Epicurean Angler-Matthew Supinski's Selectivity/Nexus Blog- Everything Trout/Steelhead/Salmon

Epicurean Angler-Matthew Supinski's Selectivity/Nexus Blog- Everything Trout/Steelhead/Salmon

Friday, November 13, 2020

More precipitation coming!- Steelhead, Atlantics and browns knocking on the door!


 For those that have waited with all this bizarre low water and heat wave of November, the best is yet to come!!! 



Saturday, October 24, 2020

STEEL CHROME IS HERE!

 

Finally we have rain!...and fresh chrome fall steelhead are here!





Monday, August 10, 2020

Hallowed Waters Journal


 

After nearly 3 decades of writing magazine articles and books for other publishers, guiding relentlessly for over 25 years and fishing around the globe, I am extremely excited to announce that I am launching my own digital magazine called “ Hallowed Waters Journal-The Trout/Salmon/Steelhead Passion”. This endeavor is the culmination of all of these efforts and  the perfect vehicle for me to continue my endless pursuit of excellence and share my passion for the tactical sport, science, theories and art of fly fishing for these amazing fish. In this quarterly magazine I hope to bring you in depth content, stunning photography and videos and feature  provocative and innovative talented anglers and artisans of our craft-past and present. I will explore tactics, examine and decipher historical and scientific foundations and intriguing tales that will give you endless approaches and perspectives in the never ending pursuit of the trout/salmon/steelhead angling journey. From there you will be able to apply them on your own backyard hallowed waters as well as on a global scale  -  no matter where the rivers of your dreams take you.. 

Please take a look at the new website and read the Preview Issue, Mission and Editor’s Blog  which tells the whole story. I hope that you will be enticed enough to become a subscriber and will share this link with anyone you know; from die hard fanatics,to curious novices,. I will truly appreciate your support and welcome you to come along on this exciting new adventure in my life as we all continue the joy and passion of learning and adventure.


Please join me at: https://hallowedwaters.com/


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A very good friend and fishing partner- Dick Pobst-RIP



I am very sadden to say my good friend, supporter and an Icon in the fly fishing world passed away yesterday- the one and only Dick Pobst. Dick was a good fishing partner on the Muskegon and a bug /hatch matching fanatic up until a few years ago. Dick introduced me to Orvis 25 years ago when I first started out in an old wooden/fiberglass drift boat. He and Carl Richards "Selective Trout " fame put bugs and hatches into perspective for everyone. Dick's "Trout Stream Insects- and Orvis Pocket Guide" was a master work that made bug Latin simple. My upcoming online magazine will feature Dick and Carl in the "Caddis Conundrum"...may God rest your soul brother, and may you and Carl find all new species of aquatic bugs in heaven to harass and enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Big Mayfly Time- The light giant drakes of Summer ( and heat wave warning)

( A Hex/yellow drake/ Danica  imitation- author image and tie)

Summer's  giant drakes are one mayfly hatch period that guarantees big trout will be on the prowl for them. Besides the legendary Hexagenia/( light hex) and Rithrogena (dark hex) hatch of Michigan and the Midwest, Hexs' /giant drakes exist all over the globe and east coast were you have silty stream bottoms and fine gravel . Even on classic eastern/western freestone/cobblestone rivers, the lower silty portions of them have Hexagenia hatches, as do limeteoners and spring creeks everywhere. Big trout will pack on the weight from these hatches, and the fact that many do not fish late into the night on ice cold spring creeks since they fish well in mid-day, they often emerge without notice.

Europe's Ephemera Danica comes off a little earlier starting in May ( thus the word Mayfly). It is very similar to the Green Drake emergence cycle, but will continue its hatching throughout summer on the ice cold spring creek/chalk streams of Europe well into July. I once encountered excellent Danica hatches on the River Avon spring creek/chalk stream in Salisbury England in late July, and the big browns went ballistic for them!) For the amazing landlocked salmon/lake/sea browns of Michigan , and New England/Scandinavia/Baltic areas the Hexagenia is a big appetite arouse where the Hex nymphs comprise an amazing part of the diets of big water salmonids where found- especially in Great Lakes/Finger Lakes.


