Saturday, May 30, 2020

Covid Blues and Brown Trout

This has been a very stressful time and it was time to get back to my pre lockdown life. With all my travel plans cancelled and  Baldwin, MI. was the perfect choice. My friend Steve Cornetet sent me a message asking me to come night fishing on Wed May 27th . Steve is one of the  top fishing guides  on the Pere Marquette river along with Steve Fraley , Frank Willets ,Mile's Klusing , Jack Ford  and many others. We met at Baldwin Creek Lodge @ 6pm sharp. His friend Ian came along as well. We had great night, landed a nice Rainbow and Brown but rolled lots on mouse patterns!. Back at the room at 330 Am for a great sleep then a quick hello to Mike Batcke  at Stealthcraft Boats and I was on my way to chase some more fish. Mike has built one of the top drift boat companies in the world right in the little town of Baldwin, MI. I was going to be fishing with my music friends Griff and Brandon later that evening. I stopped by the PM lodge and said hello to the owner Frank Willets. He invited me to stay the night .This has been a really tough time for all the Lodge Owners and Guides in the fly fishing business.A whole steelhead season was lost due to lockdown measures and hopefully everyone will come together and pull through. I was pretty tired from my late night with Steve so just hung around for the day and was treated to an incredible barbecue chicken dinner with Frank and his guests who I knew, Todd Fenton  and his friend  Matt Ruimfeld. It was now time to meet Griff and Brandon for our evening float from Green to Bowman. Preacher Danny was there and said a fish blessing for me!!The water had come up a bit but Griff wasn't worried.We launched in the high water and headed downstream towards Clay Banks. I was throwing a tandem fry pattern on my 6 wt. And connected with my first fish soon .After a crazy battle we slid the 18" Brown into net. It was a solid PM wild fish. The Pere Marquette is the original water of the first brown trout stocking in the US back in 1884 and these fish are from that lineage. We pushed down river past another great Guide named Casey and stopped in a cool back eddy. I had my fry pattern swinging downstream when I had a massive strike .After another great battle Griff netted a 19" inch brown. Soon after Brandon missed a 20 plus fish. We pushed downstream passed Gleason's landing and it became pitch black out.We stopped and had a late night snack that Todd had packed up for us at the Lodge. It was then time to throw a mouse. After a few casts in the blackness I heard a huge crash and I was on to a nice 16' Brown and another great net job. It started to rain and the fishing slowed so we pushed on down to Bowman's and pulled out for the night at 2 Am. Back at the Lodge I found out the guests had done well on the water as well.The next day Brandon, his friend Preacher Danny  and I searched for some Brook Trout but only ended up seeing a huge Eagle and having the truck breakdown. Luckily a cool trout fisherman named Jim stopped and helped us get it started. Well we headed back to Baldwin and I headed home. Tight lines everyone and will see you soon, Keith