Erik Rambo with Snap T Pictures

Thank you Erik Rambo from Snap T Pictures for taking the time and shooting a little short video of Ed McCoy and Russ Maddin in the dark.  This video will give you a small glimpse into what Ed and Russ both love, fishing after hours for the big boyz of the Manistee.  Nice job guys!

To watch this video in a larger format go to

Thank you again Erik Rambo!

Start of my favorite fall colors

As the predominate southern wind turns into the northern wind, this initial change brings with it the  smell of fall.  Driving down the twisting turns of Northern Michigan or floating down a narrow trout stream.  You will start to see the sugar maples are turning already to the bright hues of red, orange, and yellow.  Fall is on our doorstep and our native brook trout and brown trout are starting to change as well.  September is a wonderful time to take an adventure out on the water.  Only one way to truly enjoy all the colors of fall.  Get out and fish!

Upper Peninsula a long time coming.

It is pretty embarrassing for me to admit that having spent over 30 years in Michigan, this is only my second time to the “U.P.”.  Each and every time that I have crossed the bridge (Mackinaw) I have always traveled north, and only used the “U.P.” as a freeway to Canada.  But this summer with a week off to explore,  I decided to venture out and find some of the countless untapped rivers, lakes, trails, and shoreline.  Everybody truly owes it to themselves to spend some time in the Munising area.  With Pictured Rocks National Park at your doorstep it is a fisherman’s/photographer’s dream.

Loving the hopper this year

Need I say more?  Foam body, deer hair body, I don’t care what kind of body as long as it’s a hopper body.  Hoppers are working on all  Michigan trout streams this year and I’m loving it!

Lost and Found Software

Had a interesting situation this week.  Step 1.  Take a bunch of pictures of a recent trip.  Step 2.  Wait a couple days as life gets busy and forget to download pictures right away.  Step 3.  Try to download pictures, and images are not on the CF (compact flash).  Step 4.  Panic!!!!  Step 5.  Find out about San Disk Recovery Software  Step 6.  Amazed.  Step 7.  Send off images to happy client of the images from his trip.

This software was very easy to use and taught me a couple things about my CF.  If you ever get into a pinch and you need images off a flash drive you accidentally erased check out google for image recovery software and depending on the flash drive your using there is software out there to help.

Hex Hatch a test of your patience

Cold weather, multiple days of overcast and rain, and no bugs in sight will test the will of any die hard hex fisherman!  Well this years start to the season is testing the patience of all those that love the chase and enjoy watching the midnight sky.  As I talked about last year is it a Hex Hatch or a Hoax Hatch  , this year it’s living up to it’s billing of a Hoax.  Not to say the bugs are not going to come, and the trout are not going to feed heavily one them.  But as headlamps droop and the patience wanes when will the hex finally come to the Manistee?

Carp on the Flats

B&W of a Grand Traverse Bay Carp

It’s that time of year again, time for the Golden Bones of Grand Traverse Bay.  Carp fishing on the flats is one of the most unique sight fishing adventures that a Michigan fisherman can experience.  While hundreds to thousands of carp can be seen in a days adventure, the secret to the adventure is finding the player in the schools that you are hunting.   Getting the correct angle for presentation and making the cast so the carp can find your meal that you are offering.  Just as my belief in all fishing its the presentation that matters most, not the fly!  One must learn how to present your offering properly.  While carp give us almost endless opportunities to practice our cast and our presentation.  Carp fishing is another great fishery in our outstanding state.  

Video link to a video from last year if you have not watched it yet.  Enjoy!

Citrus Month – Sulphurs and Orioles

Seems like the month of May has a Citrus Flavor to it.  Orange is the theme with Baltimore Orioles and Sulphurs filling the rivers banks and shores.  Baltimore Orioles have made there migratory return and you can hear there calls along most of our northern michigan rivers.  Their tear drop shaped nests are not hard to spot, but if you ever try to photography a Baltimore you have your hands full.  They are not the biggest fans of the long lens.  Make sure to pay attention to the trees next time you float down the river, as their voice gives out a clear and flute-like whistle.  Notes are short and distinct.  At least try to listen in between the trout that are rising to the emerging sulphurs. 

Sulphur’s and Brown Trout

You almost have to feel sorry for the bright yellow red eyed size 16 Sulphur Dun, they are almost like bright neon signs on top of the water. That Michigan browns can’t help it and pick them off one by one as they float along.  May dry fly fishing is picking up and the Sulphur hatch is one of the best for early season dry fly enthusiast.

Stoneflies and Michigan Trout

Stoneflies make easy meals for Michigan brown trout

One of the bugs that I’m falling more and more in love with for Michigan trout is the stone-fly.  With so many species of stone-flies in Michigan rivers, trout are very accustom to seeing and feeding on stones.  While michigan does not get the notoriety of having a “salmon stone-fly hatch” like some of western rivers.  Here in Michigan we do have plenty of stones, and as an angler we need to have a little understanding of the what’s, where’s, and when’s of this big morsel.
One of the biggest misperception of stone-fly nymphs is that they are not very active swimmers.  Actually the only stone-fly that curls up in the fetal position is the Pteronarcys.  The Pteronarcys is the big boy that we have all read about.  But unlike the Pteronarcys all other stone-fly nymphs are great swimmers, their wiggle like swimming motion pulsates them threw the current.  Letting them move around and feed and find shelter.  Now they do not dart around like sculpins or black nosed dace.  But there is no need to dead drift most stone-flies.
Most definitely my favorite stone is the Golden Stones or Paragetina, which run size #6-8, and are very common in the Upper Manistee river.  These yellow to olive colored stones can be found in gravel runs, on downed wood, and are found in a variety of water conditions.  Making them very easy to target in the nymph or dry fly phase.
Understanding that stones are always in our rivers lets us know that trout are used to feeding on them, but May and June you should really take notice as they stones start to crawl around even more and become active, as it’s time for them to emerge.  Stones are crawlers, you will find them on random stumps and logs near river banks.  When you don’t see fish rising in early season to Hendrickson’s or Black Caddis don’t be afraid to put on a stone!

A big meal that is easy to fish