Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fishing report

Salmon season is in full swing, what does this mean? Early mornings,long days and early bedtime. Kings are spawning almost everywhere and trout fishing around these giants will pay off. I have been seeing a few steelhead around but have yet to hook one but that will change soon enough. Get out there and have some fun it's a great time to fish

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday update

If your not busy this Saturday come on over to Ludington for suds on the shore, all craft beer all the time. Check it out. Suds on the shore

Michigan is thinking on changing the pike and muskie reg.Maybe some local stocking? that would be cool.

The pere Marquette has some Kings and fishing has been Fair to good,check out the full report here

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Salmon-steelhead recipe

1-9 ft 8 wt
1-fly reel (i prefer solitude reels)
1-spool  of 25# backing
1-spool 325 gr integrated sink tip(i prefer Cortland quick decent)
6 ft of 15# maxima ultra green
1 salmon -steelhead size streamer(preferably chartreuse/orange or olive /yellow)
1-river or lake

Apply all components together in its appropriate place and do as follows.

Cast ...strip....strip...wiggle ...wiggle.
**repeat as necessary until desired result is achieved.  Possibly a few hundred times.

Enjoy this recipe it taste great when done properly .

**results are varied depending on water temperature, quality of casting, logs, boat handling,wind direction,sun, moon, position of jupiter and many other factors not specified.**

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday update

  • Cameron over at the fiberglass manifesto is giving away some orvis fly reels hit him up hereThe Fiberglass Manifesto

  • If you haven't seen them or put your fishy hands on any Smith fly gear you should really check it out. this stuff is crazy tough.

It Has begun

About this time every year the phone starts ringing and the email start showing up, How is the salmon run looking? are there any fish in the PM yet?....yup there's fish here, not allot but fish hard and you will hook a couple. what works the best to catch Salmon? Long explanations and  lots of describing later we get it figured out, well this year here is the short list. Ties these on and fish where there are salmon and you will get need for anything else!!

Storm thunder-sticks

#5 spinners

John with the first king of the year.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The year of Big fish?

This year seems to be shaping up as another big fish year like 3 or 4 years ago. I not sure the reason,more fish eating gobys? Different strain of fish? Whatever the reason there has been some awful big kings brought to the net this year on lake Michigan.
   My good friend Shawn McDonald,who owns the charter boat katch me keeps me up to date on the fishing on the big lake, he has been putting allot of 20 plus pound kings in the boat and yesterday his customer caught one of the biggest I've seen in a long time,this brute was 35.9 pounds....that's whole lot of king. So be prepared for hooking into possibly the biggest king of you life on the PM this year.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cameron Breaks it down.

A few days ago I was reading the fiberglass manifesto about the importance of different polarized lenses colors and i have to say that Cameron hit it spot on. great article, he explains it about as good as I've heard
Give it a read.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I am truly sorry.
I'm sorry that i put my boat in the water before you had your first cup of coffee.
I'm sorry that i revved my motor a little to vigorously when i pulled my trailer out of the water.
 I'm REALLY sorry that i floated past your picture window and seen your wife in her night gown!

 But What I'm not sorry about is that you chose your profession as a doctor,lawyer, drug dealer or whatever.
I'm not sorry that you built that sprawling house on a piece of river bank that used to be peaceful and beautiful
I'm not sorry that i chose my profession as a fishing guide.
Yes we fish all the time and were on the water all the time and you see us all the time and we say hi all the time and all you do is stair and say nothing. What? Did we interrupt you from chain sawing down some trees so you can see the water better?  Well Get over it, because here we come the salmon are close and it wont be long. Maybe even tomorrow


Monday, July 29, 2013

Good to be back

Been a while, But things have been crazy here at the World Wide headquarters of Fishgazm. Big things are coming this year and i will make sure to keep you all informed. I just wrapped up my Beaver Island carp and Smallmouth season and like always It was another great season, plenty of carp. plenty of smallmouth. plenty of happy customers.
Now its a little family time maybe some camping, of course a lot of fishing and maybe a beer or two. Then its time for salmon fishing, I have heard a few rumors of a king sighting here and there so me and my boy might go look for a couple. since I've been home it has rained pretty steady so a trip to the river is in order, Mousing and river smallmouth are on the go so plenty of things to do and very little time to do them all.
Here are just a few highlights from this summer on Beaver
Adam from the Fiberglass manifesto outing 
Greg and a big freshwater drum

Michelle from Montana and her first carp

Big Lake Michigan Carp

Big Smally = Big Smile

The queen of flowers scores a big smally

Mike releasing a hog carp

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beaver Island Jurassic Carp

Here is a write up from Matts bucket ,he was on Beaver last summer this completely summarizes one of the coolest places in Michigan.

