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Man Ticketed for Indecent Exposure on Popular Michigan River

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Baldwin, MI – Northern Michigan resident Ryan Zeller has been known by his angling peers to employ creative means of warding other would be fisherman away from his secret fishing spots in the past.  However, this winter his antics landed him in hot water with the local authorities and made a lasting impression on passing anglers.

Originally bantered about with his fishing partners over a night of consuming large amounts of Fireball and Boone’s Farm watching Babe Winkleman reruns in his basement, little did the others in the group know that Ryan would follow through on a devious plan that everyone wrote off as a joke.  Friend Paul Sullivan, said with a still stunned expression plastered across his face, “you can’t do anything anymore without someone being offended, I guess this was just going to far.”

Tired of being encroached upon by other anglers, either letting their centerpin rigs drift through his run from 3 bends above or being “low-holed” by anglers seeking prime real estate on the Pere Marquette River, Ryan waited for the right opportunity to hatch his master plan to ward off intruders.  With as many as 15 other anglers within Ryan’s line of site he casually pulled his buff down from under his nose, proudly displaying a hideous Fu Manchu facial hair configuration.  All reports indicate that Ryan’s attempt at Hulk Hogan’ing people away from him drew a raucous laugh from the growing crowd.

But Zeller didn’t stop there.  Like a scorned exotic dancer working at a backwoods gentleman’s club, he began tearing off every shred of clothing that adorned his torso, tossing the warming layers far onto the river bank.  Zeller’s rage stripping concluded when he clumsily slid out of his neoprene waders revealing pair of pasty white legs and a pink banana hammock that appeared to be filled with a zucchini from last years garden.

Hearing the commotion from 2 bends above, MDNR agent Phil McCracken who was out investigating a Sasquatch sighting, had made his way down the bank just in time to see Ryan turn to the crowds and angrily gesture towards his man parts in a last ditch desperate attempt to scare them off.  McCraken stated “I thought I was going to have to draw my gun, it appeared he had a sawed off shotgun in his speedo.”

McCraken issued Ryan a citation for indecent exposure and instructed him to dress and return to his vehicle.

Truck Driver and Fly Fishing Fashion Collide

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The industry segment of the fashion world that serves up design and marketing to long haul truckers is considering a change in focus as a result of apparel trends in the fly fishing community.  Industry spokespeople claim that fly fisherman are more and more emulating the traditional “trucker” look with their style.  “Trucker” style mesh/foam hats, plaid shirts, puffy vests, comfortable pants and slip on shoes are all common sights at both local fly shops and trucker stops these days.  As such, the textile industry is shifting focus to marketing products to the fishing industry.

However, this merger of styles has been causing some confusion in several social circles as the two groups are often mistaking each other for peers.  A long haul trucker based out of the Grand Rapids area was recently quoted saying:

“I was at a gas station last week, saw a guy over at the instant latte machine who I assumed was a fellow trucker based on his appearance.  Had the mesh back hat, fancy vest for holding sunglasses and road snacks, comfy pants and the all important crocs.  But when I asked the fella what kind of rig he was running, he rambled on about a custom scandi butter stick rocking a hella aggressive front taper and mow leaders’.  I figured he worked for some European trucking outfit until I saw him walk out and get in an early 2000s Toyota Tacoma with more stickers on it than should be legal.  It was at that point I realized he was a into that whippity whip fly fishing and NOT a trucker.  So confusing….”

Petitions by truck driver unions for a ban on companies producing fly fishing clothing that mimics their uniforms has thus far been ineffective but they vow to keep on fighting to protect their image.  In the meantime, fly fisherpeople continue to take to the rivers looking exactly like truck drivers.

 

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TUESDAY BANANAS UPDATE

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Tuesday Bananas is moving to Friday this week for a BANANARAMA SPECIAL.  To hold you over here is a video of Sesame Street Performing the Warren G & Nate Dogg Classic “REGULATORS”

MARCH Video Recap

Here’s a quick edit recapping Michiganfly’s March (watch in 720 or 1080p for best experience):

Springing Into Action, Pre­Spawn Smallmouth Bass on the Fly

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Today’s feature is from Kory Boozer, SW Michigan and Smallmouth guide extraordinaire.  CLICK HERE to see more info about Kory and how to book a trip to elevate your Smallmouth game.

When fly fisherman think of Smallmouth Bass in Michigan, they think of hot Summer days spent tossing poppers at the rivers edge and while this is a great time of year to pursue Smallmouth Bass, it is far from the only time of year fly fisherman can enjoy chasing these river assassins.

While many anglers are still chasing Steelhead or Brown Trout on Michigan’s Rivers, Smallies begin to put on one of the biggest feeding binges of the year, typically once the water temps reach the mid to upper 40’s is when you will begin noticing a sharp increase in activity. They have yet to vacate their Winter holding lies and are still congregated in large groups which means if you find them you can typically catch a bunch of them. Look for fish to hold in deeper water in slack water areas, such as natural wing dams, sharp drop offs in the river bottom, eddies, etc… Any area that provides baitfish, slack current and deeper  water with access to spawning habitat nearby while retaining access to food is the ticket.

