The spring grind

Wow, the spawn is early this year. That means the spring time grind is on. Now before anybody goes and gets all upset about me running trips while the smallmouth are spawning let me nip this in the bud. When my boat fishes the river I DO NOT anchor and fish spots, my boat is constantly drifting down river. There for I am not bed robbing. The fish that eat during the spawn are eating streamers or crank baits, which means they are chasing food mid water column and want to eat. A fish on beds isn't coming up for food.  We're about a week into the grind so historically we have a week to go. Keep a positive attitude and keep casting.  

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Mother Nature

Spring showers have arrived and the rivers are paying the price. Hopefully by the end of this week, area wide the rivers will be fishable again. The big lake too is paying the price for the storms. The water is dirty and the fish are spread out. The lake carp game is strong and will get better as the the water clears. The only bright light that I can see is the river fish will be hungry when the boat floats again this weekend.

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Winter has come and gone once again. While it returned I started preparing for this coming August, when I head to Alaska to guide for Naknek River Camp. The fly boxes are filling up, beads are getting painted and flights have been made.  The weather looks to be breaking for good hopefully and my 2017 season will officially start this week. If the weather windows that we've already had are a indication of how the season is going to go it should be outstanding.

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Still playing the weather

Playing the weather windows is paying off. Warm, quiet days, having the river to ourselves is a wonderful thing for February. Add in big prespawn fish and the days have been wonderful. Finding the slowest water with depth has been key. Black fly patterns have been the top producer in the boat. Watch the weather, the next nice batch of days don't hesitate to book a day.


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Spring is teasing us

This weather is great, I love global warming. I have taken full advantage of the 60 degree days and it is paying off. The third boat in my fleet is rigged and performing better than expected on our local waters. The water temps are still a little on the cold side for smallmouth but they are plenty warm for pike, and they have been eating well. If the weather pattern stays in place smallmouth should turn on soon. I've had people try a little each time out. Flies with rattles have been key to the pike success. I have two more tying classes for the season at Dupage Flyfishing Company Call the shop to check availability (630)857-3468  the classes are Wednesday nights 25.00 a class. Bookings for the season are filling everyday get your day locked down soon while you can.

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Friends hit Streamerlove Fest

Last Wednesday the rig was on the ball ready to head south 8 hours. Destination Dally's StreamerLove Fest on the white river. Kyle Zempel from Black Earth Angling Company was in for the trip with me. 8 hours later the sun came up and we rolled into the hotel parking lot to meet the rest of the crew. A quick truck unload and to wader up it was back in the truck to go fish. Who needs sleep? Fish were caught, fish were lost, and holy hell did we blow some big fish chances. The tying event at Dally's Saturday night was hoot, good times good drinks, good people. Kyle documeneted the trip with some outstanding photos, follow the link,

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Winter options

The Show season is among us

January 14 I'll west Michigan fly show in Grand Rapids. I will be working the TFO booth

February 11, 12 Tinley Park high school show

March 4th Wildcat Creek outfitters shop day

March 11th Warren Michigan show I will be working the TFO booth

I will be teaching tying classes again this winter at Dupage Fly Company. 6 consecutive Wednesdays starting on January 25th. Each class is a pay per. You don't need to sign up for all of them pick your pattern and come learn. Call the shop to check availability (630)857-3468 

StreamerFest 2017 is coming at the end of the month. Me and some buddies are heading down, I'm really looking forward to it. 

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Winter sucks!!

Quick fishing report, The St. Joe is open the fish have been uncooperative but thats fishing midwest steelhead in the winter. The big lake was open the browns where there and playful the last time I was out. Olive goby patterns worked best stripped on a sinking line. 

Spring/Summer bookings are underway!

Yeah it's the new year! The holidays are over, the Christmas stuff is taken down and put back in the attic, now the cat-fighting of the fishing industry begins. With nothing better to do, being cooped up in the house tying flies every day, it happens every winter like clock work, the constant FB stalking, Instagram creeping, and arguing. A friend of mine who owns a shop in Montana made a T-shirt a few years back. It simply says "FaceBook ruined Flyfishing" I believe that to be absolutely true!!! Let me pause there and explain. It is a great tool for sharing ideas, places, meeting people with the same interests. This is where it goes to hell. It makes the guy sitting in his cubical or sitting on the train think that every guy that can tie a fly and put it online is a custom tyer. Any dude with a boat isn't really a guide because him and his buddy fish on the weekend. Has our world really become that pitiful that we have to pay for likes? When you have a conversation with a "pop up" guide, you ask him why he wants to start guiding and his response is "for the pro deals" seriously??? No man, that's not the correct answer. You are making us REAL guides look bad! All I'm saying is be leery of what you read online.