                 (What we see of the Hex hatch is only skin deep. An amazing autopsy from a  Great Lakes charter guide friend (James Chamberlin image )on northern glacial inland lake in Michigan- lake trout belly stuffed with hex nymphs)
(Hex nymph image J.G. Miller)
( massive vertical growth takes place on these lake systems with hexagenia overload- Landlocked Atlantic shown here- browns get even more glutton-like. Author image)

Here they emerge from their burrows to relocate by massive schools/pods, especially in fall and spring, and the salmonids chow-down heavily on them in deep water depths. Atlantics' , steelhead and browns, plus char binge down on them all year. Sometimes the sonar graphs of fish finders in these lakes are a blizzard cloud of them on the graph)

                                  ( I'm a big fan of the amazing foam mayfly bodies of Frosty Fly  https://frostyfly.com/. , a Slavic based company in Canada that does excellent mail-order.They come in all varieties and are insect specific ( here is Hex, Danica)- tell them I sent you. You can combine them with wings of CDC, duck feathers, Snowshoe rabbit, traditional hackle- you can custom infuse them into your creations like I do)
              ( my Nexus Hex wiggle nymph from my "Brown Trout-Atlantic Salmon Nexus" Book- author image)
                         ( light and dark Hex- sometimes a gender or species specific trait= J.G. Miller "the Bug Doctor" image)
                (Top: more traditional yellow drake/Potamanthus wiggle from my "Selectivity" book- a killer on many classic freestone and spring creeks in late summer...Below: a beautiful wild  Catskill's/Neversink brown trout of September that love to eat them in between meals of olives and beetles ( fish embodies the Salmo Nexus morphology- author images )

The other Yellow Drakes : Potamanthus, Ephemera varia and Epeorus vitreus , all emerge sporadically many times on most waters and stand out like a giant yellow flower on the water. You can be sure they will get gulped up fast by any trout due to their meaty proportions and being extremely obvious.
On the ice cold Catskill tailwaters they float for long duration's and will get extremely long compound/complex  rises from the trout, which have been used to sipping # 20's. Both Classic eastern freestoners and spring creeks have them, and they start to hatch in June, but will sporadically hatch all summer at odd times of the day- you will never know when they turn up! They are excellent indicators of good healthy freestone and spring creek water qualities.

More to come in the "Rise Forms" departmental column of my new online magazine being released this month- cheers!, stay cool, give the trout a break, and turn off all electronics in the house to save electricity- use solar chargers for your smart phones and tabs- mine is working great!
Matthew Supinski

                                       (NOTE: Please stay advised on heat wave conditions: carry a thermometer, and don't fish waters that are approaching or are over 70 F . Only fish cold limestone/subterranean spring creeks that stay ice cold year-round, alpine environment brooks ( Rockies/Appalachians etc.) also Catskill and other tailwaters around the globe that have very deep 150 plus impoundments depths for bottom draw. Michigan is loaded with subterranean spring creeks and they are the tiny creeks that you never fish because they are obscure and require the art of walking-they carry more wilds than you ever thought!, but watch out for heat stroke and carry lots of water) Usually very tiny feeder springs of tributaries of rivers will have icy conditions that hold up. But the farther you move away from spring sources, the warmer it will get. Also watch out for large thermally stressed fish in springs that have migrated there for survival, They are usually larger and darker and move lethargically- MOST WILL SURVIVE IF YOU LEAVE THEM THE F' ALONE!- best to stay inside and tie flies, READ!, yes read books (long lost art due to modern society's ADHD) until the heat breaks- you can do it!, like the commercials say "we're in this together eh!)


