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December 1st

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Waterfowl season is over but there is still so much to do this time of the year as Crockett and his friend since grade school Loye Carter (pictured above) from Ludington, MI has shown today.  The boys made it out as the river has cleared some and did well.  Mostly chrome fish for the exception of a male that is just starting to get his winter colors.  Colder temperatures are on the horizon, but as long as the river is open, we’ll be steelhead fishing.  I’ll be in Illinois through Friday chasing greenhead mallards but back on the home waters Sunday chasing chrome. With black powder season on for deer, archery deer through the first of the year, and an open Pere Marquette River with steelhead scattered throughout the river system, get out and enjoy.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 1

Thank God for steelhead because the duck hunting has not been hardly worth going out, but it’s the last few days before the regular duck season closes, so I’ll be out there somewhere in Michigan’s southern zone. The late season comes in on the middle zone, the 17th and 18th of December, so perhaps some well needed cold weather and we’ll have birds in the area again. The past two days, I have not fired a shot.
However, steelhead has not been better, weather wise, to be able to fish in minimal clothing, no gloves, no ice in the guides has been a pleasure. Today Crockett and long time friend Loye Carter of Ludington made it out today. The heavy rains we had the past 48 hours has risen the lower Pere Marquette River well over twelve inches. For the little time the guys spent on the river they landed two large steelhead, the female pictured above hit 14 pounds on the scale. 
Cold weather is predicted by middle of next week, so go outside and enjoy what we have left of the warmer weather, although I have a hunch we have plenty of 40 degree days ahead of us.

Tight Lines! David Roller

November 19

Yesterday, I enjoyed the company of Dr. Ted Knight along with his friend Dr. Kevin from Midland, MI as we spent the day enjoying up to 68 degree temperatures.  The early a.m. found us in the duck blind as we awaited the wind, it came a little late in the game.  All was not lost however as the guys downed three mallards and even managed to miss one or two, so all thing considered, it was a decent hunt.  We switched into steelhead mode quickly around 1:30 p.m.  The winds came pushing the warm air and my boat while we were fishing.  In short order the guys boated three nice steelhead and we lost that many as well as a few quick hits.  Today however the winds from the north caught up with us and by day break the snow was flying along with the 30 mph winds and even higher gusts. There were times visabilty was pehaps a couple hundred yards at best as were in almost blizzard conditions. The ducks flew well, but wildly giving us tough shots as they flew faster than the wind.  They were hard to catch up with the gun barrel.  Three inches of snow expected, but the winds are supposed to be more reasonable tomorrow.  Tomorrow, green heads are coming down!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 17

To those of you who have had the experience in fishing steelhead this November, you know what I mean, the fact that it has been the most comfortable fall steelhead fishing in I don’t know how long.  While we dealt with a little wind, by noon Steve Haywood, Grant Hughes, and I were shedding off layers of clothing, enjoying the sun, and watching fall Pere Marquette River steelhead do their thing; ill tempered, aerial acrobatics, hard runs, and trying like hell not to be landed, and some succeeded.  Crockett was a little further up river enjoying the same. Grant Hughes come up with a ‘bonus’ fish (I think), a twelve-pound Lake Trout.  In all the years, I have not seen a Lake Trout come out of the Pere Marquette River.  I’ve seen Northern Pike, rare Walleye, and a small mouth, but not a Lake trout. Steve Haywood also scored big with the heavy 12 pound, light thirteen-pound steelhead that is pictured above.  This extra-large steelhead was one of those that shouldn’t have been landed, with all the wood he headed to and swam out of.  Definitely the most dramatic fish of the day. 
It’s been a fun November thus far, and while the weather may turn colder (great for the waterfowl), we will be receiving some very needed rain, which could make a good steelhead bite, much better.  Today the guys landed six steelhead, the lake trout, and some nice memories of as very mild November with great fishing.  I can’t wait for tomorrow!!!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 16

