Winter shop hours are now 9am – 5pm everyday (CLOSED on Tuesday’s).  We are slipping into winter mode around here and so are the fish!  Cold water temps have the fish in winter holding water.  Work with floats inside out through the runs & pools or bottom bounce with a “grid” pattern inside to outside and then down.  Look for streamer fishing to improve in the colder water…both the swing and strip.  Something bigger and flashy might get them to move and snap out of their winter trance.  

Also, back by popular demand, we are offering our Holiday Special (until December 24, 2018) of 20% off Gift Certificates!!!! These gift certificates are good at face value for any and all shop merchandise or lodging, but not guide trips or discounted items. Call the shop to have one mailed to your door! 231-745-3529

Kayden’s first steelhead on a fly!!! Excellent job fighting her

Sorry for the big lapse in reports…I had a extremely busy November and have spent some time catching up with family and friends.  Fishing is important, but there are somethings more important…I hope you understand?  Thank you all for the awesome November!!!  It was the busiest November for me ever and I love it.  The bite was tough during the second half of the month, but we had plenty of chances (and even caught a few).  The conditions were very challenging!  Cold and clear water (my least favorite combination), but we did get some rain last week that colored up the river and shuffled the deck (relocated many fish).  Getting them moving will make them bite better (expending energy).

Charlie and I with his first ever steelhead!!! Well done on a cold day

Look for warming trends throughout the next couple months to plan your fishing trips.  We have guides available for full or half day trips.  We will continue to keep you posted on the conditions and fish pics as this is our (the guides) time to fish.  Next week is looking pretty good at the moment!!!  Give us a call to wet a line on the Pere Marquette River and try your hand at catching a wild Steelhead.  We would be happy to teach you a couple new tricks with the fly rod, explain our rigging strategies and/or just row you down the beautiful “Wild & Scenic” Pere Marquette River.

Joe called his fish on a chartreuse egg…bobber down!

Remember,  good presentation catches the most fish!!!  Presentation is not only your drift; it is how you enter the river, where you stand, size of tippet, size of hooks…etc., etc.  Think about what your doing and don’t be surprised if the bite is soft.  Cover water slowly and throughly when the water temps are cold.  The old saying is true – ”There is no such thing as bad weather; just bad gear”.  Be safe and exercise caution at the boat launches…be prepared, because there are not many people around at this time of year.

There are good numbers of steelhead throughout the Pere Marquette river system and our steelhead count is looking solid for the winter.  The fish have been bigger and meaner then most years…I know that is hard to imagine; but true!  We have an amazing resource and need to protect it for future generations.  Please catch and release our wild steelhead!

Joe getting it done in dirty water

Good flies to try at this point in the season are: hex nymphs, pheasant tails, sparrow nymphs and green caddis.  Egg patterns are always on the menu with chartreuse on top of this list.  Clown eggs (both large and small), small nuke eggs (OC with orange core), estaz eggs and small OC glow bugs.  Egg-head streamers or flashy leeches on the swing will get some tugs (adjust the size of the streamer according to the water level/visibility).  Larger flashy patterns stripped slow and low will draw players out of the woodwork on the right day.  Enjoy the opportunities at hand and the solitude of the season!

Mike with a pig brown trout from the upper river

Thank you to the crew at Stealthcraft boats!  They custom built a new office (boat) for me over the last couple months.   We worked together on the design and layout.  16 foot Superfly haul with a custom interior layout.  I am extremely excited and love the final product.  These guys will work hard to make sure you are completely satisfied with your boat, raft, motor or whatever you purchase from them.  Support the local economy and this awesome boat builder…this is the best boat I have even owned!!!!

Take care and please respect other anglers on the rivers while fishing.  Also, PLEASE catch and release our wild steelhead to help keep this amazing fishery strong and healthy.  The fish that makes your day will make someone else day…plus maybe someone released the fish prior for you to catch?  

FYI….BEADS are illegal is the FLIES ONLY SECTION….thank you!!!

Later & Fish-On!



  1. Beautiful boat,john! It seems less likely that you’ll ever let me row on my upcoming trips!

Comments are closed.