The results of properly matching the fly to the most abundant forage.

The results of properly matching the fly to the most abundant forage.

As far as gear goes, this isn’t time to fish floating lines and light weight rods, I recommend Scientific Anglers Sonar lines in the 250-350 grain range depending on the rod you are using. Some days you simply need to get down deep and I will throw a 9 wt and 350 grain line. As the water warms fishing deeper water becomes less and less of a necessity though and for the most part 7 and 8 wt rods are all you need. When you fish weightless flies as I do a heavier line is necessary to get them down, lucky for us a good sized Smallie will fold a 7, 8 or even a 9 wt to the cork. You do not want to fish large streamers, even if you are targeting big fish, streamers roughly 3″ – 4″ in length are ideal to properly match the forage at that time of year. Fish them slow with short and fast strips to provoke reaction bites, some times very slowly swinging through an area with minimal action is ideal, others they want more action, this can vary by the hour so something you want to continuously play with to maximize your effectiveness.

Releasing a chunky pre-spawn Smallmouth Bass.

Releasing a chunky pre-spawn Smallmouth Bass.

Fly choices are dictated by the most available forage where you are fishing. For example if Chubs, Suckers or Gobies are the dominate food source where you are fishing, you want to match the colors, size and flash these bait fish give off as closely as possible. If young Trout & Salmon or Shad are the most abundant food source in the area, then that is the type of forage you want to mimic. A flies effectiveness for Smallmouth Bass is measured by how much motion they provide without movement, how closely the color and flash matches the natural forage and how fast and cheap I can tie the fly in my opinion. I want a fly that swims without being stripped, matches the size, hue and flash of the naturals while being slightly transparent and one that I can tie reasonably fast. I also when possible want it to be cheap so I don’t mind losing them and will fish them like I stole `em so to speak. You can basically get away with 3 flies, a white/grey hue, an olive hue and a brown hue, which would do a good job of matching everything from Shad, Baby Bass, Sculpins, Gobies, Suckers, Shiners, etc… A pattern called the Bad Hair Day, developed by my Friend and Wisconsin fly fishing guide Dave Pinczkowski is a great starting point for flies emulating anything in the baitfish form. It utilizes craft fur which is cheap yet has amazing action in the water, various types of flash and wool or dubbing as a head. Simple, Cheap and Effective… Simply match the materials you are tying with to the forage you are imitating, and get started.

A group of Bad Hair Day streamers tied in various colors to suit a variety of conditions.

A group of Bad Hair Day streamers tied in various colors to suit a variety of conditions.

The pre-spawn bite will vary in duration, typically it takes place until water temps reach the mid to upper 50’s and the fish begin to spawn. Depending on weather and location, that can lead to a vastly different window of opportunity. If your into hard fighting fish and don’t like fishing around heavily pressured areas, early Spring Smallmouth Bass might be just the thing for you!

Kory Boozer – Boozer’s Guide Service – www.BoozersGuideService.com

 

FishBrah App Release Announced

Buckle up brahs, the much anticipated FishBrah app is set for release on May 1.  This killer app is stacked with everything a brah needs to max their stream creds.

Brahs can tune up their streamside photo’s into epic shots.  Can’t grow that bro beard – no problem.  Forgot to sport that flat-brimmed hat today – gotcha covered.  Didn’t want to bring your psycho dog in the boat but want him in your shots – can do.  Want to spice up that shot with a flowing red cape – Done!  Just drag and drop from their extensive menu of goatees, bro beards, muttonchops, gangsta lids, and superhero accutraments.

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Right On Brah!

And it doesn’t stop there.  FishBrah ensures that photo’s posted to social media sites will get proper billing.  Want to kick off your post with 25 thumbs up – you’re covered.  Are you tired of aunt Betty commenting about your “pretty fish” – now her posts just say “right on brah!”  Are you done with those snarky comments like “that’s my favorite spot” or “I remember when I caught that fish” – they’re outta here.  Protect your prized posts and be the hero you deserve to be.

FishBrah IS the must-have app for all troutbums and brah’s.  Get yours May 1.

Upgraded versions of the Brah app will:

  • Allow you to auto generate a photo slide show that plays bluegrass music while transitioning from photo to photo
  • Post automatic comments to your buds social media updates – using phrases like: “so sweet”, “yup!”, “get some”, “rad”, “duuuude”, “boom”
  • You will be able to swap out the fish in your picture with the hot trendy fish of the year, options include: musky, carp, pike, catfish, bluegill, taimen, and bluegill

*A small upcharge is applied for premium features. 

