Spring has in fact sprung a few days so far, but we are still waiting for some days of snowless ground. It has been a longer winter this year, and it was a cold one… All this cold in the water is keeping the trout bite held just a bit, but the avenues of engagement for the golden awesomeness is still broad and consuming thankfully. Egging for browns behind the SPAWNING, not feeding, steelhead has been go for about a week now, with windows improving as the water temps rise. Salmon fry are just starting up, which is also behind thanks to the limited heat to date, but I suspect it will carry well into May this year to enhance our home waters streamer bite well into the hatch season, which at this point really isn’t that far away believe it or not. For myself, I’ve been trying to avoid the “GONG SHOW” of the Flies Only so far and been heading north, west, and even a little east and south of it just to wait for the gravel army to back off a bit. Upper Manistee has been treating us great so far with the big fly approaches, and even up to double digits of butter to hand in a pass. Biggest fish of the spring is still out there, but any fly taking 5-9” of chicken is worth taking a look at. Presentations are a huge piece of the puzzle this time of year in the snowmelt practice; but productive if the faith is kept. Contrary to popular belief, the swim flies do work very well in the colder water, and the patterns can actually be fished slower than jig ones as they will float, or go neutral in buoyancy, so the retrieve is then limited in speed or need to stay off the bottom versus the more nymphed/jigged leaded variations of streamers… Besides, watching a fly come through the water, then something that would start hunting it, is far better than jigging the deep and waiting for a stop to affirm itself as a fish instead of the bottom or wood, which it could as well be, unless the head starts to shake for verification. Planning on staying north allot this spring, just south, and a little bit east when I can to avoid my backyard PM till the smoke of the gravel fire is put out in a month. Big fly streamers is my thing year round these days with the bulk of my cliental, as I can make even the most advanced angler/caster…. BETTER! Stone flies are already on the water, and I’ve seen just a couple get eaten, this likely because the fry balls aren’t fully on step yet. Sulfers this year I’m guessing will be rough with the peak of salmon fry being about the same time, but Grey Drakes should land perfectly to play some of those spring fattened browns in a shopping spree like manner. We still have some killer streamer/egging/nymphing, even Dry Fly dates left this spring, both in April and May before I get really busy for Hex again in June. If you are coming for the Hex Hatch… I have 7 dates left over a month a half! Mouse fishing is a go as soon as the water temp is… Which will likely be around the first or second week of May at this late winter pace… It’s snowed a couple inches while I wrote this today! Kind of fired up for a little extra time north this year, especially for some better overall quality sized fish. Egging will be firing up really well here this week and will last till the first week of May this year, and don’t neglect that summer hopper during the brighter moons phases folks; been getting some great daytime programs in check with a roster of addresses learned like nobody else on this creek via all the year round streamer venues I’m engaging and learning from. I’ll be it a later start to spring, we are hoping for a good one. Looking like an extended streamer window, with early hatches all being pushed back a week or two. Too soon to call the Hex, but I’m starting to like the higher water seasons of dry fly as the fish are safer in those water temps and higher O2 doesn’t leave you nursing them back. Last year I had to cancel a dozen Hex trips via water temps, while local stewards were taking death sentence trout trips with no thought of the fishery! Looking forward to seeing many of you really soon after such a winter of cabin fever, save our February pilgrimage to Arkansas. This is my 27thspring as a Northern Michigan Fly Fishing, Catch & Release Only/Brown Trout & Steelhead, Guide, thanks to you folks… And I wouldn’t trade it for anything! The last decade, with as many of you regulars that have been in the boat for as long, it’s been especially great being a guide, and watching you all come into your own angles in the great understanding of the game. Hat’s off for all the hard work and great progression in your angling skills folks… And thanks for the show!
