From stoneflies to snow showers…

…and back again by the weekend and into next week.  I can’t remember a spring so filled with mid-river clothing changes.  There were strong stonefly hatches on Tuesday throughout both river systems, and the water levels are falling and clearing.  I expect good bug activity this weekend.  This doesn’t mean rising fish (well, it might in select spots) but it does mean an active food chain, which in turn should mean active trout.  I’d expect the first blue wing olives to show up either this weekend or early next week.  The countdown to dry fly fishing has begun, and in the meantime there has been plenty of opportunity both nymph fishing and streamer fishing.

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I’m not sad to watch winter go, and I’m enjoying the hints of new stuff to do.  The steelhead are in — and have been in — the northern Michigan rivers they spawn in.  The snow pack is gone, and whatever snow returns tomorrow will be both beautiful and short-lived, which is a good combination when it comes to snow and late March.  Jordan, who caught the perfect little rainbow at the top of the report, found this much larger and better traveled specimen yesterday:

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Check out that pink worm!

Our rivers are flowing a bit high, particularly the South Branch.  But unless there is a monsoon, this will not be a year of super floods.  The mainstream and the North Branch are clearing, and should drop despite tomorrow’s crappy weather. We’ve been catching fish on larger streamers, yes.  But as the water warms, wading anglers will do well to switch to smaller flies.  The trout will move out into the open.  Jordan and Denny has been nymphing secondary water as opposed to the same old pools and finding fish in the sorts of bubble lines and drop-offs that one associates with spring feeding lies.  Which makes sense, because it’s spring.  This greatly increases the amount of viable water.  I always think the key to fishing this late March/early April time of year is to come to the river with an open mind.  Bring black stones.  Indicators.  Split shot.  Nymphs.  Streamers.  Maybe a spare spool with sinking line, or a weighted leader.  In the winter, bundled anglers trundle to the river with a set game plan…and this make sense.  You’re either gonna nymph, or streamer fish.  And when it’s twenty degrees, changing rigs more than once is torture.  In the spring, it’s better to keep your options open.

A special thanks to George Daniel for another great streamer class this past weekend.  There were even some trout caught!  George said he’ll be back again next spring, and we’re holding him to it…

We are looking forward to this weekend!  Fly tying, sales, demos, food, two great classes.  For more information as to what we have going on at the lodge, click here or scroll to the bottom.  But here is some NEW news…

  1. We had one spot open up for Alex’s streamer class on Saturday, April 1.  First come, first enrolled.  This is a great class with instruction and a float trip.
  2. Because the Sunday Nymph Class filled up so quickly, Jordan and Denny will be offering a SECOND nymph class beginning at noon: call the shop or send me an email to sign up ([email protected])

Matt and Emily have a menu for the weekend.  Our dining room will be open to everyone.  Doubt you’ll need them, but we take reservations for dinner:

Friday dinner, 6-7:30 pm: Chicken Paprikash with Mixed Green Salad $17

Saturday breakfast, 8 am – 10 am: Breakfast casserole, oatmeal, fruit salad, OJ, lotsa coffee $13

Saturday lunch, 11 am – 2 pm: Beef and Bison chili and all the fixin’s $10

Saturday dinner, 6 pm – 7:30 pm: Tomato Soup or Superfood Salad, Choice of grilled chicken or pork tenderloin, served with creamed cabbage, apples, smashed redskins, and mustard vinaigrette.  Emily’s killer caramel apple cheesecake.  $26

Sunday breakfast, 8 am – 10 am: Continental style, OJ, and lotsa coffee.  $10

Click on this link for a full description of this weekend’s events

Our Spring Catalog, in PDF form…

2017 spring catalog

For a complete list and descriptions of our schools, check out our Events page and Schools and Classes page.  



Previous Fishing Reports


It really is 92 in the shade.  We’re poling riverboats, not flats skiffs, and the trout don’t like the heat any more than any of us do.   The hex is

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