Mangled Fly Stickers

Moose along the river – Alaska

Katmai Lodge Alaskan Rainbow Trout

Had the opportunity to spend a few days at Katmai Lodge with good friend and great guide Jeff Topp.  Spent a few days focused on rainbow trout.  Thank you Katmai Lodge for a true Alaskan Experience, thank you Jeff Topp for showing us a small piece of Alaska, and sharing a part of the world you truly love.

Will be sharing more about this adventure in the next few days.  Also have a dates for next year, if you would like to see this special place. Will share these dates and more trip information soon.

 

Red Mangled Fly Hat

Red Hat Deal

Have a mistake at the printer that will be a deal for you, one of a kind red/white trucker hat for $5.  Have 18 of these hats in stock first come first serve.  Same type of hat as our popular Dry Fly Hat we did in Grey/Black earlier this summer.


Red Mangled Fly Hat

digital camo hat

Picture of the Day – Camping in Northern Michigan

Photo by Erik Rambo of his campsite in Northern Michigan, Amazing image Erik!  Thank you for sharing.

 

muskegon river brown trout

Pic of the Day – Pine River Rainbow

Enjoying a great day down the Pine River (one of the coldest trout streams in Michigan).  August can be the dog days of summer but so many opportunities abound.  Even though we didn’t connect with any monster trout, we had an action packed day floating down the Pine River.

 

Scientific Anglers

SA Tiny Pieces Video

Michigan Based Company , Scientific Anglers with an up coming video here is the Teaser.  Lots of Michigan in this little video, even spotted a Mangled Fly Hoodie in a quick shot.  Great video guys.

Scientific Anglers “Tiny Pieces of All of Us” Teaser from Scientific Anglers on Vimeo.

The Scientific Anglers team all shares one thing in common: we love to fish. This is a teaser for our upcoming brand video called “Tiny Pieces of All of Us,” which will be out soon.

muskegon river brown trout

Pic of the Day – Underwater Mouse Eater

Photo by Ed McCoy of a Michigan Brown Trout snacking on one of his new mouse patterns.  Thanks for sharing the pic Ed.  Nice work.

 

smallmouth bass

The Midsummer Bass Shift

When you spend a lot of time on a river, you eventually learn some of the subtle changes that over the course of a season.   These small changes can have a big impact on the fishing.

Through the late spring and early summer, I spend a lot of time fishing along rocky banks with crayfish patterns or poppers depending on the activity levels.   This type of  fishing becomes inconsistent in the middle of the summer on my home river, the Muskegon.

The target species in the summer is smallmouth bass and any other warm water fish that will bite.    Smallmouth are built to eat crayfish, but they are glutonous fish, gorging on whatever is most available to them.

You would think that this would be obvious but it was not always clear to me–during the summer the slower edges of the river become weedy, and in many places smallmouth simply shift over to the weeds.  They cruise these weedbeds in search of mature minnows that have become super abundant.  Often these weedbeds are directly opposite of the rocky, classic smallmouth spots.   On a large river, this makes such spots easy to overlook.

These  baitfish are the  shiny type minnows such as shiners, chubs, and daces.   They permeate the water column.   I do a bit of snorkeling in my free time.   It is enjoyable and very educational.   Typically the biggest species of baitfish are toward the bottom of the water column.   They can be quite large and there are silly amounts of them in the tailwater rivers.    It is not uncommon to see common shiners and chubs that are over 6-8 inches in length.  Because of the large size of many of the baitfish, large attractor patterns can work very well around the weeds.   Utilize colors such as yellow and white for best success.

Hornyhead Chubs are a classic example of a large baitfish living in the weeds

I used to be fixated on the bottom of the river when snorkeling, until one day I happened to look up agains the surface.   There, in the top few inches of the water column, I was shocked to see a large number of colorful shiner minnows.  These minnows move very quickly!    I came to know these fish as rosy face shiners and they are a very abundant food source among the weedbeds.    These small and quick fish are typically 2-4 inches in length, and this size is often preferred by smallies.  A good imitation of these can be tied simply:  bead chain eyes, wing of gray-olive craft fur, flashabou, and a head of cinnamon ice dub (or red foam if you want a sly and deadly popper).   This fly should be fished stripped quickly with a pause.


Rosyface shiners are common along weeds in the upper part of the water column

If you are fishing rocky smallmouth habitat and have a hard time finding fish, don’t hesitate to fish a shiner pattern above the weeds or a big baitfish pattern a little deeper.    A lot of times a change of fly selection and  habitat is all it takes to find fish.

-Kevin Feenstra

 

muskie tee shirt

Big Eat Video

Pretty cool angle of a pretty cool fish, chasing down a streamer in a far away land.

The Big Eat from Capt Jack Productions on Vimeo.

USA made Tumblers

Have been a big supporter of Liberty Bottles.  They have a Kickstarter going on right now to help them become the 1st USA manufacturer of double walled tumblers.  Currently other double walled tumblers are made over seas.  Help Liberty achieve their goal.