Report for this winter was COLD, COLD following a very mild and semi productive December we were allowed to push through this fall. Following the 1stof the year, we were put in the ICE BOX for the never-ending winter we are still enduring. Water temps are still cold for this time of year, and though we saw the allot of the ground this past week for the first time, there is still plenty of snow to melt and the frost in the ground hasn’t even started to let go yet! Steelhead run 2018/2019 will go down as a great early start, with semi good numbers holding through Christmas, with an overall very impressive size of fish, and an inability to even engage the back half of due to temps and water conditions. There was allot of 20lb class fish caught in the area this year; including my boats biggest swing fish of all time and over 18lbs! Spring pushes haven’t yet arrived in full force, but they are spring fish, and the best steelhead bite of the year has come and gone all in all. Streamer fishing was OK on the strip, but not great last fall, but still there more than the last. December was the strip month this year, with plenty of potential for the strip game when the angler’s prowess was there, and the post spawn bite with the snow on the ground was fabulous for the browns this December strangely! For steelhead, it was surely the year of the swing… So many big fish taking the swung fly, this was based in part by a couple of things… First was the ice in the guides that came hard in November, which made for tough strip techs, so the swung fly fit conditions much better. Also was the water conditions that stayed low and clear and limited migration of the fish which would keep them in those stripping, and secondary waters where the offense of the strip fly is felt and dealt with more frequently than the big deep pools where they can just avoid, or move around the offense of flash and awe. They were parked on the insides and tails, and occasionally the tops of the runs and pools and could be called out like pigeons about every three or four spots daily on eggs and swung. Egging was incredible early on for the steelhead, but the swung fly was keeping up with it if you had that arrow in your quiver by the middle of November. It’s been two bummer years for the strip so far, this following three great ones… We are due for another fall of strip & rip for the chrome! January & February weren’t really worth talking about much as the engagement was limited via the cold of the vortex, and I was in Arkansas thankfully trashing butter too enth degree. March hasn’t been bad considering the conditions still being very winter like, but most of the guides are already bumping gravels, and the “People’s Army of Gravel Hounds” has officially arrived to sweep that rock, and many of them have new boats; so the traffic is up to 60 boats a day through 7.47 miles of river, with a few hundred walk-ins mixing it up… I’m guessing there are actually more flies in the water at any one time, then steelhead in the same section; where you’re the hero of the day “IF YOU GET WADELS”…. Ahhahhahahh What a Gong Show, and where you won’t find me for at least a month! But that’s spring these days, and its kind of cool when you know right where 60 boats are on any given day here in MI, makes it easy to know where you shouldn’t be! It’ll be over soon enough, this as soon as the steelhead are done spawning and can’t be seen in a few feet of water to be played hockey with… Then we will see the anglers return to the finest piece of trout stream in the state, that gets ram shackled for a few months of the rear, I mean year.
If you are a Holy Man in an unholy land of the fly water right now, there are some killer options if you are looking to better yourself as an angler that are very much in play right now. First and foremost is the stone fly nymphing on TROUT GEAR occurring on the insides of most “eddied” dimmed pools or runs. Located on the interior of the main, you will find grazers of any and all proteins as the water temps rise and the clarity allows hunt with visibility. Floating line with a 45 degree or even a straight up vertical gets it done, SON… Variations of stonefly are limitless, and all to some level find a home. Drop it with some copper, or even caviar… Either way makes the big black, THE BIG MAC! Even though the visual of the stone fly game is prominent and easy by comparison to the summer Olympics with a nymph and drop in X… The head games you can play with the caviar crusaders right now is stellar, even by comparison to the higher visuals allowed in the fall behind the Kings. During the fall months you have to play a huge amount of stealth and game to get the job done to such a scholar of clear water awareness… Such is not the case in the spring months, even with the same band of butters that engaged the salmon a couple seasons before. Instead now, the water is colored up and up, increasing the flow, and limiting the time of critique while the roe and bug travels by faster, naturally. With added flow, and being winter starved from the temps and anchor ice that limits their resolve; the warming water, even if just in the lower 40’s, still instigates bite window for them as the calorie burn needs to be fended off. Feeding bravely, and without reservation right behind, and even within the spawners… BROWNS ARE ON THE BITE! Targeting them without spooking the bait pile values allot of presentation skill, but never bows to the raking of the fish while cleaning up on the VERY aggressive spring biting trout. Again, you can waste your time trying to get those spawning steelhead to eat, but the most likely way to get their attention when bedded, both steelhead and salmon alike, is to have them chase a fleeting, but invading baitfish, higher action fly, that would have them move to you and away from the bed while never actually presenting within that same nest… i.e.. THE DRUNK & DISORDERLY that really owns any would be predator or protector and is prominent is most big fly anglers box in recent years. Drop back steelhead on streamers is the most probable steelhead grab during the spring months, contrary to local sales pitch of drifting whatever BS isn’t being eaten, but instead impaled, or “legally” lined with the same bump fishing/conventional/Chuck & Duck rigs. Drop backs don’t look like much, and don’t fight much better, but they are eating again