stage like brown trout and Atlantic salmon did on the Baltic rivers of northern Poland that I open my Nexus book chapters with, the power of these fish to cast a spell on you for life is simply spellbinding .
When Jon a few days on one of his evening trips texted me this image of the brown he just caught with client, I could feel his shaking/trembling with joy and humbleness coming through the texted image. When I first saw it, I was awestruck by the truly magnificence of this brown's "perfect" morphology/color spectrum/allele spotting patterns- everything about this #groundzerobrowntrout specimen- simply amazing does not do Jon's catch justice. When writing #Nexus I have looked through thousands of images of brown trout for the book- some of mine and other world class photographers so kind to gift me with their works) Here is why this fish is so special.
Ground Zero Genetic Infusion 
In Nexus I romanticize the importance of our subliminal  micro- ecosystem of tiny to medium cold flowing spring-fed wooded rivers from Newaygo to Baldwin, Michigan. Here in 1884, a special train came up from the Federal Fish Hatchery- Northville, MI to stock the "first brown trout"west of the the Atlantic ocean in civilization's new world western hemisphere- kinda a big deal ! 
Baron Von Behr's promise to send his beloved Black Forest German brown trout was on that train. They are typical of  the many brown trout strains of internal river systems in Europe : mix of brown spots with red dots circled with white rings, orange "butter" bellies, and a blue sapphire dot on the cheeks- a beautiful creature! These were and still are the main allele configurations of our ground -zero browns in our Michigan legacy. Our progressive Michigan DNR, leaders in fish culture for centuries, have preserved these German brown genetics by stocking Wild Gilchrist Creek browns at fingerling stages in rivers where natural reproduction needs help. 
As time progressed, other strains of brown trout came to the new world such as Scotland's Loch Leven and more coastal estuary/large water body specimens that had access at one point or still do to the Atlantic and surrounding seas, thus having less spotting and more silvery forage pelagic based allele structures that favor their life survival strategies.
Loch Levens when river based tend to have the more fuller brown spotting/leopard spot looks dominance in their appearance. Michigan uses a Wild Rose ( Wisconsin originated) brown that has faster growth potentials than the much more elusive and shy Black Forest German Forellen( Bach Forellen is German stream brown trout). Jon's perfect specimen embodies all these allele spotting into a fusion that takes on massive artistic implications. The fusion of leopard spotting with red crimson cell-like spots , extreme orange butter, reddish blood marking transitions, a cluster of leopard spotting running into the lower belly like Marble Trout of Slovenia....the artistic diagnosis never ends with this fish!)
"YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT"- THE MUSKEGON'S MASSIVE FORAGE BASE DIVERSITY
The Muskegon is one of the most fertile rivers I've ever witnessed. Since it is a tailwater that connects inland lake reservoirs and the Great Lakes it has a massive infusion of ecosystems that fuel the food chain in both directions. After years of lobbying for Type 3 regulations to create a trophy brown trout population, our new and talented /dedicated biologist Mark Tonello of the MDNR had the wisdom to implement these regulations and the brown trout populations are responding nicely and growing larger!
A big part of a brown trout's appearance /lifestyle and diet come from their genetic backgrounds and what they forage on, including adapting their morphology to their habitat type/water color and viscosity.
This "perfect" brown has an ideal mix of genetics that was fueled by an extreme diversity of prey. Robustly colored  browns usually result from extreme aquatic insect and freshwater crustacean, which the Muskegon has an enormous amount of. Crayfish, scuds and the entire aquatic insect smorgasbord of mayflies, caddis, stone flies and midges abound. Also bait fish such as sculpins, darters, chubs, sucker minnows and salmon /steelhead fry add to the mix. Couple these with the seasonal onslaught of eggs from spawning salmon, steelhead and suckers and the food supply is mind boggling, thus creating morphological vibrancy .
Bottom Line: All About The Fish
To me and many others, the fly fishing journey is more than just the catching. It is in the appreciation and adventure to witness the beauty of the natural order of things of God's creation. No fish is more stunning, sporting and beguiling , and captivating of the soul and eyes than Salmo-#civilizationsfoundingfish. Vision is a divine blessing we often take for granted. When you lay eyes on Jon's brown trout, a magnificently balanced beast of 30 million years in the making, you can only be humbled by the power of the natural world- how anyone can kill a fish of this beauty is beyond my comprehension. To all the guides and anglers that practice catch-and-release , the Salmo gods bless you!- especially with our Atlantic salmon populations that need mankind's help now more than ever.
One thing is for sure: you will be seeing more trophy brown trout ( Truttasaurus!), and stunning looking ones at that, in the years to come from the Mighty Muskegon!
(blogger's note: A year after my Nexus book was released, Jon's brown made me realize once again what emotional joy we receive when we catch a big brown!...to those that worship these fish, more of this adventure is in my Nexus pages)




Monday, October 7, 2019

Great week in the books with the amazing anglers from Orvis U.K. Scotland- and loads of great rain!

An epic week catching massive King Salmon on the Muskegon, with some nice browns and steelhead from other rivers:P.M./White etc.