It’s been a busy three days, from running cast and blasts, to steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River and Pere Marquette River, to our firearm deer season in which my significant other, Karen Showalter shot a nice 5 point buck this morning at 11:30 a.m.  She made a nice clean heart, lung shot at 100 yards plus with her little 6mm Remington rifle, field dressed it, and proceeded to skin it out when we got home.  A lot of fun to say the least.
Mid to upper Pere Marquette is running very low, clear and shallow, making steelhead fishing a little difficult at times.  Tom Brown (pictured above) and his buddy Charlie, fished with Pere Marquette Outfitters guide Blake Roller and they tackled low, clear water and managed to land two nice steelhead out of five fish on.  Crockett tackled the Muskegon River with father and son duo Larry and Andy Hays and Larry managed to land a nice Muskegon River steelhead.  Duck hunting has been getting better with the winds we’ve been having and with this week’s cold front coming in by weeks’ end, I’m hoping for a stellar three days on the waterfowl front, the steelhead should take care of themselves.  We’re back on the water tomorrow and looking forward to the rest of November, which is going by way to fast!  It always does.

Tight Lines!  David Roller.

November 13

Today was one of those days that weather waterfowl or steelhead, it was going to be good.  While the winds were blowing strong today, Ken and Cathy Zimmerman (pictured above) and I grabbed steelhead gear and headed for the Pere Marquette River.  While Ken started us out with in the first 5 minutes of the day with a solid 9-pound steelhead, Cathy would keep us going as she put steelhead to the net.   We had a few get away, as they were just too mean and ill tempered, typical fall run, November steelhead. 
The past few mornings have been cold, from frost to 38 degrees, and there is no question the water temp is getting colder, which just might give us an edge, putting a few more steelhead to the net in the near future.
A lot going on in the next few days from steelhead, waterfowl, and the rifle deer season opener which starts on November 15 and I’ll be participating in all the above.  Tomorrow I have off; I’ll be in the duck blind at first light.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 12

It’s been a very busy two weeks as we very quickly changed gears from our very good King Salmon season to now chasing those live, chrome wires on the Pere Marquette, the steelhead with an added bonus in the mix, our waterfowl season.  Both have been good, but not easy.  With the warmer autumn season still looming, the leaf drop has been late and those who have been pulling plugs with me know what I mean.  With three rods running below the boat in some of our favorite steelhead runs, and leaves tracking down our lines, it has been difficult at times to keep all three rods running.  And even as late as Friday, leaves continue to blow into the river.  Most of the hardwood leaves are gone, but now some of the oaks are starting to drop. 
Also with the warmer temps, the water temp remains somewhat warmer giving an extra punch of power to our steelhead.  The rod buckling, hard running, extra acrobatic steelhead have been powerful to the point hooks are bending, split rings are coming apart, and our hardware is left deep into the wood work as steelhead bury us deep into structure.  It’s all good though as some of the fish we’ve seen on the end our lines have been a sight to behold.
Our cast and blasts have been successful. Even with the lack of wind and the warmer weather, we’ve been able to get our shotguns off.  This past week, we’ve had some pretty strong winds out of the SW which produced some fantastic wing shooting.  Dr. Robert Starr (pictured above) found and learned his new love and appreciation of sitting in a duck blind watching the mornings unfold and saw the difference a little wind can make as we had an epic morning duck hunting this past Thursday.  As it gets colder, we should start seeing more flight birds coming down, and “Karma”, my Black Labrador, making more and more retrieves with ‘greenheads’ in her mouth.
As far as our steelhead, with Lake Michigan being higher, hence Pere Marquette Lake and the lower river, our steelhead are not hanging around very long as they come in, hang for a day or two and migrate quickly up river, stretching the run throughout the river system.  Low water up river, nice sunny days, and lots of boat traffic can make for a tougher day, but we’ve still managed to hit some double-digit days.  If we don’t lock up with ice this winter, the steelhead should take us through spring with some great action.
Whether fly fishing, running plugs, or bobbers and spawn, steelhead are giving us some exciting action most days, and some making us work but the end results are a lot of fun.  November goes fast, so get out there and enjoy one of my favorite times of the year.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 26

We just finished up a nine-day stint on the Muskegon River, as we stayed at Riverside Resort, in Croton, during that time.  The Muskegon River did not disappoint and the Kings there proved to be as large as the Kings we were getting on the Pere Marquette River.  While the numbers were not there like last year (on the Muskegon), there were more than enough LARGE Kings to go around.  An average day we would boat 15 to 20 Kings.  As the season wanes down I liken it to a very good spring steelhead day where we are hitting 20 plus fish a day and putting to the net half.  And the next few days we’ll be on the Muskegon, I expect to do the same.  While some of the kings are very mature and showing their age, there are still new Kings coming in that are just jumping on gravel.  With the low clear water, some fish can be spooky, so a little ‘fishing’ is required to do some ‘catching’.
For you chrome chasers, and it’s getting that time of the year, Crockett has been on the Pere Marquette River the past couple of days finding/catching some very nice steelhead.  We’ll be chasing chrome hard after the first of November.  As I write this, the weather has turned a bit colder as we have experienced a rain snow mix today, and a good part of the afternoon, a heavy wet snow, that didn’t stick of course, the ground is too warm.  With that being said, our waterfowl season is just around the corner as well.  Part 2 of my favorite season “Fall” is about to take place!

Tight Lines!

David Roller

October 15

As the Pere Marquette River Kings start to wane down, with plenty of fishable numbers I might add, we are now heading down to the Muskegon River to finish out the season.  Crockett and Pete Waleskowski is fishing down there as of this morning and above is one of he pictures he sent me of this morning. Pete (pictured above) manages to fish with us quite a few times a year, spring and fall.  He works in California, flies home to Belding, MI every two weeks, and makes it on the river.   Crockett was on the Muskegon this past Monday, and he stated there were many more fish today than almost a week ago, as the Muskegon River’s water temp starts to finally cool off, running 10 degrees warmer than the Pere Marquette River.  We will be staying down at Riverside Resort again, as we do each spring.  I will try and sneak home a day to do a mid-week posting, but will post on Facebook on my personal page as well as my Pere Marquette Outfitter page.
There are a few steelhead starting to show up on the Pere Marquette River.  Some of the guides I’ve seen fishing are hooking up with 0 to 5 fish a day.  There are a few die hard steelhead fishermen willing to ‘try’ right now, we’ll start fishing them toward the very end of the month and November.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 12

Steve Wareham, from Springfield, MO,pictured above is up here fishing with us on his annual Salmon trip, and the fish are treating him well, making him use all of his 20 plus years of experience fishing with us here at Pere Marquette Outfitters.  The fish are big this year and normally with the water cooling, the fresh ‘late’ Kings of the lower river have lost about 10% of their zing to make them a little more manageable.  That is not the case this year.  Our Pere Marquette River Kings are big and we had fish on today that reminded me of the days of late August.  They are powerful, fast, and have no problem finding cover to bury leaders and tippet in.  We managed to land one today.  We’ll be out tomorrow morning and see if we can regain a little composure after we got our butts kicked today.  It’s been a fun season and continues to be so and we’ll go through the end of October pursuing these great fish.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 9&10

