Off to the races – chasing spring chrome

scott T3HChasing chrome in the spring with the Scott 1108 T3H.  Perfect switch rod for the spring, easy to switch out the sink tip for the bobber/indy rig on those high pressure sunny spring days.  Throw on the SA 420 Evolution  and your good to go.  Spring fish are on the move, and even though it’s been cold fishing has been good.

The LRB and Steelhead Double

Getting a double header is a pretty unique experience, but something in the fall we actually do see with waves of curious steelhead pushing up the river and grabbing the first piece of food they see.  I love curious steelhead!  So getting a double header steelhead combo I would say is not a hard combination to come by.  But the Lake-Run Brown steelhead combo I’ver personally only had the chance to see twice here in Michigan.  I’m sure in other parts of the country the combo is more common.  But for us currently with a declining LRB population the past 10 years the opportunities are very rare.  Well last week (in the spring season no less) my clients Blake and Steve put a LRB / Steelhead combo in the net.  It true was a surprise.

lake-run brown steelhead doubleThe only other time I’ve had a chance to catch this combo is a day I will never forget.  With good friends and great guides Kevin Feenstra and Jeff Hubbard.  We were fishing on Kevin’s b-day when Jeff and I put these two great fish in the net while fishing streamers on the Muskegon River.  Photo below courtesy of Kevin Feenstra.

Jon Ray

streamer double header

February Steelhead

Had the chance to guide the past couple days for spring steelhead.  Felt so good to get back on the water and do what I love to do.  Also I will not lie yesterday’s sun felt so so good.  Bill pictured below with a very nice Michigan spring lake-run rainbow.

 

Never stood on the Manistee before

So I have to admit I probably could of gone farther out into the river, but I was a scaredy cat.  I am pictured below at the boat ramp of rainbow bend standing out pasted the end of the ramp in about 4-5 foot of water.  That was enough for me.  To say the least the lower end of the Manistee River has some shelf ice.

manistee river ice IMG_1134 IMG_1135

Manistee River Winter Steelhead – Picture of the Day

manistee_river_fishingHad the opportunity yesterday (Sunday, January 19th) to take Ben and John out for a little half day steelhead trip.  While getting out on the river has been a little more difficult than I’m used to this winter, the fishing still remains pretty rock solid.  With some of the best weeks of the winter/early spring season just ahead of us.  Have always been a fan of the February.  Days growing longer and no spring crowds.

 

Season of the Red-Side

Early season (late Sept – Novemeber) is all about the chrome, but now as winter sets in.  This year especially with mother nature giving us plenty of snow and cold so far, the red-strips are making a strong appearance.   Big bucks with single and double strips are starting to show up in our catches.  Yesterday in the snow this big buck gave us his best, and his rosy checks just plain stood out.

Winter steelhead fishing is truly in full effect and plenty of fish around for a great day.  Check out the fishing reports at hawkinsflyfishing.com as we play through out the winter.  Give me a call or shoot me an email if your interested in a full or half day.

Barely Jumping

With water temperatures holding in the low 40’s my days are numbered on the jumping pictures.  But here is one from late last week.  With a fresh push of chrome hitting a rising river, hope to get a couple more chances at my elusive perfect pic.  So far for 2013 this is my favorite.

IMG_0670

Streamer fish that wouldn’t jump

The rain had finally stopped, I had the camera set up with the proper ISO, rapid fire was engaged, and my 70-200 with IS was ready.  But this steelhead just would not leave the comforts of the river.  As water temps have dropped into the 40’s now (48 yesterday).  My season of capturing the ultimate jump shot is shrinking.  Oh well.

On a positive note last weeks swing game was great.  This week I’m looking forward to the challenge of high water.  Yesterday with water levels going from 1700 to 2500 cfs we still found a handful of players.  Once water levels maintain for a few days and I dial in the color combo’s, I expect a good week on the streamer game again.

michigan steelhead