Catch and Release


There is something special about holding onto a very big fish and feeling the power of the fish as it swims away. Working with Chuck Hawkins today, on a two boat streamer trip on the Manistee River. I had the chance to photograph Chuck as he let this 21″ brown go. The experience of catching and then releasing these magnificent fish is something that I hold dear. As I spend close to 200 days guiding individuals through out the state of Michigan, one of my favorite every day experiences is to hold and watch our catch swim away to be caught again another day. The couple seconds that I take to look over steelhead, trout, or salmon before release is my personal “QT”, the quick bond before they swim to the depths.

Chuck Hawkins holding the prize catch today before release. As spring steelhead continues to give us questions marks, brown trout fishing shows every positive sign for an amazing season ahead of us. Streamer fishing on many rivers and at many sections is thumbs up. I can’t wait as steelhead gear begins to stay home and trout gears takes the front seat, to capture more images of big Michigan brown trout. Dry fly fishing this season I think is going to be special.

Hendrickson’s have started

With my first ever Mangled Fly Media (MFM) post I talked about the big bad stone-fly that will start showing in early May until mid June. I talked about the stone-fly being the first real big bug of the year. Big meaning size wise.

But for traditional trout anglers the start of the trout season starts with the Hendrickson dun. Well ring the alarm, you can officially start the beginning of trout season now, because the Hendrickson are popping. I had heard they had started on traditionally early starting sections of the Au Sable but to see them on the Upper Manistee and other smaller rivers on the west side, i.e. the Platte River. You know water temps through-out the state will all have Hendrickson popping. Look for mid morning spinner falls, say around 10am, with the emergence from mid morning until late afternoon. Then clouds of spinners will form on warmer than average evenings in early spring. This is a wonderful time of year for trout anglers. Let dry fly season beginning!