The past couple days has been great on the Pere Marquette River as we have maintained great King salmon fishing all season.  Up river, Missy Hughes from Indiana (pictured above) fishing with her husband Josh, with guide Kurt Roller, enjoyed their first experience fishing Kings on the Pere Marquette River and it was nothing short of stellar.  A little farther downstream, Crockett fished with Steve Haywood and Grant Hughes and Grant tested his custom built rod that he built this past winter and it past the test in flying colors, hooking and landing plenty of Kings.  Dean Thompson, from New Jersey made it back up with another group of friends over the weekend as well and had a stellar weekend.  After celebrating a 25 year anniversary, fishing with Pere Marquette Outfitters, with he and his friends, a couple weeks ago, he is starting another tradition, and the guys did great.
The lower river of the Pere Marquette is still producing Kings as new fish continue to show up.  While we have received most of our run, there are enough fish to go after on the lower end to keep us busy and over the weekend we did quite well, despite the one tougher day we had down there a few days ago.
Yesterday, Crockett went down to the Muskegon River, fishing with father/son duo John and Ben Kirby where Ben landed his first King on the fly.  The Muskegon River is just getting started with small groups of Kings starting to jump on spawning gravel.  The Muskegon River is much warmer than the Pere Marquette and the cooler nights we have been having has finally cooled the water temps of the Muskegon by 5 degrees in the past 5 days.  A few more cool nights and the Muskegon should start seeing more and more fish.  A week from now, we plan on being down there for ten days finishing up our King season.
A lot going on the next two months… King Salmon on the Muskegon and Pere Marquette Rivers, Steelhead and of course our popular “cast and blast” hunting waterfowl and fishing for steelhead.  Hope you can make it out.  Give us a call and enjoy what so many are planning a year in advance.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 8

The lower river is back in action after a slower than normal day a couple days ago.  Fresh Kings keep showing up, like the large 24-pound male that Dean Thompson, from New Jersey caught, pictured above.  This is Dean’s (Deano) second trip this year as he was here with his fellas two weeks ago as they celebrated their 25th year anniversary fishing with me and my crew.
The fishing continues to be great up river as fresh fish continue to show up on spawning gravel.  It’s looking more and more like a normal year despite what’s going on in Lake Michigan, more on that later, but our ‘wild strain’ of Kings are healthier than ever.  And we are as busy as ever, a great combination!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 7

With cloudy, rainy conditions for a week, the river has been up and remained slightly stained, prompting Kings to push up river by the masses and jump on spawning gravel, as seen in the picture above, taken by guide Kurt Roller.  China, Indiana, Missouri, and Michigan were all represented by our team as we were spread out through the entire river system.  The lower river has slowed down with no doubt most of our Kings have made their way up river to spawn.  We are definitely in mid to late peak, and I’m sure the numbers will be dwindling in days to come if yesterday’s number have any indication.  With that said, we should have a solid two weeks of good fishing for King until we start searching for steelhead on the Pere Marquette River or migrate down to the Muskegon River and fish their late run of Kings.  Either way, our two main rivers will keep us and our anglers happy this month for Kings, and the month of November for steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 5

The lower river continues to produce Kings but not in the volume that we had when the water was coming up.  With that said, we are seeing a few Coho's and Steelhead. Father and son duo, Doug and Steve Haywood had a nice time, as Doug caught a couple of nice Kings on his brand new custom built rod tied by his son Steve.  More tomorrow.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 4

The lower river slowed down a bit as the river has crested and roughly eight inches high.  Fish were still on the move as we are still hitting plenty of pre-spawning fish to keep a day very interesting.  Meanwhile up river, we are in mid peak with plenty of fish on gravel and fresh fish moving in from the lower river.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 3

The lower river has come up a solid 8 inches with the last couple of days of rain and our Kings were on their migrating path.  I had Ken and Cathy (aka the Egg Lady) Zimmerman out today and many aggressive fish were on the line and they were on the bite. I watched a couple of kids throwing “Thundersticks” in some shallow flats and watched them battle a couple of Kings that crushed their lures.  We had many fish on and many fish take us to the wood piles, even some of the smaller 15 pounders were so aggressive and fresh, there was no controlling them. Ken came in with our largest King which was just shy of 40 inches long.  A lot of fish headed up river throughout the day which will give other areas fresher fish.  The fish on gravel have been a mix from almost spent to very fresh and fishing gravel certainly hasn’t been boring lately.  Kings are big, we are busy, its’ been a great season so far!

Tight Lines!!!  David Roller

October 2

Arriving home on the 24th of September from Alaska and guiding on the 25th, and trying to “catch up” has been a little hectic but fun and it was certainly good to be back on the Pere Marquette River.  While the last couple of years of salmon fishing has not been easy (extremely warm Septembers hasn’t helped) this year is reminding close to the ‘good ole days’.  I’m not sure what our fish are feeding on and where in Lake Michigan, but our fish our King Salmon are large and in charge, with several fish landed well over 20 pounds and the larger fish ranging 40 to 42 inches long.  Crockett, Blake, and DJ stayed on task here on the “PM” since Labor Day and had great reports (as well as our customers) of good numbers of fish.  A stint of high water in early September pushed a large number of fish into the “Flies Only” stretch, only to see those same fish push up into the Baldwin, Middle branch, and Little South branch in a matter of days.  It didn’t take long after for another push of fish and by around the 14th of September it’s been “game on”!
Today was no exception as I was on the lower river with Art and Vicky Eddy on their annual salmon trip, as they got to witness first hand, a new push of fish (Art Eddy pictured above).  With three other boats scattered up river, everyone seemed to enjoy good to great success.  We’ll be chasing Kings all of October as eventually we’ll end up on the Muskegon River.
ALASKA:  I could write pages on Alaska but not enough time.  All I can say is that our camp, Alaska’s Alagnak Wilderness Camp, ran extremely smooth and the fishing was second to none.  Then came our hunters from Michigan, all with moose tags, and six cases of #2 steel, 3-inch magnum shotgun shells for ducks.  It was an epic time and a fun filled with Silvers, Trout, Ducks (Pintails, Widgeon, Teal, and Mallards).  The guys on self-guided hunts harvested 2 moose, we shot enough ducks for meals and appetizers as well as brought some home, and the Silver fishing was excellent to say the least.  Throw in some 50 fish trout days (Rainbows, Dollies and Grayling), and in ten days one did not know what to do first, just plain and simple, a GREAT time.  The same guys are already booked for 2018, if that gives you an idea.
There will be more on that once this season is over as well as a new web site for Alaska’s Alagnak Wilderness Camp.  Thank you to everyone who has made our summer/fall in Alaska, and our fall salmon season here in Michigan (so far) a great success.  Two of my favorite months are on, there will be a lot to talk about and do, hope you’re part of it.

Tight Lines!  David

October 1

A recap of Alaska and September Salmon in Michigan is coming soon.  And this fall in Michigan is so much better than last year with our Kings large and in charge.

End of May

We had been on the Muskegon River since the 18th of April and internet has been non existent, so I made it home to get this out.  With the cold rains last Tuesday, we now have two flood gates open on Croton Dam, giving us some well needed water.  The steelhead fishing remains good, although not with out moving around and looking for fish once in a while.  The lack of boat traffic has made it easier to do so.  We are going thru the 20th of May and remain confident that the fishng will stay good.  Hope to update in a week. We head to Alaska on June 6 so I'll be home for a couple weeks to firm up fall dates for salmon.
FYI:  Good news on the salmon fishery out of Ludington and Manistee.  Reports are coming in that large Kings are being caught and they are full of Gobies, which means they have learned to go after a new baitfish  other than alewives which are depleteing quickly.  Other means in the mix to 'fix' the alewive problem, as in stocking Lake Michigan with another type of baitfish, one that remains suspended like our Kings and don't need the same food source as the Alewive.  All good news, and we just may have a stellar King year this year, especially with the news we are hearing from Charter captains.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 17

