Monday, May 19, 2014

Anticipation, Humility and Fun

Ice and ore boats- a common sight these days

For weeks now I have been living for May 15- the opener of smallies, pike, walleye, and muskie in the UP.  Rearranging my fly boxes, following the massive fish caught in lower Michigan and Ohio.  Listening to my friend’s brag about all their fish and making fun of me for living in the UP.  Well, I would show them- massive pigs would be landed on the 15th.  So big that the Bassmaster would change over to flies only and big soulless outdoor retail stores would go out of business.  Small fly shops would thrive and those of us who are still dealing with snow and ice in the UP would be rewarded for our strength to make it through a harsh winter.  
Pretty as sunshine and as sweet as rain.  Brookie streams are little jems

So a guy can dream, right.  May 15th was snowy, windy and cold.  Still I  was determined no more switch rods, no more eggs, no more swinging.  Stripping streamers, flies that kick hard and maybe even some poppers were the name of the game.  Changing lots of flies- staring into my boxes looking for some eureka moment.  Pounding good looking water.  Praying to the fish gods.  All for one fish.  One fish that would make it all better.  Sometimes that fish is a flash.  A flash of color behind my fly after a long day.  It was awesome.  I was totally happy with the day.  Yea ,I didn’t catch any fish yea my friends will still give me crap for living up here.  But the wind was blowing, the snow was slowly stopping, small deer were running around and I was standing in the middle of a brilliant river with nobody around.  Of all the places that I have lived this is the best place in the world.  The rewards might not be what you want but they will be want you need.  

Water that saved my day or at least my attitude.  Pike flash ain't bad

The next day I pushed in a new area and fished a brilliant little brookie stream.  Eager, fearless little beauties kept me occupied for most of the day.  With the light dying I decided to pack it in. I have already hit a deer this year and a second this early in the year was not in the cards.  All in all, a great two days.  As I am writing this and avoiding work, it is warm and sunny.  My plans for the summer are laid who in OCD detail- lots of new water, so golden oldies and lots more awesome fishing in the UP.  To paraphrase the last Calvin and Hobbes comic- lets go exploring.
New water that is on my list- looks like fun.  Tons of deer, beavers, grouse and hopefully fish

Monday, April 21, 2014

New flies added!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After numerous requests my confidence flies all in one selection.  Most of your fishing needs will be covered.  A great gift for any angler.  I call this selection my Utility Box.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I am getting so tired of posting pictures of flies.  But if the rumors are true we will be getting up to 50 degrees in the next few days and our chances at fish will increase radically soon.  It is fun though to fish the river mouths and see big ore boats and Coast Guard boats stuck in the ice.  Until that happens fly posts and pictures.

Often when you first start tying flies you get a flash of inspiration and throw a bunch of materials on a hook.  The flies often look awesome but are rarely any good.  In fact, I recently was told that Kelly Galloup has over 80% of his flies fail.  I don't feel so bad anymore but this isn't about making great flies.  Its about having fun at the vice and not really caring about the results. 

With this in mind: Tarpon Toad + Tarpon Snake + GhettoSuperStar + Whiskey = it's gonna be awesome.  I don't care about the results, it looks awesome in my head.  What do you think it will look like in the end? 

Monday, March 17, 2014


According to Webster (that is a dictionary to all you young folk) cabin fever is defined as  extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or confined indoor area for a prolonged time.  

This 2013-2014 Winter has been one for the history books- over 80 days in a row below zero, the Great Lakes Frozen over, heavy shelf ice on all the rivers, people going miles out on Lake Superior to go ice fishing.  Now I know that the ice was probably stable, safe and all but can you imagine the pucker factor when going 20 miles out on Lake Superior.  But it has not been all bad….really.  
The skiing has been great, we should have plenty of water for the summer, the dog sled races had plenty of snow, Ice Fest had well plenty of ice, ice caves that haven't formed in years were awesome and runoff is going to be interesting to watch.  Will it come quickly, slowly….never do- not say that.  Even as a Winter lover summer will be a fun time.  That is if we get a summer this year.  Not if we have another epically awful time with ticks, black flies and other biting bastards.  

But I digress.  What happens when you wake up in the middle of night in a cold sweat.  Dude my fly boxes for the summer are empty.  Crack the music, open a Dew and getting tying.  Embrace the fever and tie some flies that is if you are to soft to go outside.  Now where are my fleece pants its going to be cold wading today.