Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Well we have arrived at the eve of another great year, man how time flys! I've met a ton of cool people this year,some will become lifelong friends and others will be folks that i may only see once a year but that's whats so cool about this job,you meet a lot of great people. Looking back on the year and thinking of all the fish that have been caught it can really be humbling to think that people will travel hundreds if not thousands of miles and spend hundreds of dollars to spend what could there only vacation with goofy ass me, to all of those folks that have fished with me a very heart felt Thank You. I really look forward to this following year, more cool people more awesome fish and maybe even a few more road trips to fish.

Friday, December 21, 2012

End of days

December 12 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar supposedly the end of the world as we know it.....well its been fun while it lasted,here are some fishing highlights from the year.
If we make it to the 22nd, then all we have to worry about is the zombie Apocalypse 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chattahoochee love

My good friend Dave Hosler over at Pilecsast spent a few days down in Atlanta fishing the chattahoochee and it sounds like he had a great time. check out his story over at pilecast

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wind burnt

The past few days I have been on the water with the one and only Gabe Hillbrand from Hillbrand tackle, Swinging his custom designed jigs for steelhead. Thursday was windy, so after being punished for a few hour with Gale force wind we motor up river to find cover for awhile . As luck would have it we managed to find a couple fish that wanted to come out and play,catching one great looking buck and missing a few others.
  Saturday was a blue bird day. No wind, high sun and warm. motoring up into the same area as the day before proved to be a waist of time with only a couple northerns  that came to the boat, later in the day and downstream a few miles, we found another beautiful buck that smacked a blood leech pattern. with rain in the forecast I would expect good fishing today.

Monday, December 10, 2012


The Smallmouth Bass around Beaver Island are hard to forget about, they haunt my dreams and make winter feel even longer than it really is. Every spring I just cant wait to get back  the Island and start cruising the flats looking for those big hoggish fish. Site fishing for carp around the Flats is great , but site fishing for giant smallys is without a doubt some of the best . the numbers around the archipelago chain of Islands is less than a thousand but when you find these cruising schools of fatty's the fishing is epic.For the most part your standard streamers will get it done, flys that imitate bait fish, goby and crayfish in the 2-4 inch range will all work.Here are some fish from last year, just sit back and soak it in.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Brown trout goodness

What do fishing guides do in the winter when their not working?....FISH what the hell else would we do? Sure there's honey to do list to take care of from months of fishing everyday, but the winter is where we get to fish and try some new fly patterns out. The pattern below is called a Zonkora, I am not sure who created it, I have heard that Ray Schmidt started tying this pattern after a trip from Argentina.  I know that I have caught alot of smallmouth on this little gem around Beaver Island, Carp, Salmon and Northern Pike even like this fly. where this pattern really takes charge is Brown Trout, don't ask me why, but I have turned some bleak days around when I tied this pattern on. the color combo shown are my best here in West Michigan. I have tied this fly with white bunny and body leaving the orange tail and swung it for steelhead with good results, either way It doesn't matter. Hard to question something when it works so good.

Hook-favorite streamer hook 3x #4
Rubber legs
Body-Crystal chennile
Wing-Magnum zonker strip cut to form double wings
medium cone head

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hunting river Donkeys

Ripping BIG streamers for Brown trout is by far a numbers game, you are looking for one fish, one trophy to come out and play. Earlier this week I was invited to fish the Ausable river in Northern Michigan and naturally I was in on this trip.We met first thing in the morning close to where we launched, exited doesn't explain my feeling, this was new to me, never fishing this river only hearing about the giant browns that have been caught here. the Ausable is a beautiful river, great flow, with gravel riffles and deep pockets and runs. Ceder swamp and aspen line the banks and very few houses, although beavers do seem to be at a all time high. The order for the day was to strip streamers the size of small river otters. The first few hours were slow, having one good rip but never seen the fish. Later in the day I landed one small rainbow, about 16 inches and had a couple smallish fish follow my fly.  No great story of 30 inch brown crashing me and losing it at the boat. No followers that made me weak in the knees and peeing in my waders, however I had a blast.  I got to experience fishing on a river that I have heard so much about and it makes me come back for more. Redemption, get ready you big ass donkey brown, I will be back!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Swamp donkey

Fishing jigs for trout and steelhead isn't a new tactic,this style of fishing has been around for a long time.floating brightly colored jigs under floats or dead drifting thru runs is a deadly presentation.
  Gabe hillbrand from Hillbrand tackle has taken jigs to a new level and his creativity and design of these works of art shows with the results after a day of fishing them.. I have been fishing with Gabes jigs for awhile now for carp,smallmouth ,King salmon and steelhead.  For the next few weeks we will dive in to different styles and concepts of fishing these jigs.

the Swamp donkey is without a doubt one of my favorites,i have caught salmon,Steelhead,carp,smallmouth and northern pike on this pattern so far. fishing this jig with erratic motion has been my best technique to date for steelhead but i have been back bouncing this jig on a straight downstream presentation and have gotten bit. for carp and smallmouth-dragging this along the bottom mimicking a goby or crayfish has been deadly for my non-fly fishing clients on Beaver Island.