Yesterday was crazy with boat numbers.  It was a beautiful Saturday, with a morning start temp at 45 degrees and a high of 70 plus degrees.  It was really the nicest weekend we’ve had in a month and everyone was out taking advantage of it.  Crockett was on the Muskegon River and saw the same however he did fairly well putting 4 nice steelhead to the net as well as a few skippers and a couple nice Browns with Pete (pictured above) and Pete’s friend Mark, both from Grand Rapids.  I had Tim O’Neil and his friend Ryan as we fly fished.  The steelhead gods were against us as we hooked several fish and only managed to put one nice steelhead to the net.  Of course we couldn’t lose the suckers, we landed all four of them.  Blake did about the same, running his favorite stretch, running plugs and flies.  Towards the end of the day, they finally put one in the net with Bill Dekker from Indiana.  The river is dropping by the second and getting quite clear.  While the water is warming up, and well needed, the bright, sunny conditions have a lot of steelhead somewhat spooky, and given the boat traffic over the weekend didn’t help. Rain is forecasted for mid-week, which could be the driving force that puts a nice amount of new steelhead on gravel.  Tomorrow we have 4 boats on the water, on the Muskegon and Pere Marquette River, it will be another beautiful, sun screen day, and with the traffic down, we just might hit some numbers again.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 13

The last couple of days have been good fishing with a combination of fresh steelhead just coming in, a few fish on spawning redds, as well as some drop backs heading back.  The combination of the three have made for some high number steelhead days, especially as the days are getting warmer, finally!  Al Seja and his friend from the east side of the state fished with guide Kurt Roller on Tuesday and put four nice steelhead to the net.  And on their two-day fish, Bob and Rick from Ohio, fished with Crocket yesterday and today.  While yesterday was a little tougher, the combination earlier mentioned put the Ohioans into some numbers today as they combined running plugs and fly fishing.  Nine steelhead saw the inside of the net and of course a few got away.  The Pere Marquette River is getting clearer and clearer by the day as well as a little warmer. Now if we could combine this with a little warm rain, and tea colored water, we could see some epic fishing.  If we see warm clear weather, we’ll have a few fish in the PM well into the first of May.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 11

Ken and Cathy Zimmerman brought their friend Theresa Borawski today to spend a nice day on the Pere Marquette River.  Cathy brought us 101 dozen of well needed egg patterns for the rest of the season, so the least we could do is put her and her friend Theresa into some steelhead.  Ken Zimmerman road shotgun in the drift boat and gave up his fishing seat to the girls.  It was the first time he road in the back seat of my drift boat, and enjoyed watching everything at work.  We ran plugs today as the Pere Marquette River remains cold with a lot of empty redds.  We lost a couple of good fish early in the morning, then the girls kicked it in and steelhead started seeing the net.  Theresa caught the first two, her first two Pere Marquette River steelhead, one being a nice male that is pictured above.  The rest of the steelhead consisted of spent females that were heading back to Lake Michigan.  After depositing their eggs, the females rest up in pools, and can feed excessively.  After rested and feeding on their journey back, some can fool you as you would swear you have a brand new, fresh steelhead on the line with their aerial acrobatics and hard runs, and the fish today did exactly that.  They were a lot of fun and kept us plenty busy throughout the day. 
70 degrees is predicted by the weekend, which should give us fresh fish, to add to the mix, and hopefully putting us back into high double digit numbers again.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 10

Saturday was bitter cold as clear, cold winds blew from the north and slushy fly lines would freeze up guides solid on the rods about every 10 drifts, from sun up to sun down.  Our guys from MN stayed strong and got the job done.  I had Larry Vorlicky and Charlie Eggert and quite frankly the fishing was good as we hit runs and picked our way down river.  While we stuck steelhead, hot fish, and had some good fights, we had a hard time bringing them to the net until the afternoon, when Charlie finally came thru with our first one.  Then by days’ end, Dr. Vorlicky, my poster boy for indicator fishing, finally hangs on to a fish and lands a very nice hen.  Crockett went down to the Muskegon River Saturday and cold weather was effecting that river as well as he saw very few fish caught.  Dr. Tim Gavin, from MN managed to put two nice steelhead to the net as well as he and his fishing partner John Vaudreuil managed to land four nice Walleye on the Muskegon River as well.
Today, Kurt had a very short day as his guests had to be off the river at 11 a.m. and on the road on their second day and managed to land two nice steelhead, loose a couple and land a couple of nice Browns.  Blake struggled to put a fish in the net as well today as he had father and son team Paul and Michael Orth, but at the end of the day, the young man pictured above, brings it home and finishes the day with a beauty of a steelhead.
Warmer temps are coming as they are predicting 70 degrees by this week’s end.  I have a hunch we will hit a second peak on the Pere Marquette River as well as start the Muskegon river in high gear. We have limited opening towards the end of the week, so if you haven’t made it up yet give us a call, the fishing should be good and the weather WARM!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 7

