Steve Fraley

Steve Fraley

I’ve done a whole lot of things in my life, but fishing and hunting have always been a passion and since the early 90’s I’ve been lucky enough to make my living and get by from the things I love…

In the spring of 1992 I moved to Baldwin with my wife Karen and my son Brandon to work at and manage a local sport shop for my aunt. The Pere Marquette holds a special place in my heart and I felt fortunate to be able to live so near to it and do a little guiding just on the side at the time.

While I enjoyed my job at the shop there, I found that a change in pace was in order for me at the beginning of 1994 and I decided to start guiding full time while working part time for our other family owned fly shop at that time.

It was a great move! After a year and a half of nothing but guiding, selling fly gear and working a few fly schools, I took a job in Alaska guiding on the Alagnak River for the summer of 1995.

I enjoyed Alaska tremendously and was all set to spend my future summers there, but I returned that fall to one of the best runs of Salmon that we had seen in a long time and… A couple of friends that thought we should open our own shop in Baldwin and do things our own way. It didn’t take much convincing.

I continued guiding full time and worked very hard in my spare time with Bob Fisher & John Tulloch (My original BBT partners) putting together the deal for Baldwin Bait & Tackle Inc. Then, against considerable odds, we managed to open our doors on July 4th of 1996, Independence day.

It’s been over two decades now since those early days of “BBT” and while much has changed around here, my mind has not about the lifestyle and I wouln’t trade any of it for the world.

At this point I’ve been guiding since spring of 1992, full time since 1994 and I enjoy it now even more so than I did when I first started. Perhaps that’s because we become better at what we do the longer we do it, but I prefer to think that I’ve just become even more fond of the smiles my job brings to other peoples faces!

In addition to guiding Northwest Michigan streams I’ve been guiding again in Alaska for the same cousins that used to own that shop here in the summer for fun and we are also hosting trips to this camp in Alaska as well as places like Argentina & Belize with plans to possibly add more destinations as we go…

Tight lines all,
Steve