as soon as they are done spawning and headed back to the big lake. Without being able to forecast the whereabouts of a downstream migrating fish on the retreat, streamers becomes the only viable tech to engage the best spring biting version with a fly. If you are a die hard swing or indicator fisherman still actually looking to get a bite versus a bump in likelihood, just go low in the system, to where there is NO gravel anywhere and while they are still feeding and migrating instead of spawning or pre spawning. They will still be shouldered and bright and willing to bite over the bulk of upper river versions simply looking to spawn and leave as quickly as possible, with limited harassment as it were. Salmon fry hatches, coming off like popcorn, is one of the finest streamer bites in all of the land, this without begging for a fish already in a state of chase. Often mistaken for a dry fly take, the salmon fry hatch bite has the browns looking up like dries, but more in the eddies at the clouds of salmon fry and par that offer easy protein resulting from the naïve newborns. Two minnows on a 5wt and you are in the game… Maybe one if you casting needs work! Also in play are all the bigger patterns as “THE HUNT IS ON” once the fry pop, and the Smoltz drop. Water stained, and critiques limited… BIG FISH will fall more victim to the spring water flows than any other time of the year, even when we see the same fish consider in the fall and early winter. This or you can line steelhead?!?!? Following the gong show of steelhead season, and following any promise of seeing a migratory, the hatches of spring and early summer will consume you. Gray Drakes, Stones, and Sulfurs will start you off… But the Hex Hatch is the finale. With so many other things on step during the spring months, it’s always strange to me that the only time parking is an issue on this river is when there are fish on their beds with almost no intensions of feeding??? It seems apparent that the bulk of the PM traffic to date, is still based on the promise of the Fly Water’s ease in allowing a less than skilled, or even ethical angler, a chance to hold a big fish at only the fisheries expense… Does that sound as wrong to you as it does to me?!?!?! GROW UP AND GET A BITE… If you spent as much time learning the cornerstones of the sport as you did spending money on all the toys that went with it, you would likely never fish spring steelhead on their beds ever again, much less fish any WILD REPRODUCING FISH THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BETTER YOUR FISHING IN YEARS TO COME! Fishing is the compromise of having a fish warm to your presentation, AND THEN TAKE IT! If you are simply impaling fish with pretty flies and lies, it’s more fish mouth hockey than fishing. I know, I did it for years and took money just like all the freshmen and veteran still doing so! Fishing is the better option folks, and I would encourage all of you to do so!
Arkansas UNICORN HUNT 2019 was likely the best fishing we’ve seen yet on that river, since we were allowed to fish as much as we did at night. Faith is now built in my veteran crew, and 2020 is already just about booked with everyone from last year already on board, and a few of our older veterans getting back on step. Suspect there will be a 3rdsession for 2020, as the first two groups are already spoken for with 14 fellow BIG BROWN diehards. Weekend dates will be a go for 2020 as we aren’t putting as much stock on the Streamer savvy browns that aren’t being as suicidal as they were the first 4 years we were going down there; this likely to overfishing of the technique on such a finite piece of water. For myself this past run, 3 fish over 27” was the best I’ve done in total in a couple weeks of fishing down there… EVER; and though we managed a few 24” class fish the few times we went streamer fishing, it was a ton of work without a ton of payoff, with a carnival like atmosphere during the daylight hours. After being able to fish as much as I was allowed on the darkside, without the help of guides or local directions, the darkside approach was enhanced and tweaked to better serve too that watershed. All in all, such a blast as Arkansas always is, or at least should be. My guys got to fish with guides John Holsten, Mike Winkler, Dave Hudson, and even Ted Pitch for the bulk of their stay, and all have been enlightened to the darkside approach and it’s overall potential on such a body; to such a point that it’s not something we consider a fall back approach anymore, so much as a go to. My finest ONE night down there personally was 34 browns, at or over 18”, with two of those 24” or better, inside of 7 hours of angling, this without a motor boat or covering a vast amount of water so much covering water better; which really is butter sorting at it’s finest… My worst night of fishing on the surface, with assorted bigger flies, or any sign of fishing pressure in any engagement was still almost twice as good as all the best streamer reports I was hearing from around the river. To say we got our fun cards punched would be an understatement; and though we didn’t have the best streamer water to fish most of the trip, darkside approaches were seemingly always somewhat in check. Planning a short run down there in September for some Hopper/Mouse fishing, which both are just terrestrials fished at different times of the day. This won’t be as big of a crew as the Unicorn Hunt, as that’s a busy time for me back here in MI, but I’m planning on doing some Spey/Night/Streamer Seminars while there, this and bring my kids to fish Dry Run Creek with Straight Out Of Cotter Guys, who proved too us just how hungry they are as guides buy keeping us in the very best windows of fishing ALL AROUND THE CLOCK, and often even splitting the days trip just to keep my guys in the very best windows. A VERY HUGE THANKS TO JOHN HOLSTEN, MIKE WINKLER, TED PITCH & DAVE HUDSON for the very quality service you guys provided for my crew… That said, there would be almost no changes in our guide line up next year, as they were all ELITE! If you think this is up your alley, and are down with the big fly, give us a call for this upcoming, or even following 2021 dates… As well as this shortened trip this September for the darkside and other terrestrial approaches without all the clothing, which will be a welcome change while angling the White!
