More reports
from BBT

We highly recommend you check out these sites as well:
For Manistee River Reports

Steve Fraley, BBT
Co-owner & Guide

New Update
April 16, 2014

Well folks, it’s still a deep subject, but not as deep as it has been and I am hopeful, but not certain yet, that the weekend may be salvaged… I will put another update with a better prediction tomorrow morning, but hey, “if” it turns out it is safe to come up, please stop by the shop, say hi and maybe pick up a thing or two you’ve been wanting or needing! It’s been no fun at all on the business during what should be peak season telling folks to stay away from our store and cancel their motel and guide reservations…

While the Gauge at Scottville is just starting to possibly get near peak at around 4900, we are already seeing the water drop up here.

The peak of it at both M-37 and Green Cottage was in yesterday’s update, we are down a full foot from yesterday’s peak in the shot above at 37 and a full 7 inches here at Green! That’s progress in right direction!

Got to go! The clientsI canceled for today came up to hang out anyway so we’re going to do some looking and then help John with a home project…

Report from 04/15/2014 below.

Hey guys, I want to preface this morning’s report with a few quick words of clarification…

Back in 2005 after having missed the first half of the season with my mom’s passing I came back, guided a few days and then agreed to take a client/friend down the river in water that was not quite as high as yesterday, but close! That irresponsible and stupid decision of my own ultimately cost me a ruptured ACL and the rest of my season along with a life time of knee trouble! Fortunately, we are still alive today, but I could easily see how any number of events could have happen that would have prevented that as well…

M-37 at 5:30 last night…

In short, when I typed my report below early yesterday morning, well before I’d heard of any incidents, I knew that at least some of the guys around here had made the decision to go for it on the river, but my comments; “there's "I love me some high water!", because I do, and then there's just being plain ole’ irresponsible and stupid...” were not directed at any of those individuals, but rather my own feelings about my own decision to not go having had that experience…

My kitchen window view this morning…

Do I think it was a bad decision for others to have gone? Yes, I’d be lying thru my teeth (Or, my keyboard in this case.) to say I didn’t or don’t, but it was not my intention call anyone out for doing so. These folks are all my friends/colleagues and it is entirely up to them to make their own decisions based on their own gut and experiences. (And, to a much smaller extent, the client. It’s not like you don’t see what you’re launching in!)

This morning at 8am, up a little more, but the flood plains are taking the bulk of it.

As it turns out there was an incident. I won’t go into details on it since I do not have any firsthand knowledge of it and it is not my place, but from the sounds of it, we are very lucky to have a few folks around today and I’ll leave it at that. The scenarios of things that can or could go wrong in these conditions, even outside of human involvement, are endless with all kinds of debris racing down the river so please, please, please everyone, do not take the chance!

Caught up with Johnny checking the river this morning. (He bailed on the five boat gig with us yesterday.)

My “gut” tells me we may well be in a safe high water conditions by Friday for boat traffic up high and even possibly some areas safe to wade by Saturday in the upper reaches, but don’t trust my gut on this just yet. We will continue to update the site once or twice daily and will make that call when it’s appropriate…

Jake and I went to look at an old friends boat yesterday and visit Taz on the property that Karen and I lived on for about five years and were lucky enough to get there in time to save my friends furniture before the water came up any more!

The point.

After that we did a little raking around Taz’s resting place and saw that the flowers are starting to come up! Does look like I need to go back and do some sanding and painting on the sitting bench overlooking the river however and a little more landscaping work…

I think that Tess picked up on a little sadness, but in truth, Taz had and still has it made! Man I loved that dog...

That’s all I have for now, will keep you posted, please be safe…

Report from 04/14/2014 below.

Well… (Deep subject, just like the river!) As I already stated on Facebook and our forum, there's "I love me some high water!", because I do, and then there's just being plain ole’ irresponsible and stupid... I like to think that I am neither of those two and the river is at that level! The possibility of a real calamity and serious harm to myself or others demanded we cancel today tomorrow and Wednesday for sure and at least.

M-37 boat launch area at 8:30 am.

We will be contacting the folks for Thursday and beyond as we watch the river’s progress. It is not expected to “peak” until sometime “possibly” on Wednesday, but the “peak” is judged by the gauge down in Scottville where it is often times still showing a rise while the fly water has already dropped significantly…

8:30ish AM at Green Cottage!