Lets announce the new

I've been very quiet lately; it isn't because I haven't been fishing. The reason is I've been busy preparing, purchasing a third boat, and working out details with a shop for our future plans together. So take a minute, poke around the "offered trips page" to see the new trips available for 2017. Grab Your Fly Charters was the first fly fishing guide service based in the Chicagoland area and over the years have maintained to be the go-to guide service. With these new opportunities, we will continue what we started... being the first to bring you unique opportunities right here at home.  Once again proving, you do not need to leave the state to find excellent fishing. I have officially teamed 2017 is going to be a great year, bookings have already begun. 

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One chapter closes the page is turning

Well my salmon season is over for 2016, three weeks flew by and I'm back home. I want to make public that I will not be returning to either Beaver Island or the Pere Marquette for the 2017 season. Bookings have dropped off for both fisheries and there just isn't a reason for me to go back any longer. I will always miss the summers on the island, the people and the life style of it, along with floating down the beautiful Pere Marquette watching the leaves turn vibrant colors. It has been a amazing 6 years guiding some of Michigan's finest waters. If you have any desire to fish either destination contact Steve Martinez at I will keep you posted on my plans for 2017 as they get set in stone. On the home front the Kankakee's water temps are great it's running high the fish should be hungry. I'm back on it later this week. I'm playing the waiting game on Lake Michigan the water needs to drop a bit for the fall game to kick off. Fall smallmouth are just as big and hungry as in the spring get your trip in while the weather is still nice, give me a call I'll get you fishing.

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Smallie season wind down

High dirty water has been the story all season, both myself and the boat don't mind it. The high water scares the other boaters off the river and makes it to dangerous for waders so the outcome is the river is empty. Tomorrow is the last float of the season here on the Kankakee I have a feeling we'll go out with a bang. Next week I will be back in Michigan with the Indigo boys chasing salmon. In the next month I will be making public some big changes for the 2017 season, it is very exciting stuff.  As always 

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Back on the river

I know I've been slacking on reports. There hasn't been much to report with all of the high water that we've had. Finally the river is in good shape, the water is dropping the clarity is improving and the fish are right where they should be. There is only 4 open days to book with me before I head to Michigan for salmon season. Reports from the Pere Marquette are sounding promising. It has been said that there is already more fish in the system now than all of last season, lets keep our fingers crossed. The new boat has arrived and is amazing, good mojo is already covering it.

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Beaver comes to a end

Time flew by. Every year it's funny, while I'm here at home time drags by, counting the days until the island season. Once I'm there running the big lake every day time goes by in a blink of the eye. I guess the saying is true "time flies when you're having fun". Anyways I'm back to counting down the days again. The season as a whole was great. The carp fishing was good despite wind, and clouds. Smallmouth fishing was excellent. Pike fishing was a added bonus and tons of fun. As I sat on the boat leaving the island the other day I was thinking how lucky I am to have been able to spend the last 6 or 7 summers on such a amazing place. Smallmouth fishing here at home on the Kankakee is in it's normal summer patterns and the river is in great shape. A new boat is in the works and will be picked up by September 1st, photos will come as soon as I get them. I have some dates open for smallmouth before I skip town again this fall for salmon season on the Pere Marquette.

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Beaver Island week 1

It's great to be back on the island for the summer. This first week we were met with more clouds than sun which in the carp world doesn't make things easy. Fortunately the smallmouth season is open early this year and they are abundant and big this season. The days that the sun has shown itself carp have been willing to eat. If any of you that are reading this plan to fish carp here or anywhere else PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remember this, they DO NOT like getting hit on the head with flies!!! DON'T DO IT!!! Signal is spotty and time to update this weekly is even spottier be sure to follow us on Facebook for daily updates,

Week of May 14th

This will be my last report of the spring coming from here at home. The days are peeling off of the calendar, the totes are out and are being filled for Beaver Island. The fishing this week was a grind. The weather was the biggest factor. Fog, rain, wind, we had it all this week. The fish are there if you keep at it you'll find some players. The only thing that worked with any consistency was big and black everything else just disappeared in the dirty water.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook for daily updates

Week of April 24th

Playing the weather pays off this week. Carp have invaded the flats and are hungry. The biggest fish of the week was 28 pounds. Smallmouth on the river cooperated nicely. The post spawn bite has started. Big flies still out produced anything else. I have a few dates still open for local fishing before I head to Beaver Island.