Hello all you wonderful people out there currently viewing the World Wide Web! Sorry I never did get that follow up report posted here on the site before this past weekend, got busy, but if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook (With the occasional Tweet tossed in for good measure.) or at least have visited our home page here to view the pics and partial feeds from those sites since my last report you’ll have seen many of my photos without all of this crazy commentary that I sincerely hope you get at least some enjoyment out of.
First off, a couple of quick announcements… Our shop hours have changed! Starting today we are open from 8am to 6pm 7 days a week. As the season progresses we will likely expand that further, but we’ll keep you posted! Also, a reminder, as of today the new Fishing Licenses are available and your old one, if annual, expires on March 31st. Fishing licenses can be bought on-line here and this is super easy for you and us! The other option we do offer is in our store, but only if need be! (License sales are a convenience we offer to our customers who forgot to get one on-line or whatever, but truth be told we make next to nothing on them and then we lose that in our clerks time.)
Lastly, and this just occurred to me as I was watching an awesome ad from the fine folks over at Shultz Outfitters for their “Anniversary Week” on Instagram (Congratulations on another year of a great shop Mike!) that this is a very special anniversary for us here at BBT this year and as such we should probably celebrate continuously. ;^) On July 4, 2021 we will officially have been open to serve your needs in the area for 25 years!
That’s a quarter of a century for those of you counting and while it’s not always easy to stay afloat in this ever changing world we’re living in we are extremely thankful to all of our loyal customers and walk-in’s alike for these first 25 while remaining optimistic and hopeful for another 25+ to come! Every purchase from a single fly or a bag of swivels all the way to a new pair of waders or a rod and reel helps us to keep the lights on and we hope you’ll keep that in mind while visiting all of our awesome natural resources here or even just with a quick phone call if you’re in need of something we carry. Our pledge to you is that we will continue to work on ways to improve our service and as always, feel free to provide us with your input as well.
On another note, but only because it seems to be at least a minor point of topic among some in “the community” recently; more than a few people have pointed out some real ugliness on the internet to me from a source who shall remain unnamed here and a simple quote I read once immediately comes to mind… “If it seems like you are always having to be the bigger person, maybe you’re just hanging around to many little people…” Our other pledge to you in the days months and all the years to come is to always take the high road because everybody already knows how low some actions and individuals can be without us bringing any further attention to it or them. We’re simply not going to dignify any garbage that gets regurgitated on-line with any kind of response other than “Much love, happiness and peace to you all!” ;^)
OK, the river!! Not “much” has changed on that front since last report other than some anglers I know fishing the mid and lower regions have been running into more and more of the new spring hens and some of those have even made it into the fly water. (We lost a beast of a chrome hen up here yesterday to the wood.) I’m not talking the big spring push of course, but enough of them are trickling in to make it fun for sure. I’ve been “averaging” 4 – 8 solid hookups on Steelhead most recent days fishing just flies, but I know some trustworthy & reliable individuals who have run into some averages better than that running beads, bait hardware and such further down.
The river is currently still low, clear and cold for the most part, but that hasn’t stopped some of the winter fish from spawning early as usual and we’ve been passing right by a few here and there daily. At this point it is my understanding that all sections have been floated and are passable, but I would continue to recommend preparation for any circumstances throughout the spring while floating. Thawing land masses and run off can cause trees to block the river at any given time.
On the subject of floating and since there are so many new people doing it I would like to offer up a few quick suggestions/points of etiquette and I do so without any malice… #1. If you are the rower you are the captain. #2. As the captain please, please, please ask the people in your boat to sit down, stop fishing if they are and keep a low still profile as you are passing by others, especially in tight quarters like the PM. (This is as important in a big hole as anywhere else, especially in these low/clear conditions.) #3. While passing by those others also try your best to let them know you’re coming if they haven’t noticed it and let them know your intention. #4. Your intention “should be” to have your people in the boat sit down and still if they’re not already and then to pass as close to the people (or even behind them where possible) and as far away from the area being fished as you can. Let’s leave it at that for now and thank you for your consideration… (Tune in next time and maybe we’ll talk about ripping anchor to stay ahead when you see another craft approaching or, even worse at times in my book, not letting them know you’re about to leave if you actually are when they pass by… Simply put, communication is key! ;^)
As you’ve already seen here by the photos above Dennis and I got out again for a second day on the 23rd after I posted from the river on the 22nd. We hooked about twice as many as the day before and had a blast doing it. We landed a few and lost just as many after being outmatched in the tight confines of those battle locations! Man I love Steelhead…
On the 26th Dave and Anthony joined me for their first trip on the PM while in town to pick up a Stealthcraft, but I’ve been assured it wont be the last. Not a spectacular bite by any means, but for a half day we pulled it off pretty well and the fish above along with the battle made it all the better… Thanks guys, it was great meeting you and I look forward to having you in the boat again for sure.
Saturday the 27th was a special treat taking my good friends Kevin and Don as “clients” on a beautiful busy day. Not exactly a pressure cooker with these guys however and we stuck to just a few good holes hanging out, actually teaching a few new tricks, eating some great grub, tossing a pop or two back as well as fighting a few fish.
Yesterday I was out with two of my favorite people in this world, my long time friends, clients and very well trained assassins’ Jay and Patrice, (You’ve seen MANY fish pics of them over the years.) but as “luck” would have it, just so you know it can happen to anyone, every one of our Steelhead (More than a couple and less than a dozen is all I’m saying. ;^) that we hooked found a way to freedom…
I’m gonna try to wrap this up now but I’ll leave you with my open dates first and keep in mind that where I’m not open we likely have another of our guides that is or, can locate one for you. (We have some prime dates for the motel yet as well!) As always call the shop to check or double check openings or to book. (8am to 6pm daily! 231 745-3529) I’ve just had a few more cancel so my “new” current open dates thru April 15th are now: March 5, 7, 8, 10, 23 & 28 April 4, 14 & 15.
Be safe, be well and stay positive my friends! – Steve