( for more reading and  fly tying recipes /tactics on this subject and others. Lots of  in-depth/code cracking hatch matching conundrums :

Friday, July 3, 2020

HEAT WAVE!- PLEASE TAKE NOTE

(my image: dark blotches on the bottom of image are hundreds of wild Atlantic Salmon all pooled up on Quebec's Dartmouth River by a cold water spring during a nasty and unusual drought and heat wave years ago)

PLEASE TAKE NOTE!. We are going into a 9 day plus run of temperatures in the mid 90's F, A VERY RARE SUSTAINED HEAT WAVE FOR MICHIGAN! ( what else could possibly happen this year right? 😟)...PLEASE! refrain from trout fishing since most streams will heat up in mid/upper 70's F . I have worked a few days in a row this week with biologist Tonello of the DNR where he and his FERC staff have notified Consumers Power to turn on the bottom- draw bubbler at Croton and elsewhere ( Manistee/ Mio- don't know the situations there so you should inquire with your local DNR biologists) They (Consumers Power) don't always do it according to the rules and always need a strong nudge to get them up and running ) which we did and they had the thing up and running yesterday at Croton on the Muskegon ( notice the huge spike down in temperature on the graph when they turned it on!) It is mandated by FERC law from July 1- thru Sept. 1( Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) Keep in mind this is not a complete cure and fix but keeps water temps down to several degrees and adds dissolved oxygen .They run the things from late in the day through the night to provide a buffer thermal/oxygenated refugee the best they can. Keep in mind that when you are in the 70 F degree range, a matter of 1 or 2 degrees and dissolved oxygen content can make the difference between life and death for trout! The rainbows and browns in the system can tolerate a lot, and will actually feed aggressively when the water temps are in the low 70's as long as dissolved oxygen content is there ( its been going on for my 25 years of guiding). Its the fighting and release they cant handle.
If you must fish, bass. bluegill , carp , perch. musky etc ( even these fish will start to feel it!).....or fish very tiny ice cold groundwater spring creeks that sustain water temps in the mid-upper 50's F, ( they will heat up regardless in the hot sunny afternoons ) And ONLY fish from dawn to no later than 9 am.
We gave had an amazing spring with cold weather, lots of water and lots of thick hatches. The trout grew very large, and its your turn to give back to them and be responsible -PLEASE!!!! ( and don't fish near spring creek tributaries where the trout stack -up clinging to life) I have canceled guide trips for two weeks and ask all responsible ones to do the same, which many have already done!
Also, on another note, have a happy and safe socially distanced 4th of July! This thing ain't over with yet and being stupid is no way to end it! We didn't ask for this mess, but we sure as hell have total control in stopping it! Looking at what just happened down south/out west when arrogance and ignorance dominate behavior - enough said...cheers! ( sorry for the preach!, but if it saves an every human or trout life, those lives matter!)
 #troutunlimited #atlanticsalmonfederation #internationalfederationofflyfishers #michiganDNR Kirk Deeter Martin Silverstone #PMTU #Schremswesternmichigantroutunlimited Ross Purnell

Thursday, June 18, 2020

My Iso-caine ( 2.0 version with new materials) is the closest thing to fishing a dirty and deadly night-crawler for big browns. This wiggle nymph with its marabou tail, articulation and wiggling/jiggling action due to the micro tungsten head and the rod and stripping imparting stutter jerks and pulses, is deadly when fished down-and-across in classic wet fly/soft hackle fashion. Trout target fast swimming Isonychia nymphs and show explosive rises to them, eating both the adults and nymphs just under the surface.This pattern is lethal fished all day ( bright sunny weather) and in pre-hatch periods, as these wild Catskill browns struck on a bluebird day on the Delaware and Neversink.



My new online magazine launching in a few weeks will featutre exciting patterns like this that convey the science , asrt and passionate tactical chase fro trout/salmon/steelhead in a whole new venue

Saturday, June 13, 2020

When Prey meets Predator

When nature is curios with art- and who says aquatic insects can't see!

Image I took on the Gray Drake door with an Isonychia ( white-gloved-howdy) adult on a #Matt Zudweg Brown trout carving- cool!

Saga of my Biggest Brown on the Dry

My 27 1/2 inch brown I caught on the gray drake spinner fall over a week ago was my personal best on a dry. 26 was my previous pinnacle.

