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Steve Fraley, BBT
Co-owner & Guide

April 7, 2018

PM River Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st for anyone interested! Details to follow, but as always please let the shop know how many you might have attending so we can plan the food for the appreciation party afterward… (231-745-3529 Shop is currently open 7am to 7pm, stop in and say hi!) As always, we will provide the trash bags and free car spots to all participants as well as a meal in the evening and the river will reward you with karma!

Is anybody else ready for some spring? I am! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I actually love me some winter, white backdrops and chrome, but “some” is the key word in that sentence and my old bones are ready to thaw. From the looks of it, we’ll start getting some relief this week sometime…

Congrats to Sean on his first and second Steelhead ever to hand on April 1st, no foolin’!

From the looks of it we are actually going to see some relief this week and between some warmer temps and a little precip and I have high hopes for a little spike in the water level with a little stain due to runoff and rain. This could/should wind up being one of the strongest late Aprils we’ve seen in quite a few years and, of course, my solid bookings dry up at the end of this week!

Great day, thanks!

Trout fishing will pick up speed regardless and I “expect” to see a lot more Steelhead yet so, if you’ve got a mind to get out and take advantage of one, the other or both, give the shop a call and spend a day on the water with myself, John or John. My personal open days thru the end of the month are currently: April 15 thru 19, 23 thru 26 and the 30th. We have other guides as well as Motel rooms available throughout the month as well, just give the shop a call to check on or book a date! 1-231-745-3529.

Steve with our first to hand on the 2nd. It was cold, but the fish were hot!

I had a great day out on the water with Steve and John on the 2nd hitting double digits in holes on hookups/battles with mostly new hot hard to handle fish on light tippets, but it was a classic example of the way fishing has been and almost everyone else we spoke with or I talked to later had struggled a bit more that day. I was basically in the right spot at the right time for a nice surprise and I’ve been the guy on the other end of that plenty as well.

John with a dandy new arrival he managed to tame after an epic battle!

With the water conditions the way they are and have been the best holes have been limited more than usual and even if you happen to roll into one it’s as much about the time of the bite turning on as it is the location. In other words, fly selection, presentation, tippet size and fish fighting ability are still VERY important as always, but after that it’s luck of the draw if you actually fish your way thru a section or two of river shy of launching ridiculously early to go sit on a spot pretty much all day and, that’s not really my cup of tea…

Speaking of luck…

We had a four boat group trip on the 3rd and I “think” I was low man on numbers for the day with some pretty good sticks in the boat. While I did not launch early to get anywhere specific I did still manage to roll into my “hot spot” from the day before. The client’s fished very well and maybe missed a bite or two, but the only fish we got from there was one of those lucky hero shots us guides love so much when they happen.

Pete Had broke off on a snag or something so after I re-rigged I told him that I get a “penalty shot” and he said go for it, show me how it’s done… One shot, a good bite and all of the sudden you get to feel like a fishing god for a minute while everyone smiles, laughs, hi fives and declares “So, that’s how it’s done!” Neither client would take the rod so I was forced (Haha) to land the fish above with a great net job by Pete.( Certainly not the first time I or another guide have done that, but did I mention I like some luck…? ;^)

I got to play my own role on this nice hen Pete brought in!

I almost wish that fish had not bit for me because it caused me to ride that spot out a little longer (hoping the bite just turned on) than I normally would and odds are we would have done better hitting even more spots than we did along the way. We actually did find fish in several other locations afterward with a fair number of hookups, but only one more Steelhead to hand. (You know what they say about hind sight. ;^) Anyway, it’s a long time annual group trip that has seen epic, slow and everything in between and we are already looking forward to next year!

Yep, it’s April 4th in this pic!

April 4th was a bust on our two boat group for John R and I as well as many others we spoke with, but there were some great success stories as well depending on rotation. To be totally honest, we gave it a pretty good effort in a few places, but the group was not particularly enamored with the idea of cooking lunch in the blizzard so when the client asked me “Hey Steve, how do you feel about getting the $#@* out of here and having lunch at Barski on me?” we made a pretty short day of it! Hehehe…

Robert with a pretty resident on the 5th.

A better look at the pretty one in that picture! (Haha, love ya buddy!)

I think it was 1 degree out when I got up on the 5th and made it to about 7 when we left. Not the coldest start this spring by any means and I actually had a really great day starting at 5 degrees one day with it not getting much higher, but Thursday wasn’t one of them. Fished some great water, (No redds, just holes.) but only wound up with one nice trout, two Steelhead on the line and one of those to hand. (Actually, without a doubt, had I been a little less confident and little more aggressive on the net we would have had two…) It was great spending time with an old friend and a new one regardless. We did some catching up, enjoyed some good food, fine libations and relived some fantastic days of long ago. (Too long! Let’s do it again soon…)

Success! Great meeting you Chad…

Got back off the river only to find that I had an unexpected paid day off on Friday and as much as I love to fish with this guy, (A LOT) I’m not going to sit here and lie that I didn’t enjoy the down time watching the snow and cold from my window yesterday doing absolutely nothing... Off today as usual with a few chores including this report to get up then it’s back at it until next Saturday with hopes of more trips booking for the rest of the season… That’s pretty much all I’ve got for now so, till next time, tight lines!

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

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
August 13, 2018 08/13/2018
July 21, 2018 Alaska & Unicorns
July 14, 2018 Hello Again From Alaska
July 8, 2018 07-08-2018
June 23, 2018 Hello From Alaska