Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Gig

Well, since it is about time for my yearly post, I thought I would get it done when I had some free time ; ) In all seriousness, I have had some really good changes come my way in the last 8 months, and I thought in this entry I would elaborate on those, as well as highlight some of the moments that stood out for me while fly fishing in the last year or so.

Last July I took a Customer Service position with 3M/Scientific Anglers/Ross in Midland, MI. It has changed my fishing schedule tremendously. But more importantly, it has offered me the opportunity to talk with people knowledgeable in fly fishing all over the country, to learn from them, and to bounce new ideas off of those same folks with a wealth of expertise in their respective fisheries. I never thought that I could be as happy as I am in an office job, but alas, aside from the obvious ups and downs, it is treating me very well.

Oddly enough, the new gig has not really cut into my fishing time. I have just become more of a weekend warrior. I have been asked the question "are you fishing as much as you used too?" The truth is, I was on the water more when guiding, but my actual fishing time has stayed the same or gone up slightly. Since August 1st of 2011, I have been on the water about 50 days. The quarry chased during that timeframe has included Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass, Snook, and Redfish, and success has been had in most areas.

As far as fishing highlights go, I cannot get swinging flies for King Salmon off the brain. This year they jumped way up on the list as far as my favorite great lakes fish. When executed properly, they take a swung fly much better then Steelhead, fight as well pound-for-pound as a Steelhead, and are just downright MEAN! Last fall I had some major eye-opening experiences with salmon, and I absolutely CAN'T WAIT until this fall to chase them again.

Speaking of Steelhead, this fall/winter has been one of the mildest on record, and the steelhead have been acting accordingly. The run on most west-side rivers is waning, on the East side there are a lot of fish on gravel, and not much else. The run this year is probably a full 3 weeks ahead of schedule. The weather has been good for fly fishing in the short term, but bad for the long term. Prolonged cool, wet Springs are known to grow big trout, as they gorge on worms and other disoriented prey in the higher flows. I am hoping for a wet, cool summer...

Two weeks ago, I fished down in the salt again with Austin Lowder, targeting Snook and Redfish. My dad and I had a blast chasing them, and it has me thinking: In what applications can I do this in Michigan? I have some ideas I will be experimenting with over then next couple of months, will let you know if they work out ; )

Below you will see some of the more notable pics from the last year or so...

This was the moment I realized how well kings eat a swung fly, this fella was hooked in the tongue...
Stellar Buck on local water
Fishing buddy Chuck with a large Fall chromer
Nice fall Steelie for me
Winter Chrome, one of the coolest looking fish I saw all fall/winter
Here Snooky snooky, have a cookie
Spring Dimer