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MDNR Unveils Master Plan to Thwart Snagging


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Snaggers looking to pluck fish off beds this spring may find the task more challenging than ever as MDNR plans to deploy their fleet of metallic monofilament-chomping fake fish known as Gravel Guards. Placed strategically in and around spawning areas, Gravel Guards deter those planning to “fish” actively spawning steelhead with their scissor like mandibles and realistic profiles. Results of the Gravel Guard test phase were considered a fantastic success during the spring of 2015 as many anglers looking for an easy meal left disappointed and separated from most of their terminal tackle. Crowds gathered at times to watch world class lifters and snaggers attempt, unbeknownst to them, the impossible task of hooking a 40 inch, 75 pound, fake fish.

“When we realized our poaching hotline had been dialing a closed soul food restaurant in Detroit for the past 5 years we decided to refine our approach” commented MDNR spokesperson Phil McCracken. Following the hotline debacle, efforts to remove snaggers primarily involved posting bogus used car ads at trailheads, mostly for late model Chevy Astro Vans, a wildly popular vehicle among the snagging community. After a couple years of distracting snaggers with excellent results, the Astro program was exposed and snagging resumed in force.

With fewer returning steelhead anticipated this year, MDNR’s approach to protect the limited resource is considered pure genius. While a shroud of secrecy surrounds the program and specifics as to where Gravel Guards will be deployed, it’s no secret where snaggers tend to operate. River stretches with monofilament tangled tree limbs and the occasional rusty lawn chair are considered prime locations but beware as the agency plans to deploy some in secondary gravel areas to keep the honest fisherman honest.

Let it be known that MDNR has given fair warning to fishermen that choosing to snag may lead to nothing but frustration and failure. Time will tell as to whether the Michigan crickets and other lead-laced treble hook creations have finally met their match.

2016 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo

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Sorry for the recent lack of activity – both work and life have had me firmly gripped right by the man sack.

This weekend I’ll be in my usual spot, manning the Mystic booth with Dennis and crew – stop by and see me.  Maybe we ought to come up with a secret Mitt Monkey handshake or something?  Never mind, that would probably go south in a hurry.

For more info click this link -> Midwest Fly Fishing Expo

UnHoly Waters (Part 3)

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“Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.” -Cree Indian Prophecy

Growing up in rural mid-Michigan, nearly 15 miles from the nearest town, in the rolling rich agricultural ground that is abundant in that region, farming is an essential part of who I am.  Spending the days of my youth picking rocks and weeds out of fields, operating tractors, enduring sweltering afternoons loading hundreds of bails of hay into the loft, and tending to herds of cattle has shaped and molded the person that I am today.  I find it darn near impossible to not root for the small family farms as the industry has evolved and giant corporate like farms have encroached and gobbled up gigantic swaths of land, making it hard for the “little guy” to compete.  I understand the importance of providing family owned businesses with the necessary means to compete in the ever growing global economy.

While supporting farmers and small businesses tugs at my heart strings, I also work very hard to keep in perspective the larger picture of the surrounding world and develop an understanding of other important issues.  The fishing industry in Michigan has been stated to be a $7 billion a year influx into our economy.  Say it with me here, SEVEN BILLION each and every year that is infused into our local economy.  How many local jobs at hotels, restaurants, bait shops, fly shops, gas stations, boat dealers/manufacturers is that?

The truth of the matter is that the great lakes and the waterways that feed into them are substantial to the existence of a healthy economy in our state.

It is troubling to think about all of the potential dangers that our natural resources face, and now they are threatened by additional dangers associated with fish farms under the guise of economical development.  There are many data points that suggest a high likelihood of profound negative impacts to our waters and the fish that inhabit them if fish farms are introduced.  While there are measures that can be imposed or put into place in an attempt to mitigate the potential risks, the possibility of a total demolition is still greater than 0% and I do not believe that is a risk that should be taken.  It’s similar to playing Russian Roulette for money, only someone else is the one pulling the trigger of the gun aimed directly at our resources AND getting the money from it.

I’ve thought long and hard about the proposed fish pens in the Great Lakes and the proposed aquaculture on the Au Sable watershed, and I fail to see the risks that the businesses running those operations would assume, but it is easy to recognize all of the risks posed to ecosystems in and of themselves and to the people that enjoy those resources.

If allowed a scary precedent will be established and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that these aquacultures will begin to pop up throughout our state like claims during the times of the gold rush.

It brings about the question, is the risks associated really worth the reward?

To see more about this issue, please see Parts 1 and 2 (click links below)

UnHoly Waters (Part 1)

UnHoly Waters (Part 2)

Here’s what you can do to help, go to the Anglers of the Au Sable site and read their statements regarding the issue and make a donation (if you are able to) to the cause.  (Click here for more)

Order a shirt supporting the efforts (Click here for more)

Weekly Review

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If you missed the F3T in GR this past weekend, Koz has got you covered with a recap

Found this killer PT nymph variant  at Frankenfly

Matt Barthels will be tying big streamers at the Muskegon River Fly Shop soon, get in while you can fit in

Get your fill of #glassisnotdead here (Spoiler Alert: theres some badass photos)

Bucket list fish Golden Dorado is explored at Gink and Gasoline

Funny stuff over at Windknots and Tangled Lines, be sure to watch out for the fresh water sharks and Great Lakes Whales

These guys seem like fun: