It's about time

From the sounds of it on the news winter is over! The boats will be back on the rivers next week. I have prime pre spawn dates open in both March and April. If you like big smallmouth per spawn is the time to get them. Get your day on the calendar while there is still openings.

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Summer Haze

I met RT a long time ago, prior to his movie Zero to Hero. Last winter we ran into each other and he says “I’m doing this smallmouth thing”, “yes I want in” was my reply. Well the smallmouth “thing” is out and is amazing. For now it’s only on DVD the streamed version will be out soon. Give Schultz outfitters, Tightlines Fly shop, Dupage Fly Fishing company, or Chicago Flyfishing outfitters a call and order your copy.

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Schultz's Bar flies

I’ve been to a lot of fly shops in my time, Schultz Outfitters is one of the great ones http://schultzoutfitters.com They are a class act with a huge inventory. They had a packed house at their Bar Fly event when I was the feature tyer. Thanks for having me out guys! I look forward to doing it again someday.

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Dally's Streamer Love Fest 2019

The streamer event of the year took place this past weekend in Cotter Arkansas at Dally’s flyshop. If you don’t know about the lovefest it’s a gathering of big name tyers from all over the county. Names like Galloup, Johnson, Schmidt, Strolis, and I am fortunate enough to be included in this list. Along with the tying event at the shop all of us streamer junkies invade the White River in search of it’s monster browns that like killing their food. As always the river and the week didn’t disappoint, a great time was had by all. A huge thank you goes out to the entire Dally shop crew for the efforts they put forth having us invade their watershed.

Next up for me is Schultz’s barflies.

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Smallmouth movie goodness

I met RT a looooong time ago. Rt made Zero to Hero, The Brothers Brown, and Spey Daze. We fished Lake Michigan chatted and parted ways. 9 years later we bump into each other and he says “hey man I’m doing this smallmouth thing” the answer was a quick YES! I have the privilege to be among the best guides in the midwest to apart of his latest flyfishing film called Summer Haze. Captain Katz and myself went for a early showing and I can say, Holy hell it’s awsome and we who live in the midwest have great smallmouth fishing in our backyards. We’re planning a release party Late February early March as it gets closer more details will follow. Here is a link to the teaser https://vimeo.com/259987846

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That time of year

It’s that time of the year when reports become spread out and kinda blah. Steelhead fishing has been far from good this year. The water temps were great for a long time, water color was fabulous, the leaves weren’t a issue. This is the game we play with migratory fish on the bottom end of the lake. Now that the temps have tanked it’s time to focus on refilling the boxes for next season along with getting to travel and tie at some pretty cool events. I recently got a new water scouting buddy (he’s a good pup). I understand that people aren’t thinking about booking trips with Christmas coming BUT, my calendar is filling and I do have gift certificates available for that special someone.

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Regular programing

September flew by and October isn’t slowing down. Since I’ve been home the river has been EXTREMELY low and clear. Plenty of smaller fish have been caught with a good amount of big boys every trip. As we get into October the fish have begun schooling up bait. Throwing a long line with baitfish patterns has been key. Pike and steelhead will be starting shortly with the colder night dropping the water temps.

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Back at home

The rubber hit the runway this past Sunday morning. My 2018 Alaska season is over. My time working at Naknek River Camp was a whirlwind on so many levels. It was humbling to be considered a old guy that the new guides and captains came to with questions. I’m not sure if I like being a old guy. None the less, the younger staff members that I had the pleasure to work with did a amazing job. I am proud to have met and worked with all of them. Quick recap, the weather early season, RAIN, everyday it rained. Bugs were awful unless you just “excepted” them. If you couldn’t let yourself embrace them well then they drove you bat shit crazy. The fishing and scenery and the night sky was…. amazing. I want to thank Jim and Phyllis for having me back allowing me to work in such a wonderful place. I have committed to going back in 2019 I will once again be offering dates and discounted rates.

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Mid summer break

This is the last local report for a bit, it's time for me to get out of town. I'm ready to hit Naknek River camp. The Kankakee is extremely low and getting clear. Sorting through fly patterns has been a daily occurrence. We've had some of the best top water eats this week. There is nothing better than watching a fly get totally destroyed from the surface. I will post reports when I can from Alaska. 