Back here at home now, after doing several tying shows, and speaking engagements, and even some expo action… Been guiding more than I would like in the cooler than normal start to spring, and I’m filling some fly orders long overdue, and well paid for, as my price changes haven’t hindered any of my orders coming in too date. Drunk & Disorderly Mini & Standard D is $23 a piece, Full D & Shad Rap D is $25 a piece; smaller, too medium Triple Ds are $27… All Bigger Triples are $29. Am doing some supplement tying this year to get the boys to Disney and I may start doing more as long as the pay is the same as guiding just so I can hang with my boys a bit more these days, as they like tying too. As the wife jumps into her nursing here in a month or so, I’m going to start limiting how many dates I book annually so I can take the boys fishing more and get some more fishing time even for myself as I’ve been rowing a few years now pretty hard and want to be able to do so as long as Jac Ford, but as a full time job. As long as I pace myself, I can row another 27 years really well I’m hoping… Beyond that I should be good and retired with 55 years as a full time fishing guide. It’ll be great to have the second income again so it’s not all on the rowing shoulders, but I would encourage of you regulars that like certain seasons and windows of fishing, to start booking WAY ahead, because when I get to a certain number of trips each month, I’m just going to mark the rest off so and can get the boys and babe out fishing more, which we haven’t done allot in the last 4 years with nursing school and me having to row as much for money. Don’t mistake my intentions here as a fall back and away from fishing, but instead the opposite. I’m planning on going back to my original plan as a guide and that’s to fish as much as I’m guiding, and still have some family time on the water. Many want to just make money from guiding; myself, I enjoy the sport as much as I like to share it with others… And with Andrea going back to work, I’ll be allowed to do just that, plus get some much needed fishing time with the boys and babe as it’s been crazy around here the last few years. Almost giving myself a promotion if you will, with more fun time, instead of grinding weeks on end… Which in turn will keep me fresh and interested each and every trip I’m being paid for, and ensures zero burn out as I keep going. We enjoy the instruction these days, and have so many different speeds based on each person’s individual need day to day. From watching woodpeckers and deer, while keeping religion and politics out of the boat on a nice ride down with some casting and lunch break… Too in your grill instruction on the shortest order to better casting and presentation skills under boot camp learning curves… And everything in between… We aim, and do cater to all fishermen and women these days, as everybody’s need from each day is so very different. That said, it’s so great having built some of the area guides better, but I can still say, there are a dozen of my clients that are better anglers than 99% of the guide pool in this town… THAT’S A GREAT SHOW TO WATCH AS A FISHING GUIDE, so it really is our pleasure making you a better angler, and making you more aware of all these fine angles to the dangle here @ The Fish Whisperer Guide Service. I’ll post some openings just below that you can still grab before I shut down spring… And for all of you still needing a freshen up on THE REAL of spring steelhead season as a whole, and maybe some of the changes that need to be made, I’ve gone on my spring rants below. If your just into the reports, do skip the headache, but if you are still under the cape of disillusion of the spring steelhead happening, and what is actually going on out there, I would encourage you to page below and check out these find points on a hot stick. Awareness and acknowledgement are the only things we have going for us, but soon there will be allot of people, or should I say anglers, looking to improve the fishery for everyone, and not just those looking for less sport, but instead more hero shots. And again thanks folks for evolving with me here in Upper MI and away from some of the older practices. As I’m sure you can agree, it’s not always about catching fish when fly-fishing; it has become the how of it. Difference between anglers and fisherman is fairly evident… One needs fish, and as many to hand to make the day a success, where the angler betters himself so to gain more sport from each encounter for more meaning, skill improvement, and journey. If we are out there for the sport of it, you will never find more sport in between you and a fish than you will when angling a fly for A TAKE. Fly-fishing was never supposed to be easier or more productive, and though it may be the worst way to catch fish, it can still be the best way to do so!
