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It’s been WAY TOO LONG since my last report.  Very busy fall and tough conditions were not motivating me to post.  The fishing picked up and is heading in the right direction as Spring approaches.  We just had a nice bump in water levels and a pleasant streak of weather (for February).  It looks like the normal weather pattern will be returning next week.  Which is a good thing!!!

It was great to get out of the house and back on the river.  However, that weather pattern caused a very tragic event last week.  One of our long time customer/client lost his life while out fishing.  Tom Moran was an avid Steelhead and Trout fly fishermen.  He loved the river, fish and spending time in “God’s Country”.  When he was unable to fish; he enjoyed reading about fishing.  I spend many days with Tom in my boat and always looked forward to spending the day with him.  He fished hard and would “light-up” when there was a fish on his line!  No one really knows what happened?  Tom went wade fishing by himself and never returned.  He was always extremely cautious and respected the force of the river.  Could have been a medical event?  Or he got carried away battling a steelhead?  We will never know…He is at peace and will be greatly missed!!!!  On behalf of everyone at Baldwin Bait & Tackle our thoughts and prays go out to Tom’s family and friends.

Rest In Peace Tom…You will be missed!!!!

This unfortunate event should be a reminder to always respect the river.  Plus, aways let someone know where you are planning on fishing if by yourself.  Not sure if this could have been avoided, but regardless, we can learn from it.  Exercise caution and know your limitations.

It’s been a tough week, but busy hands keep your mind occupied.  I have been busy tying flies for spring and summer…100’s of eggs and nymphs reloading my steelhead boxes; plus, dozens of streamers for the upcoming year.  Me and my fly boxes are ready for the 2024 Fishing seasons.  Plus, the shop is ready too!  We have been finishing up some spring orders and getting new inventory arriving daily…the shelves are stocked up nicely!  We will change our hours in March, so stay tuned.  We are gaining daylight with each passing day which means spring is quickly approaching!  I know I am ready to get back on the river everyday.  I have a few more preparations and I will be all set for the season!!!

If you have not made your spring steelhead fishing plans, don’t wait much longer.  We have some excellent lodging dates still available and even a few guides too….call us 231-745-3529.  My personal open dates are – February 27, 28 & 29   March 1, 2, 6, 7   April 5 & 8.  Those are some prime dates for sure, due to some cancellations.  All our guides have a day or two open here or there from cancellations, but not many.

I have been out fishing a few times with mixed results.  Things will develop and get a little more consistent as we get closer to the season.  With any luck, we will have an epic spring run since our fall run was below average?  We have lost all our snow pack for the most part.  It could be another low water spring?  I hope not!  We are experiencing a full year of low water conditions, which is tough.  Hard to predict what Mother Nature will do?  Maybe if we don’t get more snow, at least it will rain once and a awhile?  Stay tuned…

We will be out scouting and fishing more consistently as March approaches…We will have a lot more information in future reports.  It’s almost game-time and I am ready!!!  We have another year of fishing on the Pere Marquette River to enjoy…spring steelhead, spring streamers, summer trout, fall kings and then fall/winter steelhead…start planning and get your dates booked with us!  Good luck out there!!!

John Karakashian