Thank you Graeme Ferguson and John Hood from Orvis U.K. -Edinburgh, Scotland, and his band of great fly fishing competition  anglers:Ian, Eddie, Brian, you guys were all great me chaps!

7 inches of rain in 48 hours blew the rivers out by end of the week, but we found the "grand slam" trifecta of Pacific salmon, browns, steelhead in easier to fish rivers that were still at 150 year record highs!!!

Water is down now to perfect levels and bringing in chrome steelhead, more salmon, and lots of lake-run browns

Cheers guys!!!!...you were awesome!!!...see you next year in Scotland and back in Michigan!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

LATEST FALL/WINTER UPDATE!...BIG IS THE WORD!

( look for this "cover girl", Jess Delorenzo , from PA  to be on the cover of the new issue of Fly Fisherman that will be out this week! Jess caught this beauty with me guiding her last December in the pool right in front of the lodge, and my "Icy Steel" (winter steelhead article feature) is in the issue...Congrats Jess!
Back from Iceland and another vision of Salmo utopia. But the Great Lakes are among the next best places on earth for all things trout, steelhead, and salmon....tough to beat all the options. Here is a update and breakdown of what is to come...NOW!, and fall/ winter!, ( see my latest post on Fall trout fishing on Facebook last few days)...fresh salmon in our pools on the Muskegon!, trout fishing has been fantastic-caddis and bwo hatches, and steelhead and coho are on the St. Joe.

PACIFIC SALMON-KINGS AND COHO
Father and Son - Gene and Justin Kelly from pool swinging kings with west coast patterns last year- pool fishing has started and will get better once cooler weather sets in

The prey/predator balance in Lake Michigan is now excellent and the king and coho salmon this year are running even larger than last year!!!!( last year was the biggest salmon I've ever witnessed on the Muskegon- fish at 30 lbs!) The pooled up fish in the system are very large, and as the rest of September and October unfolds, we will see fish sizes continue to grow with cooler weather and more water flows. We will start seeing coho skippers show up this year as result of recent plants. We specialized in pool fishing west coast style swinging comets and bosses California/Russian River style.

STEELHEAD



                            One fly dis all this damage!-Some awesome early fall steel taken by the Chris and Katie Coggins from Texas, Norm Price from NJ, and Paul Dolbec's massive beast that smashed the Hang time leech

Given that winter-run steelhead will predate on available bait fish schools, if the salmon are the tell-tale sign that things are getting big and bigger!, steelhead this fall should be trophy sized and aggressive on the swing take. Also the large sized salmon will infuse many eggs into the system for "match-the hatch"steelheading  ( for more on winter steelheading, see the new issue of FLY FISHERMAN MAGAZINE (Fall/Winter 2019-out Sept. 30th) for my client and amazing photographer/angler Jessica Delorenzo on the cover with her masive Muskegon steelhead taken with me on the swing in mid-December last year, I also have the feature article on winter steelhead entitled "Icy Steel")
The first steelhead will trickle in on the heels of the salmon egg barrage, and then prime swinging thru December, with deep nymphing/swing/chucking through the winter where the Muskegon is prime for deep cold winter steel!

ATLANTIC SALMON
                                            (this IGFA landlocked Atlantic salmon record 27lb female we caught 9 years ago still stands as the all-world record landlocked Atlantic my client Tom caught while I guided him in Michigan....they are stunning Grand Lake Stream fish from Maine Michigan/LSSU has been experimenting with since the 60's

I am expecting a much better year for our inland and Great Lakes Atlantic salmon since the massive hot to cold weather caused many salmon to stay out in the deep waters rather than transition ( Salmo salar has that capacity due to their migratory ocean regime life-style) The fact that we have the opportunity to catch world class Atlantic salmon in the Midwest heartland is an amazing thing!!!, considering the dollars one must spend to travel the world for them. We must thank the excellent work of Lake Superior State University and the Michigan. I still have a few dates left for these amazing and beautiful brown trout cousins( see my new book for more details  #browntroutatlanticsalmonnexus) Also my Atlantic salmon trips have the great potential for hooking large lake-run browns

TROUT FISHING-HATCHES. EGGING AND STREAMERS


(Autumn tiny Pseudo bwo's- a massive hatch in Michigan-JG Miller image)
Fall/winter is an amazing time for a trophy brown trout since they are migrating for the spawn and will eat ravenously after they are quickly done. Fall hatches are thick on the Muskegon of caddis and blue -winged olives, with white Cahills. Stripping giant articulated drunk/disorderlies and double D's, also matching the egg game is trophy brown trout time!...our tailwater fat rainbows are also active all fall and winter and foraging big time before winter comes and through the winter

Call or email us to reserve your much deserved time on the water!
cheers!...humbly yours!
Matt & Laurie Supinski

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Going to Be a BIG!!! King Salmon Season- start to get ready!

       Last years kings were GINORMOUS!!!...so far the results out in the big lake have been mega-sized and even bigger!...The Muskegon is poised for some of the largest fish ever!...make your reservations for a king of a lifetime!- we fish the pools traditional west coast style with comets/bosses...total blast!!!!