Steelhead run is what it is this time of year… And its seems very sad to me that the finest piece of trout water in the state, is raped biannually by a bunch of split shot heathens looking to play mouth hockey with a wild reproducing stock of PM Steelhead or Salmon for their hero shot at the fisheries expense; that said, there are those looking for clean biters down deep up there in the carnival, and across the system where newer fish are in fact entering the system for the annual spring push of spawning… This unlike the fall biters we have come to favor. Though the spring fish are a shortened window of engagement versus the fall/winter stocks that stay in play, and deep in the pools, and feeding for some time… They still feed for several days on their way up, and especially on their way back. Drop Back Steelhead on streamers is arguably your most likely window of strip potential on our migratory fish… And though it’s a flat tire version of its lake like self, it still bites; which is more than most of those rip trips can offer while they peel shot and hooks across bedded fish that are trying to make more steelhead, and tell you those fish are biting… WHICH IS A LIE! Good friend and SENIOR GUIDE, and all our veteran Canobie of the water, WALT GRAU agreed that The Fly Water is WAAAAAAAY overdue for a regulation change, so to cope with the army of googans that simply show up to fin snatch anything that gets in the way during the months of March, April, September, and October, and they know who they are! Petition is already started to change regulations in the “Flies Only Section”, to a “FLY FISHING ONLY SECTION” to limit the pressures on those same spawning fish that are harassed all daylight hours, spread traffic downriver, and allow trout fisherman to engage the finest piece of water that was approachable years back during this same time, but steelhead traffic has since swelled to a point of “REAL” anglers having to look elsewhere to get a bite since so many personal boats and walk’-ins, that really have no interest in fishing anything but bedded steelhead or salmon, have choked off those options for fly fisherman actually looking for a bite. When ethical anglers looking for a bite are coming second to an army of low ethics and bad form under a clouded bait and switch guide community… Something is WAY OFF! Middle and lower sections of the PM are always great corridors to engage the migratory fish, but most are ignored because the bedded fish can’t be seen or waded too as easy to line and snag… Which is to say that if you would prefer a non tapered line approach, there is plenty of water left for those that still like fishing to bedded fish THAT AREN”T EATING… Down River! That is also to say that you CAN fish to bedded fish in the “FLY FISHING ONLY SECTION”, but you would have to learn how to use a tapered fly line, and then an actual fly fishing cast when presenting the fly… Something Zimmy was pushing for from the word go, back when!!! Regulation would move all those fishing spinning gear with hooks and lead, which yes, does include all the “CHUCK & DUCK” fishermen, as let’s face it, there is no fly fishing when doing so. So many birds could be accomplished with this one stone… First and foremost, you would spread the traffic, which has increased by 30 fold the last decade, on a river and resource that hasn’t changed one bit, and if anything has depleted some what. Second, you would allow those REAL anglers, looking for trout biting behind spawning fish, nymphing the runs, and finally just enough water to run a streamer trip during these peak months, (which really hasn’t been a viable option for upwards of about 5 years now with as many wade fisherman that are now in there playing hockey); an authentic shot at some incredible Midwestern trout fishing that has since otherwise been ignored because of it’s limited potential water with so much of the rivers pressure all descending on that shortened beat. Third, and arguably the most important resolve that would come with the regulation change is an awareness many MI anglers are not savvy too as we have been sold the fibs of spring bedded steelhead biting… Truth is THEY AREN”T BITING, THEY ARE SPAWNING… They feed the better part of their lives so they don’t have to for a week while they procreate! Too many guides are still telling people those fish are biting flies that are swept by at high water speeds, and then impaling fish in the mouth and/or sides in just a couple feet of water while they are clustered together getting laid, and whatever else offers a “fishy” bump. “Cast Without A Hook-Set Is A Wasted Cast” they are told… They are lying to simply keep themselves in business as most wouldn’t make it through the year without the cushion of snagging fish 4 months of year, which have simply made the run up river to spawn and leave or die. It would be one thing if these same guides were spreading the truth while that had you doing something they might likely kick your ass for on the west coast, but they aren’t… They