S.C.O.F. NO. 12 – Summer Edition

Lake MI is Up – a little know fact

Lake Michigan/Huron (one big lake for lake level purposes) is up 4″ in the last month and is up a whopping 15″ in the last year.  Since each inch of water represents 390 billion gallons, that means Lake Michigan has added 5.85 trillion gallons of water in just the past year.

A worthy cause- Our Two Hands by Bloodknots Fly Fishing

Our Two Hands by Bloodknots Fly Fishing. This project has recently been brought to our attention and is worth your time & maybe your hard earned money.

The idea behind this film is to raise awareness of the plight of the Wild Steelhead in the western states, it’s native home, whose stocks are dwindling. Most of the individuals who are involved in this project are “in the fishing biz”, who spend the majority of their time fishing and guiding for steelhead, using the two handed rod, aka, the Spey rod, using the swung fly method. Some of them are our friends. All of them care deeply for wild steelhead.

Fishing the swung fly with a two handed rod requires skill, patience and lots of faith. The only method I can think of that might be harder to catch a steelhead with is with your bare hands! The attraction for me to fishing in this manner is complex…be it the fact that the technique was developed along the Spey river in Scotland hundreds of years ago to fish for Atlantic Salmon, where there is little backcast room and long casts are needed. Be it the beauty of the casts. Be it the beautiful flies and their histories. Then there is fact that you feel the fish take your fly, sometimes savagely, after you have enticed or irritated it into doing so, as opposed to “feeding” it below a bobber and not feeling anything until you set the hook. Fish when hooked on the swing set the hook themselves, shaking you out of the medatative trance of cast, swing, take a step or two, repeat. You are asking the fish to play along in your game, to join you on a journey of trust and to have faith that you will release it to make more beautiful and perfect creatures. Some of the reasons we love to fish this way is the fight that our beloved steelhead puts up…watching that backing peel off your reel and hearing that drag sing keeps us casting through those slumps and times where you feel like you are on cast number 957 and working towards number 1,000 that this fish is fabled for.

I learned to steelhead fish with a 15′ Sage 8 weight and a floating line on the Salmon River in North Fork, Idaho, swinging flies with names like Silver Hilton, Muddler, Green Butt Skunk, Macks Canyon, October Caddis, Greased Liner, Purple Peril and Skykomish Sunrise, at the beginning of the really hard times for these fish. The steelhead of the Salmon River, ID, swim hundreds of miles to return to their spawning grounds, through the perils dams, netting, seals, eagles and osprey, along with a host of the oceans creatures that are big enough to eat them. The biggest disadvantage against them is what we as humans have done and continue to do to impede their ability to return and propagate their species. Steelhead have the ability to live after they have spawned. Here in the Great Lakes, it is very easy for them to swim back out to the freshwater sea and put that all important weight back on so that they can come in and spawn again. We don’t know how many of the west coast steelhead actually make it back to sea. The coastal river fish obviously have the advantage of a shorter migration, whereas the fish of the Upper Columbia basin have the odds stacked against them.

These fish are majestic creatures who deserve our love and attention. In the lifetimes of our fathers, the steelhead on the west coast has gone from a bathtub like faucet turned full on to a drip out of the kitchen sink.
Please support this film to bring awareness to the greatest of our native fishes.


Small Predators and Prey


Aquatic insects are low hanging fruit for many creatures above and below the surface. Many of these predators are other insects, but also reptiles, amphibians, and birds. In order to protect themselves, many of these have great camouflage themselves, such as this mantis fly disguised as a wasp (below).

Mantisfly with Light Cahill

Michigan Rivers have a complicated and beautiful tapestry of life. In addition to great fishing, this makes them a very special place to visit.


Brown Trout Pics

underwater brown trout

Yogi stealing the trash

Brown Trout – Pic of the Day

I enjoy the challenge of big brown trout during the day of the summer months.  This nice brown trout starts off my July just right.

Costa Del Mar Sunglass Lens Comparison

What is the one thing, day in and day out that is most important to me for comfort, performance, and safety?  What product can’t I live without everyday that I’m on the water, driving my car, and working around the house?  Thinking about it, it has to be my Costa Del Mar Sunglasses.  I almost live in my Costa’s wearing sunglasses honestly 365 days a year anytime I’m outside, sometimes 16 hours per day. I can remember when I made the change 5 years ago and noticed the difference right away.  The lens quality of the 580 Glass  and Plastic is second to none.  Check out Costa’s Lens options.  How light the frames are, and the ease on my eyes to look through there glass lens, is what sold me.  Having recently just purchases my second pair of glasses from Costa I tried to do a len’s comparison with pictures below.

For the past 5 years I’ve been in a pair of copper lens.  Love em!  Perfect lens for Michigan water ways, driving, and outdoor activities.  But recently with all the June fishing I was doing, and as we I stayed out later and later, I was noticing I was not comfortable the last hour of day light. That peak hour of fishing as drakes and brown trout become most active.  I kept taking my glasses off, as the copper lens made me feel uncomfortable.  So now I own a pair of sunrise (yellow) lens on the same frames.  The perfect lens for low light and fog.  Having worn the sunrise now on a few trips, I love them too.  I can honestly wear them in the dark and feel comfortable and safe as we throw big size #4 hex spinners or foam bodied mouse patterns around.  I put them on the first or last hour of the day, my eyes do have to adjust from the copper to the sunrise (yellow), the transition is pretty quick. Actually did notice the other morning it took my eyes a little longer for my to adjust from sunrise to copper in the morning hours, put still pretty quick and painless.  Not an eye specialist and I’m sure something is going on, but just something I noticed.  Was not a big deal, but like I said just something I noticed.

Did my best with a camera behind the sunglasses to so you the difference with the same shot.

Copper Lens

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No Lens

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