We’ve had two major groups this week keeping us very busy despite the cold weather with three other patrons filling up the week nicely.  First of all, many thanks, again, to the Ozark Fly Fishers of St. Louis, MO for their continued support of Pere Marquette Outfitters, as they are here every spring and fall.  Taking us through the end of the week are my “Indicator guys” from MN, led by Dr. Larry Vorlicky.  Their first day was today, and despite the cold weather, the eight guys incorporated 4 boats and managed to make contact, combined with 30 some steelhead, not bad for a day’s work.  Some we got pictures on and some we didn’t, but the bottom line the guys were into steelhead.  Also filling in was Dr. Steve Vincent, from Columbus, OH who ran plugs with guide Kurt Roller, finding some very nice ‘well needed’ fresh steelhead, putting 5 out of nine chrome steelhead to the net.  Also earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday was Doc Gooding and his son-in-law Josh, both from AZ, battled the cold and each day we found steelhead.
While we are in more ‘real’ mid-March conditions, we are finding a few fish on gravel as well as fresh fish in the runs.  What started out to possibly be an early season and be done in mid-April, the cold weather of late March has lingered well into the first 10 days of April with a potential warm up starting early next week.  Once the warm up starts I have a hunch mid to late April could be very good for Pere Marquette River steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 6

My apologies for the past almost week on no postings. I was really under the weather over the weekend as Blake, Crockett, and Kurt took over on the river. The fishing has slowed down due to cold weather setting in. We all fished on Tuesday and struggled with a 9-degree morning as did our steelhead with water temps plummeting. The four to eight inches of snow we were supposed to get yesterday, barely left a trace of snow on the ground as most of it was a very wet snow, mostly mixed with rain. The river remains nicely high with good color and a few fish are showing up that are fresh and hot. Overall we are working hard with six to eight hook ups on average per boat. Kurt was our big gun yesterday as he and two of our Ozark Fly Fishers landed four steelhead out of 12 hook ups. I added a dozen or so of new pics without captions (not enough time) that will give you an idea of ‘some’ of the fish we have caught the first six days of April. I’ll be adding more tomorrow.

Tight Lines! David Roller

March 31

The rains hit hard last night and today and the river is getting blown out.  But that didn't stop Kaden Ruiz from fishing when his father and local resident was gracious enough with his time to take his sons fishing.  I was guiding around the corner when we suddenly heard and saw a lot of commotion going on up river, and eight year old Kaden fighting a nice steelhead.  His father Charlie tried best to get the fish from out under a log, but in knee boots could only do so much.  We beached my drift boat and I ran up the river with my net to help the young man out, and Kaden puts the nice steelhead to the net.  Incidently, Kaden's father,
Charlie Ruiz worked on most if not all the river restoration projects several years ago, that have kept most of the banks along the river from eroding today.
Nashville, TN, Colorado, Washington, and Ohio are with us at the present moment as we work diligently to get them into steelhead. More pictures of their success coming. More to come... have to sleep sometimes.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 28

My Nashville, TN guys are in for the week, however this years group, staying at Barothy Lodge, have not just come from Nashville, but Seattle, WA, and Colorado.  The river has come up even more and is very stained.  It was nice however to find a few fresh fish on gravel, something we haven't done in the past few days, due to the colder weather.  With milder temps this week, we hope to find more new arrivals of 'spring' steelhead, like the one pictured above, caught by Bruce Hackett from Nashville, TN.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

Easter Sunday

Father and son team Rob and George Glessner pictured above, worked hard today, but the dua put 4 nice steelhead and one brown to the net.  They even learned how to use a switch rod with a floating line and indy rig, in which Rob landed one on his new learned technique towards the end of the day.  The fishing has  not been easy since the dirty cold water, but with the slow building warmer temps, and flood warnings on the lower river, it should be the driving force to bring a new run of 'spring' steelhead in the river system.

