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Good afternoon everyone! Just thought I'd toss up another report before the big weekend holiday and keep you up to date with the 'ole journal... ;^) Speaking of the "holiday", I would like to remind everyone to maybe just take a few minutes out of your weekend to give some thought to and to thank all of the Men and Women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for not only us here at home, but also for others who've suffered under tyranny in other places around the world.

Since my last report on the 16th I've stayed rather busy and the fishing has not only remained pretty good most days, but even gotten better. On the 17th John and I joined others from various agencies, groups and businesses for another trip down a section of river to look over any possible navigation hazards, but as it turns out the few things we knew of were either gone or taken care of already and all we needed to do was move a couple of things around. Still, nice to spend the day with you guys in the spirit of co-operation and understanding...

The day was too nice not to fish so as soon as we got back that evening we met a couple of friends and headed on back out, only this time with rods! Once back on the river we fond ourselves surrounded by thick hatches of Sulphurs, Drakes, Caddis and more along with a few willing fish to go with it. At some point after having already released a number of nice respectable fish each our conversation turned to why it is that every internet report that we and others do almost always only shows the big fish exclusively...

Rowing into the hatch!


A little conversation on the matter found us all in agreement that in a way, that's kind of short changing us and others. Most folks probably have no idea as to how many fish we actually catch on a decent day of trout fishing because #1, we don't like to use "numbers" to judge a day by and #2 we usually only have room for or only show a fish or two from each angler and only the "good" ones at that. In short we decided to take four or five photos of "the usual suspects" to go along with this report and leave out a big fish or two for this particular evening! I will try and work in a few more of these wild PM beauties in the future as well, because they deserve as much respect as any other fish...

A few of the smaller, but just as beautiful fish from our evening!










I wish I could say I got out on the 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st, but as it turns out that was my longest stint off the river in quite some time and I missed some really good stuff! The 18th was spent doing some chores around the house and getting ready for a couple of friends to come up for the Blessing of the Bikes. We stayed up late and had a good time... The 19th was spent out at my old business partner Bob's place (Hunt camp.) working on clearing a field for another food plot and catching up with some old friends. A fun day and it was great to see you guys!

This will someday be a lush field that I'll show you!


Break time for the boys.


On the 20th my buddy let me use his other Harley and I went for a ride with him that has me wanting another bike for my "mid life crisis", (Always used to have one back in the day.) I'm telling my wife that I could pay for it with all the money I'm saving not smoking! (Day 10 and going strong!) After that I should have hit the river, but I was developing a bit of a sore throat so I sat around the pole barn and watched the Bikes go by instead.

Continued below...
 

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Continued from above...

The 21st found my throat a little worse so I opted to sit out the fishing again (Not wanting to be sick or miss my trip for the 22nd) and missed one heck of a night by all accounts. Just read John's report and look at the photos to see what I mean. Those guys tore 'em up without me and I can't even complain since I was invited...

Yesterday, the 22nd was a trip with Neil who took our fly fishing school last summer, but hasn't gotten out much since and his son Mike who hasn't really done any fly fishing at all. (Waved one around about five years ago he said! ;^) I did a shorter section of river anticipating a large number of hook ups, (Trees that is!) but was pleased to find that would not be the case after some brief instruction and a quick refresher.

Stuck with small dry flies and nymphs during the bright daylight and caught a number of smaller fish, but once the bugs got going some better ones began to show themselves. Those of you that fish a hatch much know that location is often everything and that was certainly the case last night. I sat up on a bend above where I wanted to fish once the hatch/spinner falls actually got heavy and picked of a few fish early, but it turns out I should have just went down and sat quietly where I wanted to be instead...

We had seen almost no traffic all day with the exception of one other guide I knew to be well below me so I made the mistake of thinking "my spot" for the evening would be safe but... when I came around the corner for the big action I found large fish rising all over my "secret spot" (He, he, he) and a lone angler with glee in his face standing right in the middle of the flat casting at them! My bad, I hope he did well. Long story short is that I then had to miss the better part of the action to give this guy some room as it should be and move down far enough for a good area again.

One of the fish that Neil picked up on a sulphur just before moving to find the "honey hole" taken...


Got on a decent spot just before it all shut down and got a few cast in that resulted in another fish for Mike, but did not get the right drift into the other fish in that area before they shut off to the bugs. Spoke briefly with the other guide (Johnny Matson) as to where we would each set up after dark (Staying out of each others way.) and then slid on down river to do some nighttime glow lines and big flies action! We didn't wind up hitting it quite as well as the boys did the night prior, but for a couple of guys that had never done it before we did do rather well by rolling a half dozen or so that we didn't get and having Neil land a couple of dandies!

The last of the "hatch" fish was one of Mikes...


...and Neil finished us off in style with his first two true night fish to hand!




Man I gotta tell you, there's just nothing more rewarding about my job than the look on an anglers face when they catch a good fish at anytime of the day or year, but the nighttime stuff is simply priceless! The sudden viciousness of the strike out of nowhere and the shock on the anglers face is truly something to behold. Most folks just don't realize how fun that is, even when you don't get 'em, until they've actually been out on a decent night and then they are "hooked"!

The river is low and clear making the mid day stuff a little tough for most, but a properly presented streamer, nymph or bug can still produce even then. We have a huge assortment of hatches at the moment with most being very heavy, but the two to really pay attention to are the Sulphurs and Drakes that are responsible for most of the bigger hatch caught fish at the moment. Streamers are picking up good fish all day, but best times are early and late when the shadows are long or on an overcast/rainy day. The nighttime fishing has been about as consistent as it ever gets with most nights producing, but as with any type of fishing we've had our off nights also.

Both John and I have a number of great openings for guide trips from here on out (Hex and late season Mousing is filling in fast.) and we'd love to have you up in hopes of seeing "that look"! As I've said many times in the past, it's not that we mind sore mouthing the fish ourselves and educating them, but it is more rewarding for us to put you on them both in an accomplishment kind of way as well as paying the bills! Come on up and let us show you a new trick or two or, just enjoy a day on the water!

I need to cut this short(er) now and get a few other things done before the Michigan River Guides Association Meeting tonight, but I do want to remind you about the river cleanup we'll be having on Saturday, June 2nd. Please call the shop and let them know if you can make it, it'll help us know how much we'll be cooking and every little bit of giving back helps! We'll meet at the shop @ 8:00 am for cleanup and then at my place from 7:00 pm on afterward for the BBQ!

Also, please look toward the bottom of my last report for information and links regarding the "EA" (The draft environmental assessment for updating the comprehensive river management plan for the Pere Marquette National Scenic River.) that was recently released. The deadline for comment on the EA is June 6, 2007 so I think it's important that people who actually do care about this process and how it will effect the future management of this resource have some time to look things over for themselves in a through manner before making comment...

Tight lines all,
Steve
 
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