Fresh Water Sponges

One of the greatest aspects of flyfishing ends up being all the other things you see while on the water. I stumbled upon these fresh water sponges while wading near the mouth of the Platte in Sleeping Bear. This is the first time I've noticed freshwater sponges, I don't really know anything about them.  My guess is they're Spongilla lacustris.


Summertime, And the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin'

Our new baby stroller works best on paved trails, so the family and I headed up the road to one of the small towns north of us. A live blues band was playing and Emmy got to do some dancing. Did a little recon work while we were there. Lots of browns and a few large resident rainbows trying to head up stream, maybe in search of cooler headwaters?
Panorama of the Dam site - Where can I swing a fly?

Mr. Brown

The following are some animated gifs...

These guys...


Pere Marquette - First Day of Summer

Group fishing trip on the PM...lots of fun. Really made me want to camp/fish. This 12 inch Brown Trout took a stripped "Bad Hair Day" streamer in black with copper flashabou. Still using a #4 Gammy B10s for the hook and getting that same deep gill hook that I've been getting on bass from time to time. Going to start experimenting with some different hook configurations.

No real bug action and the streamer bite was weak until just before dark.  At dusk things seemed to turn on like a switch.  I tried  mousing with the white bellied mouse, but didn't have my headlamp, so I cut it short.  I think mousing or even going down river to try some Hex fishing would have been a way to go for tonight, but I ran out of time.


Biggie Smalls

Caught my biggest smallie ever tonight. From lip to tail it was the length of both the handles on my switch rod, which makes it about 20"- no pics, low cam battery. I was swinging a Dave's Bad Hair Day - Eat a Peach Sculpin in olive w/ copper and green flashabou on a #2 Gammy B10s. Bummed about not having a pic... The fish took mid-swing and put such a heavy thump in the rod I thought it was a steelhead at first. This is my second "big" smallie this year. These big guys are awesome but seem to run out of gas pretty quick compared to their smaller 14"+ brothers. Just prior to landing this guy I had brought in a ~14 incher that had my reel singing and was doing acrobatics all over the river.
I also landed what could easily have been my smallest smallie ever today. It was my first fish of the evening. I was working top water with a "Warmwater Whammy". The fly measures out to be about 3.5 inches and the fish was just a tad bigger.
My guess is that these bigger fish in the system right now are post-spawners trying to pack on the pounds before heading back out to wherever they come from.

Game Face

Flat River Fairies (Light Cahills)

Light Cahill (Stenacron interpunctatum)


Gray Drake Spinner Fall - Paying Dues

Real McCoy's Gray Drake Spinner

Real Gray Drake Spinner

Here they are

Fresh from the hatchery, must have mistaken my fly for a pellet.


Comeback Smallie

My girls were all napping this afternoon. So I snuck out and swung a few flies. My first time on the river since Maggie was born.  This  17"+ toadie sipped up my fly while stripping my line after the swing. After a few acrobatics we met on the river bank.  I was using a new pattern from Skagit Master 4 - Dave's Bad Hair Day size 4 in olive with copper flashabou and aquamarine polar flash.  I added an Australian Possum sculpin style head with a mallard collar.  What a beast.  This is my biggest river smallie to date.

I ended up losing the actual fly a little while later, but this is another one I'd tied up at the same time...this one is a size 2 and has rubber legs.  Feenstra's Aquatic Nuisance meets Dave's bad hair day.