Shop Hours 8am – 6pm Daily

Sorry for the major lapse in reports!  The summer kind of got away from me…between fishing, enjoying the summer and hanging out with friends & family time flew by way too fast.  But, no worries…we will be posting on a normal/regular basis again until winter.  This report is going to cover several different topics, therefore, I am going to break it down to the following subjects.

  1. Current Conditions
  2. Summer transitioning to Fall
  3. Alaska 2023
  4. Fall Opportunities
  5. Steelhead bag limits

Current Conditions

The river is low/clear and running at normal (to below normal) levels.  It was a very DRY spring and summer with many major storms missing the PM watershed.  We could use some rain to get things kicked off.  The shop phone has been ringing off the hook asking about kings…so here’s what I know.  Yes, there are a few kings scattered throughout the system, but NOT enough to consistently target.  The lower river had a couple small pushes and PM lake is holding some fish.  Your best bet is the lower river as new fish begin to trickle into the system.

Trout fishing has been decent with terrestrials and nymphing durning the day.  Mousing has been productive on the darker nights.  I would like to thank everyone that joined us this summer for trout trips.  We still have a couple trout trips on the books, but we’ll soon be switching gears and hitting the lower river for kings.

Help Wanted…..We are looking to expand the BBT crew!  We need some additional “seasonal” help in the shop.  Answering the phone, making reservations, checking out customers, helping customers with merchandise, etc.  Knowledge of the area and fishing experience is preferred, but a great attitude is the most important.  Give us a call or stop by to fill out an application.

It was a fun trout season for sure!!!  It’s not over either….there is still time!

Joe with a dandy brown!!!! Well done amigo!

Thanks again to all of our guests that fished with our guides, stayed at our Motel and shopped at BBT!  We appreciate the business, friendship and making memories together!  We will be on the water a lot more over the next week…scouting and guiding so stay tuned!  After that, we will be out everyday…can’t wait!

Summer Transitioning to Fall

Hard to believe the kids are going back to school, there is pre-season football on TV and kings thinking about coming home.  Our annual trip to Alaska usually marks the end of summer for us…and we just returned home Sunday.  So here we go…time to start scouting the lower river with crankbaits and drifting beads.  Steve, Kam and Jimmy are down there right now, so we will have some first hand info in Steve’s next report.  I have a trout trip tomorrow and then my first salmon trip Friday.  I am looking forward to the next chapter of this year!

My current open guide dates – August 28 – 31 & September 1, 3 & 4…first caller gets the day otherwise, I will be fishing…231-745-3529.  We have other Guides available through the first week of September and then very few openings until Mid-October.  After Mid-October we start focusing on fall steelhead until the weather gets too cold.  We still have dates open for prime fall steelhead fishing, so don’t wait too long to book!  It will be here soon then you think!

Alaska 2023

As I mentioned above, We just returned home from another fantastic week at Alaska’s Naknek River Camp!  A huge THANK YOU to Jim & Phyllis Johnson, the guides and camp staff!!!  Great meals, comfortable cabin and access to the best fishing in the Katmai/Bristol Bay area.  We started going to NRC in 2007 and have not looked for another location.  The camp has grown in size, but more importantly advanced in comfort.  The fishing has always been amazing, but camp has all the amenities and comforts now…full time power, heat,  hot showers, flush toilets in each cabin; big dinning room with Wi-Fi (24/7); large fleet of boats for every available fishing option; fun and knowledgable guide staff and it lives up to their slogan “Big Fish, Small Price”.

Steve and I hosted a solid group for a week.  Thank you to everyone that joined us this year…Good times!!!  We covered the area thoroughly…boating across the lake to creek fish, fishing the main river and doing some remote fly-outs.  Our “BBT Package” is a special rate with a two fly-out price option.  All of our guests selected for fly-outs and loved every second of the week!  Here are just a few pictures off my personal camera, but Steve has many more from the group.

Silver fishing the Naknek with streamers is the best!!!
Beautiful Alaskan sunrise
Creek fishing…char, bears and ‘bows!

Beaver flight to the creek

Lots of bears, sockeye and rainbows!

Sea lice on fresh tidal silvers
Smolt boils right in front of camp!!!
Silver streamer strippin’ team!!!

Those were just a few…check your calendar and join us next year….here are the details:

Our Alaskan dates & rates are set for next year! Please feel free to join us on this fantastic adventure in an awe-inspiring place, Alaska’s Naknek River Camp, August 10th – 17th, 2024

The “BBT Special” will be $4,995.00* per person for a week of fishing in some of the greatest water in Alaska! This rate INCLUDES the “Best of Katmai” Package; two fly outs throughout the week! $4,995 is the standard 2023 weekly rate without fly-outs so this is an incredible BBT exclusive deal!!! (We can also offer a no fly-out package for $3,995.00*, but fly outs are strongly encouraged during these weeks.)

