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Steve Fraley, BBT
Co-owner & Guide

March 25, 2015

Man, wish I felt more like typing as I do have a rant or two over some recent conversations and controversy, but I’m not sure I’ve got the ‘ole rant in me. Let me put it this way, just go fishing and have some fun. Nobody out there has reinvented the wheel. I don’t think beads have any place in the fly water as a fish attractant be it over a fly or hook and I don’t think chum should have a place anywhere in fishing outside of the ocean, but that just my personal opinion and just like something else, everyone has one… I won’t hold yours against you if you don’t hold mine against me.

On his way back to find a mate!

In twenty three years of running this river on a much more than regular basis I still haven’t seen anything really new regardless of whether you think you invented something or not, what I’m seeing is just some variation or variations on something that’s already been done and just because it’s “your way” that doesn’t make it the right way. If it’s legal, it’s “right” and everyone should really stop worrying about the other guy, just do your thing and have some fun!

We’re going to need a bigger stone!

On another note, I was recently asked by a friend if I had “called him into the feds” for supposedly breaking some rules because apparently someone decided to tell him I had. The answer is, and remains, no. First off, I didn’t think he was, but secondly, I don’t really care! I gave up on trying to be a river cop a little while back when I figured out it didn’t matter anyway.

Been seeing lots of Mink running the banks and Turkeys courting.

As near as I can tell, probably due to a limited budget, there’s just about zero enforcement from the feds or DNR when it comes to guiding issues and basically it doesn’t really matter to me anymore. If by some strange chance I’m ever checked I’ll have all my ducks in a row as I always have, but I could care less at this point about what anyone else is doing. Personally I think they should do away with all the permits, paperwork and fees and just let those who want to guide have at it. There’s a limited client base out there and if you’re any good you’ll get lots of repeats and make a living at it and if you’re not, you’ll fade away…

The face of happiness!

Now, on to a much more important subject, the run! I’ve been on the river every day except one since the 5th and I’d say it’s going pretty good and steady. There’s been a few tough days out of the past 20, but that’s just fishing, or, the luck of the draw. Overall we’ve had plenty of opportunities each day with more than ample fish around and more showing each day. I’m kinda digging this pace as it looks like a good long steady streak to come…

Had a blast with the “Winkle Group” as always on the 19th, 20th and 21st!

The water up high is basically at a normal level with a nice tea stain. We did get a little rain last night/this morning, but I didn’t see it doing much in the way of raising the river just yet and I don’t expect it to. There are a few fish on gravel here and there now with a few of the normal “hot spots” holding more, but it seems like the fish in the “hot spots” are actually less likely to bite than the scattered ones with less pressure.

Good times again with Cedric and Jerry as usual!

I’ve been picking a few off the gravel or pockets around it by giving it the ‘ole 10 cast along the way, but if they don’t go for it right away they probably aren’t going to very soon and we move on. Our best fish continue to be of the pre-spawn variety and are coming from the deeper runs and pools. Grid it out, change flies and do it again! Most of the good holding spots are holding, you just need to find the right fly, get it in the right drift and be there at the right time as I always say…

Had Dustin and his Dad Dave for what I hope to be the first of many outings on the 23rd. Great having and meeting you guys!

Yesterday was one of those tough days I spoke of and most of the morning crew didn’t do much with the sudden drop in water temperature, but it sounds like the later shift got it done fairly well. We wound up getting into a couple of hot fish in the bottom of the ninth, but they won the day and we picked up a sucker and a nice rainbow at the last stop as a consolation prize.

Get him on the reel Dell! ;^)

Fortunately Dick and Dell were out again today with another guide and when I passed them they were doing well as were we… One day with a much warmer night made all the difference and it appeared that everyone was having some fun today!

Didn’t get a lot of photo opportunities today with Ron and Russ, but we had more than our fair share of the rides! Looking forward to next year guys.

It’s getting late now and I need my sleep so I’ll close for now, but I’ve got some fun folks on the agenda and I’m looking forward to my days with them and maybe seeing some of you! The shop is now open 8am to 6pm daily, I am booked up thru the 30th of April, but we do still have a guide and motel rooms available during the season. Give us a call to check on dates! 1-231-745-3529

Don’t forget to stop in Barski’s for some off the hook chow and say hi to my buddy Steve for me!

Tight lines all!

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Other reports by Steve
March 23, 2015 03/23/2015
March 19, 2015 03/19/2015
March 11, 2015 03/11/2015 Update!
March 8, 2015 Yea Man!