Monday, March 18, 2013

Egg'em And Swing'em On The P.M.

After the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo was over on Sunday afternoon I packed up the already road weary Element and headed to Baldwin.  Jonathan Knapp of Solitude Reels had extended his trip an extra couple days and planned on spending Monday on the Pere Marquette with me as Great Lakes steelhead had been on his wish list for some time.

We arrived to Baldwin a bit late but still stopped in at Steve Martinez's house of STM Outfiitters for a late dinner and a couple brews.  Plans were made to float the Flies Only water of the P.M. and as it neared midnight we headed back to town to get checked in at Batcke's Baldwin Creek Lodge.  Lucky for us, Mike Batcke left a key taped to the front door and we were asleep soon after.

Created with flickr slideshow.

(Photos can also be viewed in this Flickr album.)

The next morning we were in the water early and began a long wet float with rain and raising water.  The previous couple days had been quite warm causing the snow to thaw which cooled the river down and dirtying it up a bit.  Morning turned to afternoon and besides a couple bumps and the occasional trout it was a somewhat of a slow day.  Add to that Steve couldn't find his lighter which meant no hot lunch to start the grill.  

All the pieces came together later in the afternoon as one of Steven's guide buddies gave us a light to start the grill and we found a stretch of water that held a few steelhead.  Steve slid the drift boat to shore and worked on lunch as Jonathan and I concentrating on putting a steelhead on the line.  Jonathan caught one nymphing a tricky run with steelhead finning between down trees.  This was Jonathan's first Great Lakes steelhead and he was pretty happy with a heavy and vibrant colored buck.

After a much needed hot lunch, I mentioned to Steve how cool it would be if Jonathan could swing a steelhead as well.  Just as I finished my sentence Jonathan hollered and was onto another buck on the swing which he caught on a bright blue pattern that he typically uses on his home water in Washington.  His day was complete and honestly, so was mine.  Most of the time I have just as much of a good time watching someone else connect to a worthy fish as if it was me.  I hooked a solid steelhead right before we needed to move down the river and that was enough of a fix. 

We were off the Pere Marquette by early evening and we headed back to Steve's house for a big dinner that Kevin Morlock of Indigo Guide Service and Alex Landeen of Fat Guy Fly Fishing had spent the afternoon slaving over.  The night was spent devouring excellent food, a few beers, and talking steelhead and fly reels.  It was a good night.  

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