Hey guys, crazy week… I promised I’d post tonight so I’m gonna, but it’s been a little hectic around here to say the least! Not long after posting my report from the river on the 7th that storm hit Dennis and I on the river. You can view the somewhat tame beginnings of that on my personal Facebook page (Steven R Fraley) as a live video that I posted, but the heavy stuff actually hit us after my cell service and the feed cut out; it was pretty much like just like what you see here below in the video that Jake took from inside the shop with the doors and windows shut. (Volume up!)
Thank goodness for that silly, albeit strong, Miller High Life patio umbrella I already had up to cook under in the coming “rain”, or we’d have been bruised, battered and beaten from head to toe. As it stands it was all we could do to hang onto the base of it when the worst of it hit us to keep it from blowing away while we waited on the golf ball to softball size hail that had developed to smash thru it. It was a spectacular adrenaline rush for sure…
Once back at the barn I discovered the extent of the damage around the compound. My truck had some dents from the landing I was parked at downriver, but that particular lot didn’t get hit as hard as our compound here did. (Just a matter of less than a mile in many places between utter destruction and almost nothing.) We had broken windows, vehicles that looked like someone went crazy with a ball peen hammer, down trees, down power lines and basic destruction of all kinds all over…
We just had the last inspector here this afternoon from the storm. Every building on BBT’s property and my own property here in-between needs new roofs. Our house needs new siding on both the pole barn and garage, new screens all around, new grill, bird feeder, patio table, chairs, privacy fencing, trees removed that are completely down and some removed that didn’t fall all the way, but are leaning a whole lot with their roots exposed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining or crying over spilt milk here. It could have easily been much worse with injuries, even more destruction and all, but we’ve got a great BBT crew/family that pulled together and made the best of it besides having good insurance that’s paid up to date, there are many others around us that got hit even harder that I feel for…
The next day found Dennis and I back out on the water downstream and fish were pouring thru all day long. I had decided to not flood my feed with shots of Dennis and Kings so fish were released in the “keep ’em wet” style, but I did take a vid of some of the hundreds that were moving by, a picture of another awesome lunch and a trophy hammer handle that he caught! (He, he, he…)
Not the best, but this was a steady stream all day…
On Thursday Steve Troupe of Barski joined Dennis and I for a solid day of arse whoopings. Wish I could say that Dennis and I had our share of them, but we only hooked a few fish between us… I’m not gonna tell you how many Mr. hot hand Troupe had kick his butt because not only would it be very embarrassing for him, you wouldn’t believe me anyway… Here’s a just a few picks from a great day with great friends!
Friday was another great day with great friends! Stuart and Garrick had Dennis join us so we were limited in the area we could comfortably and effectively fish in the far lower river, but even in the heavy traffic we wound up in a pretty good spot with lots of fish and room to get out and wade. Didn’t do quite as well as others moving around a bit more and covering lots more water, but we had our share of battles and great banter!!
I took both Saturday and Sunday (Today) off to continue with my re-integration back to Michigan after my 90 days straight of Alaska, catching up on various things and getting organized, but Stu and Garrick walked in on Saturday and got into them pretty good! Lots of fish hooked and a few fish landed amongst the other weekend warriors in the upper river.
I haven’t had a chance to check the calendar for my next available date(s) just yet, but I believe I’m out pretty much every day but Saturday from here on out till mid-October at the very least and my November dates are already starting to fill in pretty well. Call the shop to check on openings if you’d like to spend a day with me, but between our five full time fall BBT guides and the group of fantastic independents we subcontract to we do still have openings scattered through out and some Motel openings to go along with it.
The shop has been busy, (THANK YOU!!!) but we are still holding our own on inventory for now and lots of cool swag! Please stop in and see us if you get a chance or visit our on-line store where much of the major stuff is listed. (Come winter, when we’ve got more time, we’ll be integrating pretty much the entire shop on-line.)
We did get another passing storm today, but thus far the water is still in great shape and I don’t think we got enough out of this one to mess it up much if at all. Fish are scattered top to bottom with a few blank spots here and there, but you shouldn’t have to look far to find fish in any section. I’ll be sticking to the lower river for those heart stopping hardware strikes for as long as the run and my clients allow it on that quality over quantity program, but we do have guides fishing all sections now and we will keep you up-to-date as best we can.
In closing, I’m a bit sad that I missed out on our 25th year anniversary on the 4th of July this year, but I do want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty and continued support! Without you it simply doesn’t work, we know that and we hope to continue to serve you the best we can while doing our best to protect and preserve this fantastic resource for many more years to come.
Be safe, be well, be kind and tight lines! –Steve