January 23rd, 2020 | Never Gets Old
Fishing has been strong lately. Lots of willing fish on small nymphs and pale colored eggs. Large stones, pheasant tails, and copper johns have been good choices, as well as small nuke eggs and clown eggs. Sometimes sizing down your tippet to 6lb fluoro can get more bites, and you've still got a shot at landing the fish since the water is in the mid thirties. The handful of steelhead we landed this past weekend really didn't fight much at all. Just a few big headshakes, a boil on the surface, then from there it was just tug of war. Easily done with 6lb. But if you get a truly massive fish on the line, you might be better off with 8lb. We've been very impressed with the strength of Seaguar STS. Super strong stuff, and probably the best steelhead specific leader material we've used.
Trout fishing has been awesome, and a nice way to get out of the steelhead runaround. It opens up a lot of water, and you're not relegated to just the steelhead holes that get pounded day after day. Yes, we've been mostly euro nymphing, but also doing some indicator fishing with floating lines, especially on bigger water. The technique has exploded onto the scene, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. It's a relatively simple technique, with basic flies and easy casting. We use the word "simple" here loosely, as it's not a "magic pill" to catch piles of trout. There is certainly a good amount of technique, finesse, and experience needed to really do it right. That's not to say it isn't effective for the beginner, but there is definitely a learning curve attached to it.
If you're planning on starting with this technique, it would be wise to start tying flies as well. The number of flies you will lose is astronomical. But, living in Michigan, where our rivers are loaded with wood, you have to pay to play. If you're not losing flies, you're not getting deep enough. In all honesty, it can be frustrating. Incredibly frustrating. But, once you find some water that's clean and snag free, it's bewildering just how many fish are down there, and how willing they are to eat a little bug.
With that said, we have added a massive amount of product to our shops. More beads, more hooks, more materials, more of everything related to this technique.
Our tying classes have been awesome lately, with solid turnouts each night. What a great way to get out of the house, learn a few patterns, and ask questions directly to some seriously fishy people. Here's next weeks lineup:East Lansing Shop:
Jan 26: Steelhead Nymph Fly Tying Class 12pm-3pm
Open Fly Tying at Coral Gables 6pm - 8pm
Jan 28: Smallmouth Bass Fly Tying Class 6pm-8pm
Jan 30: Fly Tying 201 Class 6pm - 8pm
Grand Rapids Shop:
Jan 29: Jon Ray - Streamers 6pm - 8pm
We've got a nice lineup still ahead. Click below to view the entire schedule.
Looking forward to Spring and Summer, we are booking dates for Smallmouth trips. They are a serious game fish, that are incredibly fun to target. A great way to get someone into the sport, and technical for the experienced fly angler, they cater to both ends of the skill spectrum. We've got some really great water in West Michigan, much of it only accessible by raft. If you or someone is interested, let us know and we can get you out there! More info here GUIDED TRIPS
Also, we are holding our annual fundraiser for the FLY SQUAD on February 18th at Rockford Brewing, 6 - 11pm. Musky flies will be tied, raffle prizes will be given away, and beers will be had. All in an effort to fund their summer trout trip out west! It's a great event for a great cause. Pencil it in and BE THERE! More info coming soon.
Anyway, fishing has been fun lately. The weather has been cooperative, and rivers are stabilizing nicely. There aren't many big storms on the horizon, so conditions should stay comfortable for a while.
Here's a quick video we did last week of an easy caddis nymph that works really well in the Spring for Steelhead. Thanks for the support!