March 8 2012
The river out back is on the rise seriously this time. It's over the banks. We had some heavy storms with some thunder rolling around last night and it was pounding the roof. Ice is all gone in the driveway but still some large snow banks left. It will go up for another day or so. Then drop and start clearing hopefully by Saturday or Sunday at the latest. This will bring up new fish and old fish will spawn and be flushed down stream. A few days ago we caught a beat up dropback hen Steelhead way down river along with 4 chrome new ones headed up stream. This high water will start a good rotation of fish. Fishing was great Feb. 29 th, and March 1 st.,2nd.. The 3 rd. was in the middle of a nasty storm that left 8" of wet heavy snow on the ground and trees folded over, busted or uprooted everywhere. It was a very busy Saturday and Sunday for us here. Plowing snow and shoveling and clearing trees in the driveway to the cabin. We also became a safe haven because about 50% of the people that live in the woods locally around here had there power knocked out, some for 4 days. By Monday most had there power back on.
Had a 1/2 day trip March 4 th. with Lee. It was a winter wonderland and a interesting ride down the river the day after the storm. Trees were bent over everywhere and about 5 or 6 trees all the way across the river. All the trees had 2" of wet snow caked on them. We wound up with 3 fish on for the day 2 to the boat, which was good considering the water temp dropped 5 deg from 41 Friday to 36 deg Saturday. Not a fish in sight just a bunch of polished gravel and visibility was good. So we fished a bunch of good buckets and holes and the bite was slower than the few days prior as well. It went from "happy days" to "crap it's winter again" and the fish didn't like it..
Had a 3 person Full day trip March 6 th. with John and his college sons Alan and Greg. It was a beautiful day, cold in the a.m about 18 to 20 deg. crunchy cold to 56 deg. and cloths all over the boat in the afternoon. We went plugg-en and the conditions were perfect. Nice stain and the river was 8" from it's banks and dropping and clearing that day. 6 for 14 was the ratio with plugs and 0 for 1 with flies and we only fished 3 runs with flies just long enough to get there feet wet and to show them the concept of the casting and mending to achieve a drag free drift. It was a lot of fun watching the guys grabbing bent rods and the fire drill of getting the others back in the boat and clear the deck for the battle and the scoop. Good job for your first day Steelheading.
That's all I have for now. I called about 6 of my friends to go Brown Trout fishing today and they were all to busy (bummer). I have a streamer itch to scratch and the water is perfect to throw some meat around just for fun. I have lots of great days open to guide here in March and April still. Give us a call and get your dates in the books for the Spring Steelhead Run which is here. I'm open to guide March 9,11,12,13, and 15 th--30th.
March 1 2012
February has flew by. I went up to the U.P. Feb. 3rd.-6th. for the last ride on my sled for the season and it was uneventful which is always good. I have just over 750 mile on it for the season so far. The snow was ok to good, we had about 20"- 24". None of it was fresh powder but it was better than the 6" to 8" of snirt 20 miles to the south which we stayed far away from. I have the invite for this weekend for a ride from Marquette to Copper Harbor and back and it looks like they got hammered with 12" to 20" of fresh snow on their base...but I had to pass to focus on running the business and getting serious on some Steelheading.
We have had some winter since my last report. More cold than snow which made for the poorest snowmobile season I've seen in the 8 years I've lived here. We had snow but it just really wouldn't stack up to amount to anything worth while for riding. The ice has been building every day after our mild January (one good thing about light snow). Lately we had 6" of snow over the weekend and it's melting with the warm temps and rain going on now. So the river should be on the rise and that means fresh Steelhead will be entering the system soon. Our Fall/ Winter run fish have been spawning on the warm-ups and there are some still around and some dropping back to the lake as well.
Ice fishing has been great this season. We finally built some great ice late in the season. 8" to 10" to me is best. Very safe for quads and snowmobiles and not too much to drill thru. Thank You to John Robinson for taking me to his very private hot spots. We have caught some of the biggest Perch I've ever seen in a inland lake. Those Perch are all about 9" to 13 1/2", half of them were 12"+..A friend Brad and I entered in a high steaks ($5 per person) ice fishing contest that Bitely Bar hosted on Feb. 18 th. I managed to put together 25 Crappy @ 9.7 lbs and took second place for overall weight and second biggest Crappy at 11 1/2". The biggest was 2 Crappy's @ 13" . The winner had 11.4 lbs. and the 13" Crappy. Another friend Rex won some loot for biggest Perch at 12 3/4".. I didn't win any loot but did get a door prize of a nice tip-up. "If you aint first your last" It was fun and a good event for Bitely Bar..
I took my dad, Dale out ice fishing and he likes to target Crappy. So we went to a lake that has a bunch of them and the sun was bright and made it tough. We started out good first thing in the a.m. and then as the sun got high it was all down hill from there. We got a small mess of Blue Gills ,Crappy's and a couple Pike but blue skies put the ke-bash on our trip so we went out and sighted in his Turkey gun. He applied for a Turkey permit in this zone so if he gets a tag I'll be putt-en him on a bird in April or May.
Last weekend John R. and I took out a group of 3 guys on a private lake for some Crappy, Gills, and Perch and ended up with a nice mess of about 45 fish. Included were some nice Perch @ 12".. On Saturday I took them over to a hot spot and had a 4 th guy show up and with my limit included we walked off the ice with 105 Gills and Perch. It was a fun trip and I got into some whopper gills as well. I had one @ 9 1/2" and another @ 10" my biggest Gills of the year. The guys had a great weekend putt-en a whopping on some pan fish while learning a few things about our local lakes, jigs used, leader used, and reading the electronics they recently bought. I can say ice fishing guided trips are kinda fun and the rewards are tasty.
On Tuesday this week I took out long time client and friend Pete. We went for a half day and had some luck with both flies and plugs. They were about equal in hookups but the landing ratio went to the flies. We landed 4 total , 3 on flies and 1 on a plug and hooked 3 others that came unbuttoned..Not bad for a half day and Pete got his Steelhead fix and hope to see you back soon.
The phone is starting to ring and Spring Steelhead season is right around the corner. The fly boxes are stocked. We still have lots of great rooms open and plenty of great dates open to guide in March and April. If looking for a guided trip or just a nice room please call soon to get the dates and rooms you need in the books. Winter is almost over and Spring is almost here.