Beaver Island Jurassic Carp

I just returned from Beaver Island, Michigan. It was a last-minute thing, where the frequent flier mile gods smiled upon me and more importantly, my wife and mother of our 2 very little boys smiled upon me and gave me the go-ahead. Thanks Honey! It was a great trip.

Starting from Santa Cruz, it was a couple of plane changes, rental car, and sweet 20 minute puddle jumper flight over to Beaver Island. Michigan is so alive and green in the summer, so once I touched down in Traverse City, it was all good. Beaver Island itself is a beautiful wooded island with white sand beaches, clear water, friendly people, and an infestation of 20 lb. plus carp. I fished withIndigo Guide Service, where guides Kevin Morlock and Steve Martinez know how to put you on carp. The whole thing was put together by, and included guiding, food, and housing, all of which were excellent.

The carp fishing here is a bit like bluegill fishing in that they are abundant, the main difference being that they are about 50 times as big as bluegill and 50 times harder to catch. Heck the carp were so plentiful this time of year, they would even be cruising around the docks when we returned in the evening. I took advantage of that as well as the fact that the sun sets after 9 PM to partake of some dock fishing. Guide Steve Martinez has caught a slew of carp off the docks, and I came close but no cigar to a toad shortly before my plane was to leave on the last morning (of course that won't bug me for the next month...).

The Beaver Island carp experience is unique. In a nutshell, 1-2 fishermen and one guide pile into Steve or Kevin's well-equipped boats at the civilized hour of 9 AM on a bright sunny day and head out of the harbor. A 20 minute boat ride takes us out to one of the many islands in the archipelago. The water is clear and the bottom rises to about 5 feet deep as we shut off the motor and start rowing/drifting closer to the islands and flats where the carp are congregating. Soon we start to notice the large dark shapes under water cruising by. As we approach they become more vivid as well as plentiful and soon we're surrounded by hundreds of carp over 15 lbs. There are no small carp here.

The Approach. Caribbean in Michigan.

It was unbelievable. There were large spawning carp dogpiles going berserk in a foot or less of water while the non-spawning carp were cruising all around. They definitely seem to be more active and less guarded during the spawn.

My boatmate, Evan, a skilled fly fisher from St. Louis, was up first, and I watched what he did as well as learned from Kevin directing him on what he needed to do to get his fly in front of the carp. Once it was my turn I started warming up on the 8-weight rod Kevin set me up with. I had never casted a rod larger than my 7 weight so I wanted to practice. Well, after a couple practice flogs, I started tossing a few casts in front of the carp, and a few minutes in I was rewarded with my first fly-caught carp ever. We all watched him follow and suck up the fly clear as day 25 feet from the boat in 3 feet of water. The line came tight as I was slowly working the fly in front of him and there he was. He bolted for mainland Michigan and the reel started spinning. I was even trying to horse him a little bit and he was still into the backing pretty quick. After a couple minutes I had him back on the fly line, and after a couple more, he was in the net.

First Carp Evah! He liked me, note him trying to spawn with my arm.

Very cool. Actually my mind was blown. These are huge freshwater fish, sight fished in clear water, that will take you into your backing almost every time, all in mainland USA. How cool is that? And a bunch of firsts for me. First fly caught carp, biggest fish I've ever caught, and my first fish to ever run me into the backing. Kevin eyeballed my fish at 18 lbs, which at the moment I thought was the biggest fish the world had ever seen, but he offhandedly mentioned that it was a below-average weight fish. So the carp here are huge. And Kevin said their average fish size has been increasing every year as the carp gorge on the invasive great lakes Goby.

Evan's first fish, the one in the above video, weighing in at 26 lbs.

