Well, hopefully you all find enough useful, informative or even funny at times new content in my reports to keep you coming back?!? Fact is, as I’ve stated before, much of it feels a little redundant to me with all the social media post that are either actually shown or at least linked on our home page here if you’re not already following. That being said, I’m going to continue to “try” and hold back on a few new photos so there’s at least some fresh visuals for all and I’ll keep the words flowing as best I can… Grab a coffee, settle in and read on! I’ve got stuff to say as usual and don’t want you to miss any of it.

Yea, that’s right, I was typing this and taking screenshots at 4;21am! Click the pic to follow us on Instagram. We’re ramping up our “gram game”!

As long as I’m mentioning the social stuff I might as well plug it just “a bit” here as that is my usual method of “up to the minute” reporting. Don’t forget that we can make it much easier to get our reports and more from here as well however! You can have our latest report emailed directly to you as soon as one is posted from anyone here. No junk, no spam, etc.

My “Tweets” are a very new thing, but I’ve got a feeling I’m gonna have some fun with it! PG 13? Who knows… Click the Pic again.

We have well over 100 people who’ve been using this email feature for quite some time with no complaints, just great reviews. Also, you can easily add an icon to your mobile device’s screen (To mix in with those other apps and what not. ;^) for one click quick and easy access to the latest report as well as all of our other helpful links, articles, etc… CLICK HERE it’s fast and painless!

Least we not forget… It’s useful!

On a local note, before I forget to mention something well worth mentioning, please join me in wishing Anne Avery the best of luck for what I am certain will be a very fun future. Many of you will recognize Anne from the Baldwin Ranger Station that she is now retiring from at the end of the month after 40 plus years of epic, awesome and friendly service!

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say for certain that her smiling face always brightened my day from the front desk there whenever I had business and she will be missed. I like what you said to me about maybe seeing you on the river now Anne and I certainly hope we all do. Wishing you the best in every future endeavor; you are truly a great human being!

We’ve been very busy at the shop double checking our spring orders to fill the blanks in our fly tying, rods, reels, waders, clothing, sunglasses, flies and other accessories  (Where product is available!) and attempting to initiate the new Square for Retail Point of Sale System among other things. If there’s a Square wiz out there reading this contact me, I “think” we’ve probably got it handled, but I’d probably be willing to do some horse trading for some onsite further tutorial also!


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Now on to the report since I’ve also made it out on the river a few times since that last one and it’s been pretty decent until now. This cold snap and arctic weather on the way doesn’t look the best for a bit before it turns back around.

Good thing to have heat in the boat!


On the 27th I did a quick half day afternoon trip with Kevin and had a blast as always. Weather and water were both fairly “normal” for this time of year and we had some success for a few short hours. Kevin tangled with a couple of Steelhead and landed the pretty little hen, but the bigger boy got the better of us by way of a tossed fly. The hex was the ticket of the day and even the little guys seemed to be on it. I gotta thank Kevin again for telling me to jump in there and catch one at a later stop as my first cast produced this beautiful brown that I was glad to see is still around!

The acrobat!
The hex was hot…
Thanks Kev! That was awesome… ;^)

On Saturday the 30th I had the pleasure of taking Eric and Ryan out for the first time on another quick half day trip, they both scored some great first and on the fly no less! Great having you guys and I hope we can do it again soon. Believe it or not, while I do love all my “well trained assassins” that I’ve mentored for many years, I’m also one of those crazies who still derives a whole lot of pleasure from the act of actually teaching and then seeing the results. Fish or no fish its fun to watch the progression of an angler and be a part of that which often times turns into a life altering journey…

A little brown love too.

Sunday was a full day trip with Bob and Derek who was a first time in my boat new to fly angler. It was to be the final voyage of my boat of the past five + years and I have to admit I was a little afraid of what might happen when I discovered a banana in Bob’s bag at the put in, but apparently tossing it out as a sacrificial offering of sorts before raising the anchor up for the trip was enough to appease the gods and we were spared any bad luck or mishaps! ;^)

The farewell pic! She was a great gal…

Long story short, we sent that old boat off to the new owner (and builder actually) in style! Derek had his first, second and third encounters with a wild and crazy PM River Steelhead and by the end of the day I’m convinced he will now set the hook a little sharper/swifter/harder in the future as each of those battles eventually resulted in tossed flies; some quicker than others. Fantastic first time regardless, great presentation early on that got even better and plenty of good reasons to come back!

