While most of the rivers have been locked up for quite some time now, I've been "forced" to hit the ice to get after some of my favorite fish for the frying pan.
After a day of working on my parents and in-laws cottages on Saturday, my brother and I got our for some bird hunting. It had been a while since Jack (my dog) had been able to chase grouse around, but he did quite well. He flushed three grouse and three woodcock at our first stop of the day. We had a very difficult time seeing most of the birds with all of the foliage, but we had a good time anyway. Between the two of us, we were only able to get a shot a piece, with nothing coming to hand. Jack was not impressed! Hopefully, we are able to be a little more successful in a couple of weekends.
Long time no post! I'll show you why. While this summer was tough fishing on the Pere Marquette with dry flies, it was still pretty productive, especially if you were willing to put in the time and effort. Speaking of effort, most of mine has been put towards building a new rod shop. Unfortunately, that means I haven't been making many rods. With a couple of orders waiting, I feel the pressure to get them done. Thankfully Janet and Steve have been very understanding and patient as I finish up the shop. Here are a couple of pics of the progress thus far.
It is coming along, I just have to put the cedar up on the outside and finish getting the shop "comfortable" (beverages, chairs and a poker table). The sound of the plane against the form is never going to sound so good!!!
If you are familiar with Greg Brown, you will get the title. Right now it perfectly describes the Pere Marquette over the weekend. Thursday evening a friend and I managed to get out of work and be on the river by 5:30. We were greeted by what I would describe as some great looking streamer water. At first, that is exactly what it was with turning some decent fish early, but it slowly turned off. Todd did manage a nice 18" brown on an olive mad pup.
As the night progressed, we saw a good number of starting to make their way to the surface. Everything from what looked to be light hennies, BWOs, sulphurs and a very small smattering of grey drakes. While trading up rowing duties, I was pleased to hear a fly fisherman's favorite sound; that of a larger, slurping, trout. While there were no spent drakes on the water, I decided to tie one, because PM browns have a hard time resisting them before the major portion of the hatch.
The first cast ended up in an alder behind me. This was to be expected because it had been a long time since I have put a dry fly on the water. Second cast, a large "bloop" with no weight at the end of the line. The third time was a charm.
The things you don't find along the river...
I'm hoping to get out for some solid grey drake fishing with Jeff Hubbard from Outfitters North and get another decent video put together like the one from last year. Until then, I hope you can all get out on the water!
Since returning from a trip to Montana and Wyoming last August, I have not fished one time. (It actually hurt to write that! I'm embarrassed.)
Upon return to the Mitten State, we purchased a house that was purchased that was in serious need of TLC. This included stripping off stucco and putting up cedar siding, new fascia, roof and soffit, deck, counters, flooring and an addition for an arts room for my daughters. Sooo, needless to say, fishing has not been on the agenda, nor has rod building.
Currently the land for the the barn/rod shop is being prepped to pour the footings. I can't wait to have the Zen Den II open for business!
According to Jeff Hubbard at Outfitters North, the steelhead fishing has been getting better and better, with fish being taken on the swing being the most effective (and most fun). Every once in a while, Jeff drops me an email with an invite to fish (or is it to taunt me), one of these days I will have to take him up on it again.
Went Hexing with a friend Steve last night. We had a few bugs, but no size able fish rising. When we left the river and got back to the truck it was in the low 50s, so down along the river it was that much cooler. Below is Steve honoring a tradition.
The PM is still running high and dirty. I have been on the river the past three days and have not found the fishing to be all that great, however when you do hook into one they tend to be in the upper teens. Most fish that have been hitting are on larger streamers that are being stripped slowly.
Hex have started in the lower river, but so far I haven't heard about there being great fishing due to the high, cold, dirty water. I'm heading out for hex camp until next week Thursday. Hopefully have some new videos to post soon.
Below is Hubbard (outfittersnorth.com)with a nice brown taken on a streamer.