It was a cool sunny morning- not ideal conditions to catch a brown of your lifetime. Cloud cover with filtered Cirrus cloud sunlight would be better. Yet I was hoping that the gray drakes ( Siplonurus)  which have been too thick to fish in the past few evenings due to blanket hatches, would mate and spin in the AM, where I have had perfect hatch matching conditions in the past. Sometimes you catch a perfect "not-too-many" mating flights in the air in the mornings before noon that get big browns to feed for a very short duration- this day was not one of them I thought prematurely.

In a spot where I have seen some real donkeys in the past weeks feed, I posted my Stealthcraft and sat and waited...and waited. Almost an hour and a half went by without a cast. I sat there, worked on my phone and was ready to pack it in. All of a sudden some cirrus clouds showed up, a cold chill filled the air, and I had gray drake spinners above me. I continued to watch until a bowling ball explosion rise happened 12 feet below my jet engine." Holy Shit"... that is a big-ass brown! It sprayed water at me when it moved the surface so quickly. Suddenly pairs of drakes were coupling up- a very few but just enough.

So what has happened in that hour plus was the big brown got very comfortable with my boat, thought it was cover since it casted a shadow on the bottom and used the bubble line crated by my stern. If I would have been casting that would not have happened. Catching big browns is like turkey hunting, you have to assimilate to your surroundings and become a hunting predator, be still and wait.The old bullshit saying "can't catch a fish iof your line is not in the water" is foolish in big brown hunting.

After the second rise, on hands-and-knees I crawled to the back of the boat. With my dry fly already lubricated and dried, I did several dapping/roll/ underhand casts, and puddled the long 18 foot leader and let it uncoil drag free into the bubble lane where the fish rose 12 feet below the engine-SMASH!, surface explosion and the fish was on!
It tore downstream like a Maserati, "Mr. Big" jumped once 4 feet in the air cartwheeling like a steelhead , and peeled off backing on my Orvis 5 weight Helios and 3x tippet. I did everything to get the anchor up fast and floated with the boat for about 150 yards with the fish not exhausting . As I rounded the bend , I looked down and was glad my 45 inch steelhead/salmon net with long handle was there and ready. As it rounded the corner bend, it headed for a log-jam near shore and I beached the boat and ran out to chase it. Saying Hail Mary's...it was finally in the net by shore and I was spent!

That fish remained in my net as I went to my Pelican case and got my Nikon D850...the rest is what you see! The colors of this "wild" as we determined after I showed it to my local biologist friend remain spectacular, Abel reel matching to boot!

Cheers!
MS

Friday, June 12, 2020

Next Phase- Iso Time!- the meaty howdy's




 Isonychia bicolor have just started as the drakes continue- (Bug Doctor J.G Miller image). John will be featured in my "Entomo-Logique" department/column in my new online journal coming in two weeks- stay tuned!)

The heavy rains and storms have raise the rivers but lowered water temps. Perfect hatching conditions of the big meaty Isonychias. These are very fast swimming nymphs that hatch from the water on the Muskegon. They really catch the trout's eyes and they and the swallows go mad for them!
They emerge sporadically all day into the evening..The larger trout will target both the swimming/emerging nymphs and hammer the adults.
( my Iso-crack wiggle nymph swung down-and- across on heavy tippets will bring vicious strikes!)

(Here are two CDC adults in the traditional and FrostyFly version)
Here is another look at that magnificent beast of a brown I caught a week ago on the early gray drake spinner fall..one of my finest ever! (that was my 45." salmon/steelhead net


Cheers!
MS

Sunday, May 31, 2020

No Bugs?, Siphlonurus sunken Impressions- lethal wet swinging when no spinners fall

(my Gray Drake Super Submersible- lethal swinging when nothing is happening!- great for all banded-bodied/segmented mayflies/drakes)

How many nights or mornings ( drakes BTW spinner fall at both times) have you driven to the stream or walked down from your cabin/lodge saying... " tonight/this morning will be the one!- the hatch /spinner fall will happen and I will get my 20 inch brown for sure!..And?, the weather turned crap; too much wind, too hot or too cold, started to rain etc. With climate change's ups-and-downs  it's always something and nothing happened, or worst yet bugs came out but didn't fall- sucks right?- here is the solution.


