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Hey Guys,

What the heck, I’m on a roll, might as well keep posting when I get a chance or some new news! Besides, I did one little post on Facebook yesterday and that triggered quite a few private messages, text and emails so I might as well “clear” all that up…

Here’s the part of that post that got a few people curious:

“First cast of the first stop so we don’t know if the bite is on yet or not, but we have seen a ton of fish on the way down. (Several batches in places we don’t want to see them in yet still! 😳)”

This was the photo attached to the post…

So, the big question is, with the groups of fish we saw on redds yesterday and have been seeing are we having an early run? Will it be over early? etc… The simple answer is no. As my friend Kirk pointed out to one concerned and/or just curious angler; “No, it means the early fall runners are ripe. Happens every year on that river.” Annnnnnnd, that’s the truth!

This hen was actually a spawned out drop back we found in a deep slow winter hole…

Now, that being said, we ARE seeing more of it than “usual”, but that is easily explainable by the fact that with the nice high water flows and overall mild winter we’ve been seeing an almost constant trickle to a run of brand new fall/winter fish ever since it started, but there are plenty of spring fish yet to come as always.

I have very little doubt in my mind that this guy had been spawning somewhere nearby the run we found him and several others (Both brand new and wintered over fish.) taking refuge in…

What does all this mean? Well, besides just the good flows and mild winter we’ve had it also means, as Scott, another angler pointed out in a follow up to my post; “Thank heaven that weir’s gone!” and once again, I agree completely!

My full spring run experience is limited to the 28 years of them from early 1992 to present, but in that limited experience it is my opinion as well as some others I know (With just as much or even more experience.) that we are simply getting closer and closer to a full recovery from that colossal waste of time and money each year when this was all just the norm; the runs ran longer and uninterrupted.

Here’s how I read this extended forecast for Baldwin… Fish tomorrow, take a little break then get back out there and fish every day you can that it gets above 32 degrees for a minute! (PS. We DO offer half day trips as well as our normal full day trips until March 1st. ;^)

We shall see, but my “prediction” is for good to great Steelhead fishing from right now right on out into late April just as it should be rather than just a couple of high water events bringing in the bulk of the run in one or two shots and having some fantastic fishing at very limited times with only fair fishing on either side of it… (Hope that makes as much sense to you as it does to me! ;^)

Besides some pretty great fishing, the lack of crowds and the scenery made it for Johnny and I yesterday…

Hey, I honestly think that if you’re looking for your best “fish to angler ratio” weekdays from right now until about that first week of March might just be it! Yes, we will see some bigger pushes of new spring runs coming up yet, but factor in the number of anglers that pursue these fish in March and April and really think it evens out or even better, at least this year from what I’m seeing…

The 2020 Batch of venison brats is a litle heavy on the sage as is usual for me and features pepperjack cheese for that slight bite this year!
This limited batch is by request only! (Besides those of you that I already know want ’em for lunch of course… ;^)

Am I trying to book some early trips? You betcha!!! Am I lying or exaggerating to do so? Absolutely not! Will there still be tough days?? Yep! A number of them I’m sure. There always is no matter how many fish are around depending on those “bite window(s)” and/or angler ability, but it’s our job to work on those aspects that we can like angler ability among other things and let mother nature and the fish decide the rest! Will there be some epic days? Yep, pretty darn sure that this can and will also happen on any given day from here on out and I sincerely hope you’re in my boat with me when it does!

The shop is open for business and reservations from 9am to 5pm Thursday to Tuesday, then closed on Wednesday till March. 231-745-3529 (This plan is subject to change depending on traffic… ;^) 

This girl has a ways to go before she seriously considers hitting a redd…

Johnny and I wound up having a great day yesterday despite the fact that those “bite windows” that I spoke of were short and on either end of our float with a very slow middle. It may well have hit that “epic” status had I not spent about a third of my own time sipping yerba mate or answering text from family and friends, but neither of us is complaining!

The trout turned on when the Steelhead did and also kept it interesting!
Cheers to my good friend and outfitter Pedro in Argentina who got me hooked on this stuff!

We had a couple of other fish to hand that we did not photograph and, without saying too much, (Managing expectations here.) embarrassingly so, we lost way more than we landed! On that “bite window” note; only a couple of those hookups were early and the rest were all within an hour of each other toward the end of our float by the way…

Authors note: I cannot “provide” the beer that goes oh so well with brats (or whatever ;^) on a paid guide trip, but you’re welcome to bring your own in a reasonable quantity…

We hit our fish on a variety of egg flies primarily both in nuke and glo bug style ranging in color from pale pink to bright chartreuse, but hex type patterns also played a role and stoneflies were active. The river is currently in great shape with good flow and a slight stain.

Just a reminder here, but In addition to checking our website and Facebook page for updates, don’t forget we can also offer you the following ways to stay connected to BBT — get our reports in your email and/or add a BBT icon to your mobile device! We currently have a good number of subscribers and they love it… Go to this page to set it up!

Other than that I don’t have much more for you right now, but if you’re interested in an awesome opportunity for a week in Alaska with me read on!

FYI – If you’re looking for a really great, possibly once in a lifetime deal, I have one for you and, I am looking for a few anglers to guide myself these weeks! We are offering 3 anglers for the price of 2 the weeks of July 18th to 25th July 25th to August 1st and August 1st to the 8th! (This works out to be about 2,664.00 per person for the entire week rather than the standard weekly rate of 3,995.00)

Our crew at the mouth of the Battle last year.

Contact me direct or leave a message for me with Karen at the shop if interested in this 2 for 3 deal, but don’t forget, BBT’s exclusive deal kicks in the very next week! (August 8th to the 15th when eggs could start flowing and the Silvers are showing!) Check this link for details and contact the shop on that. We have do have space available!

Tight lines all!

Steve