are selling a bait and switch idea of the fishery, and they are perfectly aware the fish aren’t biting, but then selling you on the idea that they are; which you as a beginner or novice may not yet see the difference between, but as an accomplished tapered line caster or angler, would notice quickly and then be appalled by. Our fisheries and fishermen are so much further ahead than years passed, and the number of those looking for a bite these days in MI, over the ones that could care less so long as they get their picture, are much larger than ever and this is the platform we need to jump from on this issue. As it stands right now, I have 10x the respect for a fellow fishing spawn to bedded steelhead, or a plugger fishing with 6 hooks on a bait, and then killing it for more bait, and some fine MI table-fair, THAT GOT A BITE; then I do for the guy dressed to the nines in all this high end fly fishing gear, even sporting the boats being held together by their fish stickers, out there yelling at his buddy across the field, of other would be hero’s ripping & stressing our wild returns of steelhead in ankle deep water, “IS HE IN THE MOUTH?!?!?!”, referring to the fish being chased down stream with the tail noticeably out of the water, and the fish being dragged and drown backwards up the river… Only to be scooped up anyways and photographed as if the angler had climbed some big mountain of accomplishment, when in fact he didn’t… He never even got a bite, (no matter how much money he spent before he showed up), He never made a fly fishing cast, (which he tells many in his circle he is proficient at), nor did he learn the primary reasons why we fly fish… It was never to catch a bunch, or catch them in an easy, unsporting way, nor was it the picture which so many seemingly need to validate themselves, (and I’m guilty of too), with each and every fish that finds the net, NO MATTER HOW IT GOT THERE… FLY FISHING is a way to add more sport to each and every happening, as we only cater to one sense when we cast our offering, not all FOUR as we would do if we were bait fishing. If catching fish at any cost with a fly is still up your alley… There will still be plenty of PM to engage with these less than ethical strategies, but one day, what you won’t be able to do is simply trash the finest piece of trout water in the state by hanging mono in each tree like tinsel off a Christmas tree, wear down the banks with your lunch/beer parties while calling yourself a steward of the watershed, nor will you be able to abuse such a treasure as a fishery that boasts one of the finest returns of wild steelhead anywhere in the lower 48 by any means necessary and still call yourself an angler… You will have to move downstream with the rest of the “TERMINAL TACKLE TECHS”; but again, my respect is more with those looking for a bite by any means via a spawn bag or lure… Versus “THE FLY SNAGGER” who never got a bite and spent 10x the money in not getting one, just to get that picture and be a hero at the fisheries expense.
Sorry for that folks, but my only means of engagement without any laws in place, or even shops that are looking forward to push better practice, (save Schultz Outfitters), is to take the pay cut and afford all of you some truth for free. Selling lies for the price of guides and flies is the standard issue, and I’ve made no friends in my stance against these practices, which I once participated in when the client pool was a mud puddle and nobody would say anything against something we all knew was, and is, quite a bite off in so many ways. Every Spring & Fall I’ll leave my two cents to all those that still take money doing the nasty and told me I would go out of business if I didn’t snag steelhead and salmon several months of the year. Happy to say, this is my 12th year off the “SNAGGING/LINING NIPPLE”, and I run more trips than I need, yet never as many as I would like, but I am still waaaay in business and I don’t need two showers a day to do my job and all my clients leave better fly fishermen and women each and every visit, which you cannot say. You’re not setting a good example for this fishery, nor are you taking people fly fishing when you hand them a “CHUCK & DORK” set up… You are simply dumbing down something these people paid good money to not only learn the techniques you never teach, but then also leading them astray by showing them this tech, you yourself don’t even fish or believe in, but as long as the rebooking is there, and the tip is big, who cares if they booked a quality fly fishing experience and got anything but! Shame on you all for not setting better examples as this state grows in anglers and overall skills of each that would otherwise be wowed by the other fisheries at hand and that could be in fact FLY FISHED TOO, if you were so inclined to get off the nipple. Scotch & Cigars can’t mask the tragedy enough, and I’ll just giggle a little to myself each and every time I see a hero of the gravel, in his belief in Easter Bunnies and biting bedded fish.