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Steve Fraley, BBT
Co-owner & Guide

March 1, 2017

Well… It looks like we’ve got another cold snap coming and the water will rise again, (After the rains yesterday and last night) but for the most part, spring has sprung early and there’s plenty of new fish as well as winter holdovers to be caught from here on out!!

As always, our shop hours will evolve along with the traffic, but for now we are officially open seven days a week again from 8am to 5pm. Motel rooms and guide trips are also available and we hope you’ll consider us for your purchases, lodging and guides. We are looking forward to a great spring season…

I’m not sure that I want to push for any trips over the next couple of cold days & overnight lows that are predicted as well as water that will surely rise up again before falling back down, but it looks pretty good to me from Saturday afternoon on into the rest of the season for the most part!

My current openings in March are every day from now thru the 12th, the 14th and I just had a prime 3 day block open up on the 29th, 30th & 31st! My April dates are the 10th, 16 – 20 & 24 – 27. We have other guide(s) available on most other days also or, can find one for you!

True Japanese A5 Wagyu! What!?!? ;^).

As most of you have seen in my last report(s) it’s been pretty good! I had to skip last Thursday for the run to GR, but Tom invited me along as a second “client” with him in John’s boat on Friday and sent me into the house on Thursday night with an extra special treat for the three of us the next day to prep, the steaks shown above! (And below… ;^)

Thar she blows!

The storms didn’t pass as quickly in the morning as predicted so it was an interesting ride in the morning with lightning, thunder and downpours as well as a few more times during the day, but that didn’t stop a few fish from biting! (Two of these may be repeats for those of you that caught John’s report.)

”The spot” finally paid off for our fist to hand of the day...

Ran into a couple of buddies at another hole we were shooting for and they were latched onto this one having just lost (Or landed? Can’t remember now.) another.

Good job Rick! ;^)

We didn’t rack up the numbers by targeting any of the MANY fish we spotted out on gravel, but instead stuck with the hole program finding a few players and enjoying the day. Tom landed another not long after the two shown above during a pretty good bite window then it slowed a while just in time for a fantastic lunch!

Nice work Tom.

Bringing those steaks up to room temp on my belly before they hit the grill and went in my belly! Hahaha...

John doing great work!

After lunch we insisted our guide take a turn with the rod and Tom practiced his reverse netting technique successfully again! Hehehe…

Tom played net man for our guide.

Storms returned again for a bit and we couldn’t buy a bite, but once it let up the action returned and I was able to cap off a great day with one more good fish not somehow lost!

Tom couldn’t take the photo while it was pouring, because he was too wet! Haha.

One more for the road!

On Saturday and Sunday I got to play guide again with Tom. We decided on a later start on Saturday with the weather coming in and rather than hop scotch with the rest of the weekend warriors we ran a mid section for a change of scenery, the solitude and not worrying too much about catching fish having caught plenty since Wednesday.

Wow! Looks like Michigan again out of my kitchen window the next morning!

Water levels were peaking on Saturday and it was a good thing we weren’t worried to much about fish because, while we did get “some” good reports from up higher on the day, we never so much as touched one down there ourselves! ;^)

Acted like Michigan also...

Air temps were low 20s with a wind chill factor in the single digits. Tried pitching lures a little, but I grabbed a spinning rod with braid on it rather than mono and that was a mistake as the line continually froze on the spool so we gave up quickly… Ran a few drifts with flies in a few key locations to no avail and spoke with 3 guys who’d walked in and one other boat all trying spawn, lures and flies having the same lack of results. That being said, we ran “Mac” to Sulak, were on about 11am and off by about 4pm to give you an idea of how hard we tried! Hahaha…

Tom’s buddy Bret showed up that afternoon for our float the next day and once again, Tom sent me into the house with another surprise for our lunch on Sunday before we capped the evening off with a great meal at Barski!

Tom’s shipment to the shop was a good one! Preparing the Classic Wagyu Bone-In Ribeye for Sunday’s lunch.

Yep, that’s a K-cup!

Perfectly seasoned.

Great finish to a cold day at Barski!

We got on the water at the crack of 10am Sunday and proceeded to put on a clinic of “how to lose fish” the rest of the day, but had some fun with them anyway!

The water had dropped a few inches up high overnight. This is Sunday morning…

But where’s the dock? ;^)

So we lost the battles with the fish we hooked, who cares?!?! We got pictures of this for the foodies out there... ;^)

Ta da! Yes, it can be done right in the cold...

