sculpins kevin Feenstra

Gobies–Everything Eats ‘Em

Over a decade ago, zebra mussels invaded our rivers, and left a trail of destruction in our Great Lakes and their tributaries, altering the resource.    In their wake, something that preys on these mussels also arrived, the round goby.    Round gobies are an invasive species, and as such they squeeze out native fish.   However, they have become a food source in any river attached to the Great Lakes.   In some of the bigger rivers, such as the Muskegon and Manistee, they have become a primary food source.

Fly anglers should take advantage of the presence of this bait fish!    They are most commonly a sandy tan, and can be found just about anywhere.  They are most commonly found in areas with high concentrations of the mussels (especially in proximity to dams).    You can fish them with a sink tip or with an indicator, they work well either way.

I most commonly use them for smallmouth bass and for steelhead in a sandy tan.

Don’t hesitate to try them in an inky black, as the males will carry this color through the late winter and through the summer as they breed.    They can naturally be quite large, and can grow up to 10 inches in length.   Check out how big this one is; it is being consumed by a merganser:

Like so many invasive species, gobies have worked their way into our food chain, and will probably be here indefinitely.    Even the snakes eat them!

As far as invasives go, these are useful ones.  Add some gobies to your fly box; big things love to eat them!

Thanks for looking!

Kevin Feenstra

 

 

 

 

brown trout

Keep em wet

Mangled Fly Stickers

Nervous Net Job

Not too often a trout makes me nervous when I’m in charge of the net, but a new PR on a Michigan Brook Trout.

Hatch Guide

Big Eyes Means they are close

Recently learned that as mayfly nymphs grow, especially March Browns, Cahill’s, and Hex the eyes really get big right before the hatch.  A macro shot of a Hex nymph we found in the mud looking for what else is hatching.  Based on his eyes, we are not too far away.  Want to learn more about bugs in the Mid West make sure to pick up Ann Millers Book.

 

drier dry flies

Drier Dry Flies

Did a video on the Hawkins YouTube channel about a trick I learned a few years ago from angler Larry Webb.  Had to share this simple trick to keep your dry flies floating longer.  Thank you Larry for the helpful tip, has really saved my spinner patterns from an early grave.  Check out the video if you enjoy throwing around the dry fly this time of year.

brown trout

May Fishing Video

Did a quick edit from this past weeks for the Hawkins YouTube Channel.  Highlights are from a good week of Dry Fly Fishing for Trout on the Upper Manistee River.

Hendrickson Hatch

Hendrickson Hatch Started

It’s a few days behind schedule but the Hendrickson Hatch has started, had a great day with Doc yesterday on the Upper Manistee beating up on some nice mid teener’s.  On our journey I did a quick highlight video for the Hawkins Outfitters YouTube page.  Thinking about doing more of this type of highlight video from a day’s journey please let me know your thoughts.

Also please subscribe to the Hawkins Channel on YouTube as the Boyz and I have plans to do more videos in 2018 and beyond.  Thank you for subscribing.

muskegon river brown trout

Tying Streamers Continues – Pic of the Day

 

Spring Clearance Sale

Have limited sizes left on two of our popular Long Sleeve Performance shirts.  The remaining sizes are now 50% off .  Check out the Shop Page 

 

Brown Trout Sun Shirt

long sleeve camo shirt

tying streamers

Streamer season back to tying big flies

tying streamers

I’m back on the vise, after 6 months of steelhead flies, back to the big flies that can be used for trout, smallmouth, pike and muskie.  Had the last few days off and playing around with a few new patterns.  Working on dialing the weight so that the patterns will swim correctly.  While most of my water is still frozen (the northern Michigan inland lakes), getting a few patterns wet in the bath tub helps.

Picture above is the seeing eye rattle weight , curious what this guy does.  While most patterns that incorporate rattles have them lying parallel to the shank, thought I would try a little perpendicular , allowing the rattles to tumble from side to side.  Now will this cause the fly to walk the dog more?

Can’t really tell until you get out on the water and throw it with the sink tips and floating lines.  But the creative juices are once again flowing, and for the guys who have been checking out the site.  I’m sorry for the lack of content.  Promise to kick it up a notch for a while.  Thank you again.

JR