John KarakashianJohn Karakashian
I have been fishing my whole life and began fly fishing the rivers of Michigan in the early 1990's. At that time, I was in college at Western Michigan University and made frequent visits to Michigan's Northwest Rivers in search of Steelhead, Salmon and Trout. Over those years, my addiction took root and I began logging more and more days on the rivers. As a result, in 2002, I began guiding on the Pere Marquette & Muskegon and quickly learned that guiding is extremely enjoyable and gratifying. In 2004, I was asked to join the Guide staff at BBT and have thoroughly enjoyed the experiences. Some of my fondest memories have been on the river and I look forward to all the good times yet to come. My fly fishing addiction has taken me to Alaska five times, several trips to the Florida Keyes, Belize, Colorado and Wyoming.

In my opinion, Northwest Michigan holds some of the best year round fly fishing opportunities in the country (migratory Steelhead and Salmon, year round trout fishing and some world renowned hatches). I love working spey rods for steelhead, stripping streamers for trout, dredging deep pools for aggressive kings and most of all dry fly fishing. I like instructing clients on their techniques, as well as learning new tricks from them. The most rewarding aspects of guiding for me is slipping the net under someone's first species (or the fish of a lifetime) and taking in that contagious enthusiasm. I also spend countless hours tying flies for every situation I might face on the rivers.

Please join me for a day on the river and see for yourself how exciting, yet relaxing, the experience can be.

Later & Fish-On!
John Karakashian

Steve Fraley
I've done alot of things in my life, but fishing and hunting have always been my passion. Since the early 90's I've been lucky enough to make my living from the things I love.

In the early 1990's I moved to Baldwin with my wife Karen and my son Brandon to manage a local sport shop. The Pere Marquette has always held a special place in my heart and I felt fortunate to be able to live so near to it and do a little guiding on the side. While I enjoyed my time at the shop there, I found that a change in pace was in order for me at the begining of 1994 and I decided to guide full time and work for another fly shop part 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 I 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 well over a decade 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 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 we are now also hosting trips to places like Argentina, Belize & Alaska with plans to add more as we go...

Tight lines all,