Once the gray/green/brown drakes start to hatch and emerge will easily last for a few weeks (siphlonurus drakes on my Muskegon and Pere Marquette, East and West Coast  waters along with other Baltic/Scandinavian country hatches) and up to 4-6 weeks on cool damp springs. the selective trout get quite imprinted to barred and banded mayfly adults, spinners and the nymphs. Unlike other drakes that emerge from the surface, Gray Drakes swim to shore during dusk and thru the night to hatch on damp wooded debris and grass along the shorelines, only to come back to the rivers surface at dusk and dawn to spin/mate and lay eggs. That is when the football splash-like surface explosions occur. Drakes couple in the air and drop quickly to the surface and often leave airborne several times, thus they can be tough to grab for a trout until fully spent which sums up their robust rises.

( Early morning fat truttasaurus spinner sipper while others were still sleeping from going to bed late and fish-less, chasing the midnight spinner fall that often yields tough returns)

But many nights there are tons of "bug karma/sex synergy" of mating swarms in the air but no coupling occurs due to cold air coming in quickly, too hot and sunny etc.- its a real tough one to hit it just right! Hunting this hatch for 30 years I've come to at least 80% accuracy in my predicting this "prime-time" to be on the water, but that 20% inaccuracy is getting bigger, again with the uncertain weather patterns and water conditions of climate change that even has the bugs confused as much as us.

When the hatches are thick for weeks like on the Muskegon. the surface will be carpeted in drakes like sawdust clumps and often make imitations useless. The bigger selective trout imprint to this food form and also target the shorelines where they emerge. Also due to the density of this hatch, many spinners sink and get water logged. They become very appealing due to their sheer numbers.

When nothing is happening on the surface, my "Super Submersible" pattern will bring rod-jolting strikes in the middle of the day since it imitates the migrating nymph and sunk spinner, plus soft- hackle swingers will love to swing these.

 I use a long Thomas & Thomas 12ft /3 in./3 weight-Contact model, which lets you feel the fly and swing in an unparalleled manner through technology that didn't exist years ago, coupled with my Abel. 

Good luck! 
Matt Supinski

FLY RECIPE
Hook: Daiichi 1260
Thread: Uni-Black-3/0
Tail and Body: Nice thick Hareline Gadwell Duck feather nicely barred, planted with tail and center of feather situated flat on hook as you Palmer the black thread around the feather in a uniformed banded distance covering length and circumference around hook
Thorax: Hareline UV Peacock Ice Dub
Wing: Pearl Krystal Flash
Hackle: Hungarian Partridge
Bead: Black Tungsten 

Get more in-depth with this subject and more in my books!




Monday, May 25, 2020

St. Mary's/ Sault Atlantic Salmon Archives

 A fond look/ slide transparency collage back on this ever developing Great Lakes Atlantic salmon Mecca!- enjoy the ride! ( For you Johnny Giuliani:  aka "Mayor" of  Sault International and the proud Italian Papa G. , Johnny "Bugsy" Miller: Catskill Mayfly master, and the always young Pat O'boyle- fun days!, and hopefully more coming soon
 ( Maestro of the "Berm"- Johnny G. and Caviar Steve")
( Salar that took the first Hex Bomber)
( Sault manna from the sky)
( A young Pat O'Boyle with a bottle-nose dolphin )
( Bugsy Miller was a mean salar machine and pushed his brown trout/ Catskill Buddha act with these insect loving Salmos)
( The "Soo Martini"- adding wigglers to your Vodka martini's at a bar after way too much to drink, which was a nightly affair at the ballet clubs- truly manly gig!)
( Papa G.- first Great Lakes Atlantic master!- Spaghetti and Salmon!)
( and of course the dreaded Lamprey scar of all or most fish)

Cheers!- more good stuff coming soon in my new online magazine that a preview will featured shortly. I hope it will change your relationship with Trout/Salmon/Steelhead fly fishing forever!- and what fly fishing was meant to be!
You can read much more about the developing Great Lakes Atlantic Salmon fisheries in both Nexus and Selectivity)