Folks, this is serious! It doesn’t matter how much of an expert you are on the oars right now, the real danger lies in the trees and other debris flying down the river. A good sized tumbling root wad catching the back or side of your boat will sink it and do so quickly. (This is NOT the kind of water you want to test your in wader swimming skills against.)

There will be houses flooded along the river and we could see propane tanks taking out everything in their path as a few did in the ’86 flood, a big enough log could crush you and your boat into trees that are part of the river right now, etc, etc, etc… Far too many scenarios to go over them all, just suffice it to say that only a fool goes now and only a lucky fool makes it with no incidents.

I could not wade to the edge of the normal launch/retrieve area at Gleason’s and the river is still rising!

Across the way…

We will update the various pages at least daily if not more until the conditions become favorable again in the upper reaches. Trust me, the last thing we “want” to do is tell you to stay home and lose out on our guide trips, motel rooms and store sales, but we’d rather do that than have anyone get hurt over a fish! (Besides, we pride ourselves on honest reports as we always have, hopefully you all appreciate that!)

Don’t have much of a report beyond that, but have had some serious fun over the past four days out since last report. Had Ron and Russ out on the 9th and we had some great fishing, but only landed some battle scared warriors while losing some hot Chrome!!

A few from the day…

Had the 10th blocked off and took care of some business besides just relaxing. Actually got my truck back from the mechanic and dropped it off for body work, that’s progress!

On the 11th I had the father and son team of Jim and James with it being James’s first go around. Put a few fat trout to hand and did battle with LOTS of Steelhead, but the net was eluded for one reason or another on each and every one with a few true heartbreakers in the mix. I told James he must have his father’s curse as it took him a while to bag the first one, but it gets easier after that! Looking forward to spending the day with you guys again next year!

A fat brown…

On the 12th I had the Father and son team of Pete and Paul for their first ever outing for Steelhead. Traffic was heavy even for a Saturday so we only managed to fish a couple of spots, but the action was great. Lost fish all morning due mostly to the learning curve and some plain ole’ bad luck then landed a couple after lunch and called it a day when we heard the storms rolling in! Rains started seriously just as we got the boat on the trailer and we decided we’d had a great day. Looking forward to next year guys!

The pools are (were) holding both drop backs and fresh fish, these girls were hungry after all that work!

When the rains came they really came and yesterday morning found our five boat group trip launching in water that was already cresting the banks in a few places and chocolate milk in color, but still quite safe and fishable. Used lots of lead and fished gravel blind with very large glow bugs with MUCH success and takes that would almost rip the rod from your hand.

First fish of the day.

I could not begin to tell you how many fish Chris hooked with me or, how many the others hooked, but I can tell you that the extra current made for some heartbreaking battles. As far as I know everyone brought a few to hand and had a blast with the others…

Chris with a couple…

The trout were fat and happy.

We were supposed to have the same five boat group today, but after looking at the river this morning we made the wise choice of postponing till next year and I’m sure we’ll have fun again! Thanks guys, it was a blast…

That’s all I’ve got for now, look for updates coming regularly till the water drops. Be safe!!!!!

Announcements/Destination Travel Info-

Argentina 2015

The dates are early January to be announced... Treat yourself to a trip of a lifetime! The package price per person based on double occupancy is US $3,450.00 and includes:
• Six full days guided fishing (with expert, local bilingual (Spanish-English) fly-fishing guide)
• All your lodging, meals and beverages (including beer & wine with meals).
• Transportation to and from the Airport in Bariloche

BBT In Argentina 2014

Alaska 2014

The week of August 9 to 16 is now closed for Alaska, but we still have openings on August 2 to 9 where we are offing a new special as well as July 19 – 26 or July 26 to August 2 where I would not only be your “host” but also one of your guides! We will remain at $2,295.00 for the week (Regular non BBT is 2,695.00 this year.) or, wait for it… $2,695.00 for the week WITH TWO FLY OUTS!! Can’t beat that!! (Anglers we already have booked for August 9 to 16 may switch to one of the other three weeks to take advantage of the fly out special and anglers already booked August 2 – 9 may upgrade) If you are interested in joining us, please contact John, myself or the shop for details. It is an amazing trip!!!!

Also, please check out our new Baldwin Bait and Tackle Facebook page.

Baldwin Bait & Tackle

Promote Your Page Too

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

Other reports by Steve
April 14, 2014 WARNING!!
April 9, 2014 04/09/2014
April 8, 2014 04/08/2014
March 31, 2014 03/31/2014