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Steve Fraley, BBT
Co-owner & Guide

February 15, 2018

Hey guys, I feel that it is more than safe to say that I am officially rested both physically (Maybe a little too much… ;^) as well as mentally and I am ready to go to work! 2018 has been awesome so far with a couple of BBT hosted trips south to warmer climates and plenty of down time at home with my girls, but I got a taste of the Pere Marquette again yesterday, I’m heading out again today, spring is knocking hard on the door and I am ready to answer it!!

John R and I got out late and had to get off early yesterday, but we still opted to bite off more river than we could effectively chew (fish) just to check things out and see how the river was looking. This limited our number of stops as well as time spent in them in a big way, but regardless, it was an absolutely beautiful day out there and a bunch of fish decided to play in the afternoon for us.

We should have kept a camera handy while wading apart from each other as most of our fish were trout and the better part of them (Well over a dozen to hand.) were nicer than the only one I took a quick snap shot of below… Lighter colored eggs were responsible for a few, but the majority took a medium sized black stonefly. The water is low, but is holding a slight stain presumably from shelf ice breaking away and taking some bank with it.

The trout bite was HOT for us in the afternoon and this one from the morning was on the lower end of the scale size wise…

Only one of our Steelhead found the net, (Medium size pink & chartreuse glo bug) but we made legitimate contact with several others and I took a couple of accidental scale samples from a couple others in the earlier hours before the bite turned on for us. Those samples occurred without any kind of sweep or hook set so, at least I know the fly was in the right place… (Opps ;^)

We did see a few fish out on gravel that we left alone to do their business and simply admired in passing. We also saw a fair amount of empty worked up redds from early spawners, but most of the fish we “saw” were in slower deeper water we scooped with the boat to check out on the way down, some of which we will target today by stopping ahead of time and using a stealthier approach…

Saw a fair number of Chrome fish during the day, but this darker buck was my only one to hand.

I only just got around to checking my spring calendar and it appears that I’ve lost more trips recently than I’ve gained! Well, not really lost, but in these cases my loss was John and John’s gain… It actually happens to all of us, but I had one client with two days that had to change dates to accommodate his sons new schedule and another with one day that had to do the same. Both rescheduled with us at here at BBT for new spring dates, but I was already booked on the only days that worked for them.

Anyway, long story short, I now have a few more openings and perhaps that can be your gain?! As of today I am pretty much open the rest of February (Look for any kind of decent weather and come on up! There are fish to be had…) and then I have March 4th - 9th & 11th as well as April 5th, 6th, 10th & 15th (Thru the 15th, it’s pretty open after that again.) Give the shop a call to book any of those days or to check on John and John’s openings and/or motel rooms! We are excited for a great spring and the size of the fish in the system is on the impressive side of things this year… 1-231-745-3529

I had to have a brief celebration to my first “spring season” Steelhead!

I just got the rest of the photos from our recent Belize clients on Monday and, as always, there are now far too many to share them all… Unfortunately I let most of them get saved on my free Google Photos account before doing anything with them so the resolution is not the best, but you’ll get the idea in the short slideshow of random photos I put together below. (A smaller screen rather than expanded is best for quality.)

Our trip this year was much more of a fun couple’s getaway than a hardcore fishing kind of thing and it was a blast despite having a very unusual amount of rain and overcast for this time of year. To give you an idea, I spent exactly one day of the entire week this trip on a flats boat, but only about 20 minutes of that day actually “flats fishing” (Where I did score some sight fished bones! ;^) and the rest of the day was spent just having fun and working with Steve on his first ever saltwater fly fishing experience. He caught fish as well and the day was a bunch of fun with several missions accomplished!

The only other “fishing” day I did was an attempt made by 6 of us to go reef fishing, but it got rained out early (See photos in slide show! ;^) and we were forced to go have a blast in town instead where we somehow managed to avoid any more foul weather. Anyway, in the end it was a week well spent! To give you an idea of how fun it was two couples have already said to sign them up again and the other two said they’ll be back as soon as they can. I call that a huge success and it really was a great time!!

When I get a little more free time I’ve got some pretty cool video of all of us feeding tarpon by hand during a sailing, snorkeling and island visit day as well as some video of Steve, Casey and I zip lining in the jungle I’ll try to do something with, but for now here’s the photo show…

Look for details below on next year’s trip and sign up early for a great start to 2019, it’s a fantastic deal that couples or singles will enjoy!

Announcements/Destination Travel Info-

Join us at The Blue Bonefish in Belize January 19th to January 26th (6 spots available) or January 26th to February 2nd (8 spots available) 2019!

All guest enjoy the use of golf carts and bicycles to get around the island as well as kayaks and paddleboards!

Need more after a day of fishing? Go back out! ;^)

A fishing package ($1,795.00 US plus 9% local sales tax and guide tips) includes seven nights lodging (two per suite) all meals, four days flats fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda and jack trevalle (two per boat), one day of reef fishing or snorkeling and a free day to explore or take a tour!

A non-fishing package ($1,000.00 US plus 9% local sales tax) includes seven nights lodging and all meals/amenities. Extra flats fishing day can be added ($150.00 US per day plus guide tip) if a non fishing guest wished to join for a day or a fishing guest would like a little more!

Mayan ruins tours, cave tubing, scuba diving, snorkeling, jungle zip lining and catamaran sailing are some of the day tours we can book for you while there, or simply enjoy exploring the island…

A 50% deposit is required at the time of booking (Cash or check) and only 6 & 8 spots are available! (US Passport is required!) First come first serve… Getting there is easy with a flight to Belize City followed by a short airplane ride on Tropic Air to the island of San Pedro where you will be met at the airport.

This is a fantastic and affordable trip to just relax in the sun or enjoy some spectacular salt water fishing! While most of our (BBT’s) destination travel trips are hardcore fishing this one, in contrast, is most certainly one that a non-fishing companion would enjoy just as much! San Pedro is an awesome little laid back island with English speaking residents, Caribbean cuisine, great shopping and night life! Give us a call to reserve your place with us this winter… 1-231-745-3529

Argentina 2019

The dates are January 5 – 12, 2019 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 $3,950.00 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 We have our “BBT Hosted” dates set for next year…. (Keep in mind we can book any dates for you!!) August 4 - 11, 2018. The “BBT Special” will be $3,495 per person for a week of fishing in some of the greatest water in Alaska! This rate INCLUDES the “Best of Katmai” Package; two fly outs throughout the week! $3,495 is the standard weekly rate without fly-outs…an incredible BBT exclusive deal!!! If you are interested in joining us, 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
September 22, 2018 09/22/2018
September 21, 2018 Sorry!
September 11, 2018 09/11/2018
September 5, 2018 A few sad words
August 13, 2018 08/13/2018