We continued fishing from the boat till lunch and caught a few more. The wind picked up so we ran back to Beaver Island for some beach fishing. While boat fishing is like fishing in an aquarium, with an elevated casting platform, clear water, and oodles of fish all around you, the beach fishing here is a bit more of solo man hunting fish. The carp here like warm wind-driven surface water, so they concentrate on windblown shorelines where the waves buffet the shoreline and the water clouds up as a result. However, it's still clear enough to see plenty of fish once your eyes adjust to picking out the shapes. The trick is to find a carp cruising path and to post up in the waves and cast to takers as they pass by. I hooked up to one carp this way, but he popped off less than a minute into the fight, probably due to a dull hook, since I had snagged the bottom a few times in the casts beforehand. I continued to take shots at a steady procession of fish after that, but my crude carp skills did not win me another fish. So after a spell of that, Kevin had me change tactics and start casting an unweighted rust-orange tarpon toad at a pod of sunbathers, picking around the edges. While I was not sure if it was going to work out, given what I had heard about sunbathers being hard to catch, I gave it a serious go, popping the fly on their noses from 30 feet away as best I could. Shockingly, after about 15 minutes, I popped one carp almost on the head and he ate. How cool is that? He ran out of the cove but alas popped off within 15 seconds. This time I checked out my hook immediately and the dang thing had a point that was dull and bent backward. So, another lesson learned to check my hooks after snagging. Either way, I was stoked that some fish was actually fool enough to fall for my hack presentations.

One off the beach!
Day 1's score for me was 2 caught fish from the boat and 2 fish lost from the beach. More importantly, I learned a ton of new skills to apply to my carp fishing back home. Kevin's repeated but patient coaching was drilling into my ears "Cast ahead of him, strip strip strip, STOP, work it, work it!" and repeat. Once I started to figure out where the fly was in 3 dimensions I started to be able to internalize his instructions and move the fly as well as stop it right where he wanted me to with less instruction each passing hour. I also learned how to cast better in the wind. Wind is a reality up there. It's not crazy windy but it's often a presence so I learned some strategies to cast into, across, and with the wind. Guide Steve Martinez had great advice that really worked for reasons I still don't quite understand. He said that when casting into the wind to backcast hard and then forward cast easy. Well, that seems to work. I'm guessing because you load the rod so hard with the backcast that you don't need to push as hard on the forward cast because the extra rod flex you created on the backcast returns you more line speed. Plus, if you don't push your forward cast so hard, your stroke stays smoother, keeping your loop tight. For whatever reason, it worked. Thanks Steve!

Evan's second fish of the day.

Day 2 and 3 were similar to the first day, with great boat and beach fishing, and similar fish quantities. The highlight for me on Day 2 was being on the beach stalking a carp that Kevin described as "the biggest carp I've ever seen", which means something when Kevin says that. It looked like a shark swimming around. Kevin eyeballed it at about 55 lbs. It looked twice as long as all the 20 lb carp around it, so I believe him. The world record fly-caught common carp is apparently 42 lbs, and Kevin is pretty sure they've already caught larger carp than that several times. And he says the carp are still getting bigger. Kevin had me stalking and casting to this fish for 30 minutes as it circulated around the pool/flat near the beach. It was a bit nerve-wracking to cast to a singular carp like this, especially with a hack like me pulling the trigger. I tried to give the rod to Kevin so a pro could take shots at the fish but he said "not a chance." Although I learned a lot, I think I aged several years trying to get a well-presented fly to that fish without letting Kevin down. While we didn't outright spook it, we didn't get it to eat, and Carpasaurus eventually moseyed out of range.

Stalking Carpasaurus.

One other note is that this place is thick with smallmouth. They are like little suicidal maniacs that will dart out and grab your fly while you are chasing carp. We were joking about these "trash fish" that were grabbing our flies. Compared to a 20 lb. carp a 2 lb. smallmouth (although there are much bigger ones here) feels like a bluegill, but they sure could provide a lot of fast action once they're in season up there, which they were not while we were there.

Good luck snakes we see most mornings leaving the dock.

And a butterfly on a beach fishing day.

Evan from Feather Craft set up this trip and we stayed at the comfortable Fisherman's house right in town across the street from  the beautiful harbor. Evan is a class act and put together a great trip. Cameron from The Fiberglass Manifesto also came and was a great guy to hang out with. I would fish with them again in a heartbeat. Both of these guys were excellent fishermen and I learned a lot from them a well as from Kevin and Steve.

Kevin hard at work!

Kevin is very passionate about conservation and improving the fishery in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. He maintains that, properly managed, Michigan would be the "Alaska of the Lower 48." And I believe him. The carp are a good example. Nobody fishes for them and nobody eats them, so they are growing to huge proportions. If the other gamefish in the lake were minimally harvested I believe the Smallmouth and others would thrive and grow even larger and more abundant than they are. The Smallmouth are just starting to bounce back up there. They are quite large but there aren't lots of them. Official tallies have just 600 adults in the Beaver Island Archipelago. That's only 120 5-fish limits, so they could be wiped out in a week of catch and keep in-season fishing (July and August), not to mention the poaching that goes on. If they were on strict catch and release I think this resource would explode and make Beaver Island even more attractive to fishermen. You can clearly see this with the carp.