*Rate does not include fishing license, airfare, guide/staff tips or alcohol. We recommend $100.00 cash, per person per day as a good starting point for guide tips as these guys work hard for ya! Any camp/staff extras can be done however you wish just prior to departure and alcohol can be purchased in King Salmon upon your arrival or picked up for you anytime during the week while you’re out fishing!

If you are interested in joining us, please contact the shop at 231-745-3529 for more details on this amazing trip!!!!

Fall Opportunities

We are still aways off from it “officially” being fall, but in my eyes we are only days away.  Once we start scouting and running lower river king trip we don’t let up until sometime in December.  There is lots of preparation that goes on “behind the scenes” to make it all work.  The shop is filling up with all our pre-season orders and more coming in daily.  Fly rods/reels, spinning gear, centerpin set-ups, flies, beads, bait plugs, spinners, nets, waders, clothing and MUCH MORE!!!!  Swing in to check out our great selection specific to our region.  If we don’t have it, ask the shop crew about it and I bet we can track it down for you.

Our guides have been getting ready as well.  Tying flies, painting beads, rigging rods and stocking up on supplies for a quality experience on the river.  We do everything in our control to provide a safe, productive & memorable experience for our clients.  What we can’t control (weather, traffic, fish activity/migration) often effects our trips, but we do our best with each and every situation.  Having knowledge of the entire river system and permitted to operate the entire river system gives us many, many options to “stay on the fish”.

We also encourage practicing catch and release on our wild salmon and steelhead.  It is legal to harvest fish and nothing wrong with utilizing your right to keep fish…but, please only keep what you are going to consume.  Every year we see hens killed for their eggs and toss back in the river or in the woods…with the old saying “their going to die anyways!”.  True statement; but they need to spawn.  Without successfully spawning fish the cycle can’t be completed.  Just some food for thought.

From here on out we will be offering king trips in the lower river.  Casting spinner & crankbaits, plus drifting beads under bobbers will be our primary approach until the middle and upper river fill in with fishable numbers.  At that point, we will offer a mixed bag of spin fishing first thing in the morning and fly fishing the afternoon (when not in the ‘Fly’s Only Section’).  Or whatever technique the customers prefers…we got you covered!

Around Mid-October, we begin our hunt for fall steelhead.  Similar approach…whatever technique the customers prefers, but we will fly fish (indicator, C&D, strip streamers and swing streamers) or spin fly (spinners, plugs and bobbers with beads).  Last October was the best fall steelhead fishing we have ever seen…unbelievable!!!  We only hope it’s half as good this year.  Only time will tell, but the hunt for chrome will be here sooner then you think.  Give us a call to lock in some guide dates and/or lodging…231-745-3529.  We cater to all experience levels!

Steelhead Bag Limits

The Natural Resource Commissioners (NRC) are considering changing the regulations on steelhead bag limits.  There has been discussions at the last two monthly NRC meetings.  The NRC is considering reducing the bag limit to one fish daily limit on inland streams year round.  This would be a huge step in the right direction for protecting our amazing steelhead resource/fishery.  Especially on the Pere Marquette River where we rely 100% on natural reproduction to sustain our runs; each and every fish is valuable.  They are a gift on a cold day, they make an old man smile like a boy, the tug motivates you for “one more cast”, they get you outside when it’s nasty, plus…you never forget your first steelhead (do you remember your first bass or pike?)…and the list goes on and on!  They are an epic sport fish!!!  Each and every one is special, has value and provides an amazing angling opportunities in our inland streams.  Each fish that is released is a gift to the next angler and/or the future generation.

Please let the NRC know what YOU think and why…either way!  All feedback is important and taken into consideration.  Take a few minutes and send the NRC an e-mail ([email protected]) or attend the next meeting on September 14 in Lansing.  Voice your opinion it makes a difference!

Well, sorry for the long report….but I had to make up for some lost time.  Thanks for supporting BBT!!!  We look forward to the Fall season of 2023…see you around the shop or on the river.  Good luck out there!!!




  1. John, this year will be year 30 for myself and my sons and grandson on the PM. The boys grew up on the river. Your shop has always, always been on our list to make sure our vests are well equiped. Thank you and your team for all you do. When you see the Fat Bottom Girl poking along the flats, wave and say Hi.

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