Look at the perfect little grin on that fish!

Bob was a little slower out of the gate, but made up for it in the second half by putting two Steelhead in the bag for me. The first was a great colored up winter buck with a spectacular smile and the second a drop back spawned out winter hen who wanted some calories after all her hard work! Awesome day guys and it goes without saying I hope to see you in the new boat soon! (But let’s just leave the bananas at home… ;^)

Thanks darling, sorry not sorry to disturb you on your way out…

Two days later on Tuesday evening the switch was made at Stealthcraft and the new boat became a reality. I have to say that it was, surprisingly so, very bitter sweet. I almost feel like my man card should be revoked for a while or something and maybe it should, but maybe those guys just make boats that invoke that kind of depth in feeling also…

I’ve owned a bunch of boats, cars, trucks, bikes etc. and outside of just one particular Harley that had some very real sentimental value attached to because of the friend who died that I “inherited” it from, I’ve never experienced that gut wrenching like I did turning that boat back over to Mike. It was a true five year love affair that is also a testament to the product coming right out of our little town here. Great job guys!!

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Anyway… I took my new younger prettier girl home that night and the pain slowly began to subside as I loaded her up with all the accessories needed for successful days on the water and when I woke up yesterday morning it was almost completely gone as the new feeling more like Christmas came over me to replace it and I was a kid again who was just as excited about the coming float and the new boat as I was about putting my passengers on some fish and seeing those smiles.

If you really know me, you also know that I bleed Red, White and Blue!!

Truth is, and I can tell it now, that the first fish in the first hole on the first stop of the new boats first float was actually on the very first cast!! I think I said something on social media about it being “within the first few cast” which is technically true, but the fact is I just didn’t want anyone talking about the dreaded “first cast curse” on those sites since I knew it was a different kind of case. This time, it was just my new girl telling me I love you and that we’re gonna have more fun together as a couple than anyone should be allowed to ever have in the years to come!

A little chilly at the put in…

Mike bagged that first one, but it was still 6° out and Paul was busy doing some of his own rigging. Mike didn’t want to get his hands wet for obvious reasons so I had him take a pic of it with me holding as a record of the boats first victim. The picture in the net is the actual beautiful purple coloration he had; lighting was not right for the quick hold and release…

Thanks for landing this fish Mike!! Way. To. Start. It. Off!!!

Long story short we wound up breaking the new boat in right or vice versa depending on how you look at it and put five in the bag for the day with only minimal lost. A fantastic first voyage to be sure with some great folks I was thrilled to be out with and I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. The anglers and the craft in this case were both high performance!

Big Miiikeeee! Gettin’ ‘er done man! (Got him to stand in the photo this time… ;^)

We ran an egg/bug combo all day. First fish took a flash hex/fry pattern we sell in the shop and all of the others were fooled by our little black stones. You can never be certain on a lost fish, but near as I can tell not one took an egg this day.

At this point you’ve really made my day man, thank you!!

We’ve had a few mix-up Covid cancellations as well as some other openings in our books, but they are starting to fill with fresh spring run fun approaching just around the corner! The Motel has openings as well so if you’d like to come up, do it in style and not have to worry about much of a thing except having a great time give us a call and check on some dates! I know I’d love to have you and I’m sure all our guys felel the same! 231 745-3529 9am – 5pm every day but Wednesday for now.

Paul pitching in with a nice bright hen…

That’s “just about” all I’ve got or can think of at the moment. I hope you enjoyed the report and I hope you’ve found some value in them over the past 23 years of publishing. I like to think they’ve been of use or provided some entertainment to at least some of you over those years and maybe even played a small part among other things in possibly earning your business. Please stop in and see us if you need anything while you’re in the area, but also keep in mind that we’re always just a phone call or email away from a quick shipment.

So, this really happened. Me: “A couple more cast Paul and we gotta head out.” Paul: “OK” Next cast….. BAM POW ZAM!!!! Great battle ensues that winds up being a perfect finish to a perfect day!!! (PS. I had to ask real nice  to get him to pose with a fish out front, he’s much more of a make it look smaller rather than larger kind of guy, but this is actually pretty accurate…)

Thank you all so very much for all of your business past, present and future. It literally means everything to us because without it we’re not here and the on-line/big box is already trying to remedy that without any other obstacles…

Be safe, be well and be positive my friends – Steve