Baldwin Bait and Tackle Fishing Report
<P>Hey guys, I'm back! Well, actually, I've been back since Christmas eve, but have just been too busy to write. It's been far too long since writing a report to sit here and try to fill in all the blanks in my "journal", so I'll try and do a brief summery instead and then pick it back up as usual the next time around...
Our trip down south went well and we not only enjoyed the break from the shop & motel that we never did get this past summer, but also thoroughly enjoyed the stops we made to see family and friends along the way. Conditions were not good for much in the way of the guide trips I wanted to take while in Florida, but I did manage to put a bend in the rod with various other fish on my own while there and had fun playing tourist with my wife as well. The ultimate goal was relaxation and that was achieved!
We got back just in time to celebrate Christmas with our son Brandon, his girlfriend Cindy as well as our grandson Baile' and then it was off to the river on the 26th for a scheduled guide trip with David and his mom Sandy. (A Christmas gift for David!) The long and short of that trip is that it not only felt great to be back on the home turf river, but we also accomplished the goal learning a few new things, putting the Christmas Steelhead in the bag for each of them that they wanted for the other, (Losing yet another big boy! ;^), and having a great time. It was fantastic having you guys and I hope to do it again soon...
John and I have a bunch of friends that come up between x-mass and new years every year and we spent the next day with several of them in a flotilla. I wish I had stolen some shots from the other guys cameras before they left, but I forgot to and only have a few of the shots we got when I was right there. John, Scott and I all got a Steelhead each in our boat and a few of the others got fish in the other boats as well. Not a bad second day on the river back at all in my book especially as much of the time was spent socializing...
The next day I was supposed to do another guide trip, but wound up with a last minute cancellation as the guys had to get back to Colorado. Wound up spending the day with the guys again instead and we scouted a mid section with some success and another great time. Only a couple of bigger Steelhead to the net and a couple others lost, but a good number of skippers and trout to keep it lively in between. Here's just a couple of shots I got...
On the 29th I went out with for just a few short hours (2pm to 5pm) with my son Brandon, his girlfriend Cindy, my grandson Baile' and a different Scott this time. No photos from the day but we did put a few decent trout in the boat as well as having Brandon lose a couple of heartbreaker Steelhead including one that I got some very good looks at and it was all of thirteen pounds minimum, but probably more like 14 or 15, lost after a ten minute battle. I could have cried and Brandon felt the same way, but hey, that's what keeps you trying!
The 30th was a trip with Charlie and it was a very tough go of it for us as well as most others. We did hear of a few fish caught here and there from other anglers including the Skipper that Chris caught while on a trip with John and while we fished together, but between the two of us (He asked me to fish with most of the time.;^) Charlie lost one small fish early and got a pre-migrant late in the day while I never had a hit. We'll try it again in the spring and it was a pleasure having you out as usual Charlie!
I took the 31st off the river and took care of a few other things instead before heading over to some friends for a nice mellow New Years Eve (Oh yea, Happy New Year everyone!) and then on the morning of the 1st John, Johnny Matson and I all hit the river for a new years day float. We hit a number of good spots for Steelies and Johnny bagged a nice one for the first of the year before we started tossing Streamers and found out that was good as well! Deciding there was plenty of time for Steelies we just switched over to focusing on Streamers with one guy rowing, one guy pitching and one guy watching while we all wished we had another Streamer rod ready!
I don't think we ever did take a water temp yesterday, but we had been getting between 38 and 41 degrees recently and I suspect it was at the higher end of that scale judging by the amount of action the Streamer (We named the PMS) got. Only turned one good Steelhead on it, but we rolled Browns all the way down and bagged a number of those, the perfect new years day float in all of our books and good practice for our upcoming trip to Argentina.
Both John and I had to take care of a few things today (Including our reports!) so we didn't make it out on the water, but it looks like the rest of this week should be great with temps in the mid 40s and it should remain good for a while judging by the extended forecast with no real hard drops in it. Right now the only thing I have on the books in the near future is a trip on Thursday and John's calendar is fairly open as well so give the shop a call and take advantage of our winter special, we'd love to have you.
Till next time folks, tight lines!
About The Author: Captain Steve Fraley
Company: Baldwin Bait & Tackle
Area Reporting: Baldwin, MI
Bio: I've done alot of things in my life, but fishing and hunting have always been my passion. Since the early 90's I've been lucky enough to make my living from the things I love. In the early 1990's I moved to Baldwin with my wife Karen and my son Brandon to manage a sport shop. The Pere Marquette always had a special place in my heart and I felt fortunate to be able to live so near to it and do a little guiding on the side. While I enjoyed my time there, I found that a change in pace was in order at the begining of 1994 and I decided to guide full time and work for another fly shop part time. It was a great move! After a full year and a half of nothing but guiding, selling fly gear, and working a few fly schools there, I took a job in Alaska guiding on the Alagnak River for the summer of 1995. I enjoyed Alaska tremendously and was all set to spend my future summers there. I returned that fall to one of the best runs of Salmon that I had seen in a long time, and a couple of friends that thought we should open our own shop and do things our own way. It didn't take much convincing. I continued guiding full time and worked very hard in my spare time with Bob Ficher & John Tulloch putting together the deal for Baldwin Bait & Tackle Inc. We managed to open on July 4th of 1996, Independence day. Since then most of my attention has been focused on the shop and I try to guide only four or five days a week during the "peak" seasons. I'm still working on finding the right clients to keep me on the river in the winter and summer. Trout trips are almost always welcome. Karen and I now have a lovely daughter in law, Tammy and a grandson that shows signs of becoming one heck of a sportsman.