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Northern escape

Being a guide for 10 years I've made a lot of good friends. I got a call awhile back from one saying, "hey bud wanna come up to the bay and fish carp and bass?" Hell yes I do!!! Capt. Katz and his wife are expecting their first baby soon, so as a final trip Bill and myself headed north to stay at  www.dloopoutfitters.com

We met Dave at the shop and headed to the bay to chase carp and smallmouth on day one. I forgot how much I missed fishing the great lakes for carp. Day two was a short one due to driving back home so we stayed close to the shop and hit the Big Manistee to chased pike with Dave and his awesome wife Amy. Pike are great and Dave has this game dialed in. If you need a quick escape from the city I highly recommend staying at Dloop and fishing with Dave or one of his guys.

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Busy busy busy

Holy crap, where did a month go? Fishing has been good, not outstanding just good. We've had high dirty water all season so far. Every time the river starts dropping it rains again, such is life. Despite the high dirty water the fish are in their normal summer modes. Top water, crayfish, and minnow patterns are all producing. Just because the water is dirty don't think the fish won't eat. Not everyday can be sunny, no wind, clear water, and mild temps, I am currently booking for September and October get your date locked down for some end of the season action. Capt. Katz continues to do a outstanding job getting his customers on good fish and the double boat trips are a hit.

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15 days

What a crazy 15 days it's been since the last report post. The 3 am wake up's are taking their tool on me so this is going to be short. We've had hot humid days already, we've had torrential down pours, and we've had cold fronts. None of that has mattered, the rivers are in great shape. All normal summer patterns are working. The fish are eating. On a side note, I was asked to be apart of a fly fishing film called Summer Haze. Filling took place this weekend and lets just say I am very pleased and can't wait until it comes out. Heres a link to the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwfi1X1844Q

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It's summer time

Another great week on the river is in the books. I feel like this is going to be a repeat of last weeks report. The top water bite remained decent, more fish were caught this week on BIG baitfish patterns, and crayfish have been found in quite a few gullets. Captain Bill Katz has been a great addition to the Grab Your Fly crew. Bill has been doing a great job putting people on great fish in his boat as well. With the hot days the flows are dropping and the lack of rain has brought good water clarity. Two months from yesterday this guy will be in Alaska again. The piles are slowly starting to pop up around the house.

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Bubbles, Bubbles and more Bubbles

Ahhhhh yes, we skipped over spring and right to summer. Hot still days on the river watching poppers go pop everyday. The bubble trail of a popper coming off the shore line, waiting for a smallmouth to explode on it. That is how the week went. Good numbers of fish fell victim to the boggle this week and it was another week of happy anglers. Levels and clarity are great. I have very limited openings in June and July is filling up. 

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Going strong

The river is fishing good. The streamer bite is on fire and the top water game is starting. The spawn is happening, we're about a week and a half into it, despite that plenty of nice aggressive fish are being hooked. Working neutral buoyancy streamers has been the key to success with the floating algae thats in the system. Hopefully this rain gives the river a good flush. Scattered dates for June are still available.

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Busy busy busy

It's been a bit since the last report. I've been on the water every day and this is last on my list of things to do so heres a quick report. The water temps are low to mid 60's, great visibility, surprisingly theres a lot of grass already growing. The bite has switched from low and slow to swimming and crushing it. It's almost spawning time, its time for my annual talk. I do NOT anchor and fish spawning fish I do NOT anchor and fish beds. The boat is always moving and we're looking for the aggressive fish that wants to eat. You guys that target fish in the creeks or in the backwaters are hurting the future of the river. 

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Fatties

We had another good week on the river. The weather was good for a change and the big girls of spring came to play. The below pictures prove now is the time to get out and fish. Water temps stayed in the upper 40's to mid 50's all week. A variety of patterns caught fish, from leeches to baitfish. Water clarity improved greatly to almost a foot. 

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Gettin after it

I promise no complaining about the weather in this report. River flows on the Kank are stable in the 8000 cfs range, temps are staying in the mid 40's, and the clarity varies day to day. The smallies are starting to chase streamers, which is a nice change from the low and slow program. I think mid week we'll finally be in normal spring conditions for good.

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Same ole same ole

This is really getting old. We've had another week of hot and cold weather, with a little rain mixed in. Most of my week was taken up with family duties but Bob had a good day on the river before the water bumped up and got dirty. Just a few months and I'll be on a plane heading back to the Naknek. I still have a few spots open. The bead boxes and ziplocks have been restocked.

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