These fish are thick and healthy.
And I have to talk about Kevin and Steve from Indigo. They are the visionaries that opened this place up to carp fishing when everyone else was questioning their sanity and why the heck they were bothering with carp instead of fishing for smallmouth. And these guys go the extra mile big-time. They work their asses off on the water to get you lots of good shots at fish, they supply all the flies and gear if you need it, and pick you up and drop you off as well. They also hung out with us for breakfast and all evening, even tying some flies for us. They have a blog post about the trip here. These guys did more than any guide I'm aware of, and they really know carp. Thanks for everything guys.

I recommend that you get your butt to the Beaver... or something like that. Carp are never easy to catch, but I submit that they are a easier to catch there than anyplace else that I know of. The water is clear, the fish are abundant and aggressive, the shots are plentiful, and the guides know how to get your fly in front of the fish, so if you're going to catch carp, this would be the place. You get hundreds of casts per day, and every single cast is to a large carp, something that is not possible in any other carp fishery I'm aware of. So any of those hookups and runs are rippers when they happen. Great for both novice and expert.  I'm *definitely* going back next year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the year of the outings

From Spring steelhead to monster Smallmouth and carp,this year would have to be labeled "the year of the outings" what ever your passion is, there's something here for everyone.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Fly carpin fly swap2013

The fly Swap this year has some great looking patterns by some great tiers  check it out. Even yours truly made it in.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TFM does the Island

The Carp and Smallmouth fishing around Beaver Island is Crazy good in July and The Fiberglass Manifesto is hosting a outing over on the Island in July. Coincidental?  I dont think so. Grab your Spot with TFM because spots are filling Quick.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Sculpins...It's whats for Dinner

Of all creatures that live in and around rivers and lakes Sculpins seem to be a pretty solid food base for most fish.Around beaver Island in Northern Michigan,lake sculpins are a great target for smallmouth and carp,along with The round goby.This pattern is just he ticket when it comes to any fish that will eat goby s or sculpins, for carp and smallmouth I would tie this with very little or no flash at all, for steelhead I will add 6 or so strands of copper flashabou and swing it. I call it the Frankenstein Sculpin,because of the features of different sculpin patterns wrapped into one.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bluegrass and steelhead

Ethan Smith over at Fiddle and Creel, has a great write up on our day spent earlier this year on the Pere Marquette. Ethan is a cool dude and turns out some top notch gear at Smith fly. Give it a read .


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I came across this while reading the TU blog the other day, Now I'm looking for his book to read. Aldo Leopold- A sand county almanac. Sounds like a great read.

Happy Birthday Aldo Leopold

Monday, January 14, 2013

Simple Times

I was going through my picture files the other day and came across these little gems.Funny how much simpler fishing was back then. My dad and i would fish every chance that we could, which was basically everyday, when i would get out of school pops had the boat ready and we were off.. He worked alot providing a great childhood for my sister and I, but one thing was for sure, he never left me on the porch when it was time to fish. Seeing these pictures makes me realize one thing........MAN! I miss the simple times ...and my Hair!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The river


Water color- slight stain,perfect

Water temp- 34 degrees with slight rise

Fish numbers- good, the whole river system has fish

Tactics- fly rod or spin cast

Baits-Egg flys stone flys and hex nymphs

Get out there and fish this weekend, great fish numbers and slight traffic makes this January thaw a perfect chance.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Carpa Grande

In only Six short months I will be cruising the flats of Beaver Island, hunting  for its giant carp and Smallmouth and though I seldom get ready for any season earlier than a few day before, some unwanted free time has allowed me to really start getting stocked up on flys. With all my steelhead flys tied I figured I would start my carp and smallmouth boxes.Here is one that i am really excited about its mottled look and sculpin head this will certainly take it to the carp and smallies up on the Island.

carpa grande 

Hook-Mustad c52s
Head-Small sculpin helmet
Tail- two different colored marabou
Body- two different Ice dub and mallard flank 
Forward fin-Small mallard flank

When tying this pattern after tying in tail start with 2 small clumps of dubbing then Palmer mallard flank then add another 2 clumps of off colored or darker dubbing then more mallard this will add to the mottled look of this fly, making dubbing clumps larger as you go further.