Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where It All Started

Attempts were made to stock Pacific salmon in the Great Lakes at various times starting in the late 1800's. The present salmon fishery in the Great Lakes started in Michigan's Platte River in 1966 when coho were introduced as a predatory species in hopes of the exploding alewive population. Chinook salmon were introduced a year later and the rest, as they say, is history. Here is a group of fish waiting behind the Platte River weir where some will be collected for eggs and others allowed to pass into the upper river.

Jon Ray of Mangled Fly Media recently did a short video on fly fishing for king salmon in Grand Traverse Bay. Check it out at

Superior Steel

Here is a magnificent Lake Superior steelhead caught by Capt. Leo Wright while on a recent exploration of the Michigan shoreline. This surf cruising chromer smashed a streamer just outside a small rivermouth and put up a memorable, acrobatic battle before being released. All across the Great Lakes, even the smallest tribs will attract fish in the Fall.

Superior Silver

Had a chance to spend a couple days with good friend. Capt. Brad Petzke of Rivers North Fly Fishing in the Marquette, MI, area and sample some of the fall fishing. We fished rivermouth and harbor areas and had a lot of fun with Lake Superior coho. This is just another of the many fly fishing opportunities found throughout the Great Lakes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Variation on a Theme!

Here is a variation of my (not so)famous Meat Wagon streamer that I have been tying and fishing this summer. This version is a bit simpler and quicker to tie, and easier to cast on lighter rods as the sheep hair really reduces in size when wet. The result is less weight and air resistance, making it easier to cast, still great movement and life in the water. Give it a try!

MW II Streamer

Hook: Your choice, #4 - #4/0 (Daiichi 2546 and 2451 are my faves)

Tail/Wing: Icelandic Sheep, mix in Krinkle Mirror Flash (this stuff rocks!). A little bit of bucktail in front on top and bottom of hook (to keep sheep from fouling when cast).

Topping: Olive or black holographic Flashabou

Head: 3-4 wraps of Schlappen with Palmer Chenille in front

Eyes: 3D, glued on

Thursday, September 8, 2011

King Time!

Looks like king salmon are on the feed and Platte Bay is the place to be! Michigan guide, Kelly Neuman, shows a just caught this evening big silver king that hit a Glow Pig streamer. There is a pretty narrow window for getting kings on flies in the lakes and timing is everything for success. When you are on the water almost everyday like Kelly, the odds swing in your favor.

Shallow Water King

Western Michigan is experiencing its best run of salmon in many years. All of the rivers are filling with fish with more on the way. MI guides, Capt. Jon Ray and Russ Maddin took a morning recently to wade and throw flies in Lake Michigan's Platte Bay. Lake kings may be the hardest Great Lakes fish to consistently take on a fly. The change in the weather had kings ready to grab and Russ hooked and landed this solid, silver fish.