I had Monday “off”, but just couldn’t bring myself to stay off the river. We had lost yet another heartbreaker at our last stop the day prior that was haunting me and the water was just starting to look prime again! A couple of text later and I had a crew for the day, Eric, an old friend from out of town and Steve from Barski.

Monday found the water down several more inches with a perfect stain once again!

There it is!

Water temp had dropped considerably overnight, but that didn’t stop a few fish from biting and I found this feisty little guy at our first hole followed by another heartbreaking loss for my friend Steve…

Full of spirit he was!

This overweight gal fought about half as hard as the little guy, but boy was she purdy!

Third trimester? Any day now for this girl...

Yep, it was a day off!

We didn’t see much on gravel at all on Sunday until later in the day when the water warmed up some. Eric walked up from a fast shoot that Steve and I were fishing and hooked a pig that got off from a pocket around or in those spawners, but it found freedom after a short battle and Steve redeemed himself from the run shortly thereafter…

Nice work buddy getting some redemption...

Passed a few more fish showing on the way out, spent some time chatting with fiends and sharing a few beers then finished the day with Steve losing another hot fish at that same last stop again. All in all, a fantastic and relaxing day!

Yesterday morning…

Had an exciting day yesterday with Rob and his son George. Saw lots of fish out spawning again and the water looked great. Passed on “‘most” of the visible fish, but mixed it up a little tossing at a few for just a couple of cast looking for a player and hitting the holes the rest of the day. (Had one bright hen crush a swinging fry pattern out of a pocket in front of some spawners, but didn’t get any interest from those we saw and tossed a few shots at so we left the rest we saw alone…)

Rob had the hot hand all morning losing a little more than a few fish to no fault of his own, but George broke that streak for us with a bright new hen from the depths that took a chartreuse nuke with an orange core. This fish took us for a LONG ride after a blistering run from a deep bend almost beyond where we could chase in the straight away! Had to get the line out from under a down tree then pass the rod around another just to take chase. It was sweet…

Nicely done George!

Just as I was cooking lunch we had a hot streak on the front end of a big storm cell that was rolling in with several trout and a nice buck that Rob landed then we got under a cedar tree just seconds before the lightning, thunder, downpour of rain and hail hit for an almost completely dry lunch while we rode it out besides a few hail balls that made their way down to us like plinko chips on the price is right!

Some redemption for Rob!

Some hail that made it thru the cedar branches...

That Steelhead was to be our last to hand for the day hitting several more holes in the afternoon and admiring some more spawners in passing. A big thanks to Rob and George for a quality day! You obviously have a great father and son relationship and it was a pleasure spending time with you both. I hope we can do it again soon…

Soooooo tempting to go out and jump back in the boat again today as the last warmer one for a few, but I really need to get a few other things done that I’ve been putting off. (Along with going thru Argentina and Belize photos I still haven’t published! ) My hope is to find my calendar filling for Saturday, Sunday and beyond, but I’ll get back out there this weekend either way and will post another report afterward. (I may add water conditions updates to this report before then however, it’ll be interesting to see what the recent rains did…)

Till next time, tight lines!

Announcements/Destination Travel Info-

Stay tuned for details on our Belize trip to The Blue Bonefish lodge January 27 to February 3, 2018!!

It’s a nice place to be in winter!

Argentina 2018

The dates are January 8 – 13, 2018 and we are taking deposits ($1,000) now to hold your spot! Treat yourself to a trip of a lifetime! The package price per person based on double occupancy is US $3,995.00 and includes:
• Six full days guided fishing (with expert, local bilingual (Spanish-English) fly-fishing guide)
• All your lodging, meals and beverages (including beer & wine with meals)
• Transportation to and from the Airport in Bariloche

Join us next year for a warm and fantastic vacation to bring in the new year!

BBT In Argentina 2014

Alaska 2017 - Our BBT Alaska Dates are August 5 - 12, 2017, but can book you as an “agent” for anytime during their open months at their normal rate!

SPECIAL BBT DEAL!!! $2,795 (or $3,395 which includes two fly-outs!!!) per person for a week of fishing in some of the best water in Alaska! If you are interested in joining us or booking a different week, please contact the shop for details. It is an amazing trip!!!!

Also, please check out our new Baldwin Bait and Tackle Facebook page.

Baldwin Bait & Tackle

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Other reports by Steve
May 9, 2018 05/09/2018
April 25, 2018 04/25/2018
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April 13, 2018 04/13/2018
April 7, 2018 04/07/2018