Well, we didn’t call it Baldwin “Bait & Tackle” for no reason I guess, but if you’d have asked me a month ago if I’d ever be running more than just flies or pitching a little hardware on my guide trips I most likely would have answered probably not…
Fact is, the water got low, clear and really tough on the fly/hardware bite for most of our once or twice a year anglers for a little while there and during a three day group guide trip I gave in to “the dark side” (kidding about that) in order to keep up with the other boat guiding with me. It’s not like I’ve never done it before or don’t know how, it’s just not nearly as satisfying or challenging to me personally for quite some time now and most of my regular clients usually just prefer the fly as well.
Conditions are vastly improved now and fish have finally spread into all sections of the river so my “normal” program is coming back into play, but I seriously have been hooking my Steelhead on everything under the sun here lately; flies, beads, hardware and I even caught one on spawn myself yesterday. (In a sack that was jokingly put on for me and I rolled with it! Not tossed loosely as chum, illegally, as we are still fully aware of others still doing.) I almost made someone else land it because of the ribbing I’ll get, (And have already gotten! 😄 ) but I have to admit it was just a tiny bit fun going outside of my comfort zone and that fish did fight well…
Those last three methods mentioned (Beads, hardware and spawn.) are clearly “lures” (or just bait) in my mind and therefore I’ve been fishing them as such; only on spinning rods in my boat, but I do get the allure of throwing some on fly rods and don’t judge anyone else for doing it where it’s actually legal to do so as long as they’re not fooling themselves, or others.
Me fooling around with all this should not be quite the shocker that it appears to be with some of my peers, clients and followers, but apparently it is to some and my written word has simply not been very clearly interpreted in the past. My “problem” with some of these methods has never been with the method itself, I’ve used them all plenty in my early years or where it’s pretty much required by another outfit I’m working for, the “problem” has been any of these methods being used where it’s not even legal or, another pet peeve, the army of social media “fly fishing” folks not owning up to what it is they’re actually doing and at times, even playing it off as something else.
Anyway… As most already know, I’ve never been a “purist” of any one method of catching fish, but I do have some personal preferences. All of these methods are always available to my clients (Although I don’t keep spawn on hand, so you’d have to BYOS ;^) and your preferences or willingness to use other methods should be discussed and put in the notes at the time of your booking. I take much more personal pride in certain fish, but my ultimate goal is always smiles in the boat and having folks sign up to do it again afterward regardless of how the caching went! 😎
My next available dates are 11/25 then 11/26 thru 11/30 for anyone interested and we have a guide or guides available on almost any given day now with lots of openings for all of us in what is surely going to be a great December. We have already seen pushes of fall Steelhead enter the system that are more than big enough to keep us busy for the winter and fish continue to enter the system from down low. Get out and enjoy it if you can, it’s a great way to escape the madness of the world today in a fantastic fresh air environment! 👍
Our shop hours have changed to 9am – 5pm daily now and stock is bouncing back after all the shortages we experienced in the fall. Thank you all for your support past, present and future. It’s not easy to hang on right now and we would prefer not to join the growing group of small businesses going under. Support all of your local or favorite small shops if you can. Amazon and the like are doing just fine and they are often times hard to compete with, but they also don’t offer the same services that you can help keep alive with just a phone call or short visit. For motel and guide reservations as well as phone orders dial 231-745-3529
The weather outlook is pretty much perfect after today for a while yet and the river finally has some color as well as some much needed water. A few showers in the forecast should help to continue these better conditions and we are excited to continue the fun of this fall. I probably won’t post here again (Although you can see post from Facebook & Instagram on our home page here.) until after Thanksgiving so if I don’t see you on the river, around the BBT compound or in my boat before then have a happy holiday season everyone.
Be well, be safe, be happy and stay positive! Tight lines all…