Happy Easter and Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 26

Cold mornings and cold water seem to be the theme of the past week, keeping the majority of our steelhead in deeper waters.  The river muddied up even more so today, with visibility barely at 6 inches.  While we were well into the lower 50’s for temps today, the early mornings still fall into the 20’s, taking a while for the water temp to catch up.  Despite the cold, dirty water, guides Crockett and Blake picked the river apart and found fish that would play.  Blake ran floating lines and indicator rigs most of the day with Eric and Armand Angeles and had a pretty decent day.  Muskegon, MI couple, Chris and Wayne Baird, came up for their annual trip, and as usual, Chris out fished her hubby, but they both enjoyed a great day on the Pere Marquette River.  Happy Easter everyone and I’ll be out there on Easter Sunday celebrating with Rob and George Glessner on our great river.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 25

The past couple of days has been challenging to say the least as this past storm gave us just about everything it could dish out from high winds, snow, rain, sleet, and freezing rain.  Three more large trees have fallen in the river on the stretch that I run making for a tight squeeze with the drift boat, let alone the fact I was without power here at the house for about 18 hours.  However bad, our guests were here to fish, and we were on the river, right in the middle of all the ‘weather’.  We spend all this money on technical outerwear, so let’s have fun wearing it and use it for what it’s made for.  Between our Simms gear and 1600 grams of thinsulate neoprene waders, we were pretty comfortable to say the least.
Thursday the storm came in and it was my best day of fishing over the past few days as we found some fish working some deep gravel and Bob Starr and Matt Wilcox brought five nice steelhead to the net.  Yesterday was a little tougher for the Michigan duo as we looked at a lot of empty gravel, despite the river coming up and staining nicely due to Thursday’s all day rain (before it changed to snow). 
Crocket, Blake were also guiding today, fishing runs, and managed to catch and hook some fresh, chrome steelhead, so once the river warms back up, we should be in good shape again. 
I’m hearing a lot of people saying the “run is over” however just because we had great fishing for 2 weeks with the warm early March, the water temperature is cold, too cold to put the masses back on gravel and get our new fish into high gear, especially after our steelhead were used to warmer water temps.  There is no question that most of our fall/winter steelhead have spawned and are exiting the river system, which is evident by the amount of “drop backs” we are catching (and glad to do so) the past few days.  We are back to fishing more runs and catching a mix of drop backs as well as fresh fish that await warmer weather, and warmer water temps. 
The outlook for the rest of the week looks good as we’ll stay around or slightly above the freezing mark for early morning lows and pushing fifty degrees for highs. That should spike up the water temps a bit as well as increase our fish numbers. By going with the flow and changing tactics, there are steelhead to catch, and the fun and excitement continues. Just look at the picture above and the smile on Jack says it all.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 23

The big storm that has been on the watch for the past three days finally come in.  The morning temperatures were mildly cool with no wind and we wondered if the storm would manifest in our area.  By 11 a.m. light, wet snow started coming in and by midafternoon the snow was flying and starting to stick as pictured above when guide Blake Roller and his guys come off the river.  The wind soon followed and we are in for a ride until tomorrow around 8 p.m.  The fishing was good today as Crockett had my two airline pilots, Russ Hajek and his friend Bernie in the upper reaches of the “PM”.  While the fish are much sparser than a week ago, the guys managed to put four nice steelhead to the net and lost plenty more.  Blake ran plugs today and did well and was impressed by the number of bright, new steelhead that they had on the line.  Randy Buys from Reed City had his friend from Colorado, Chris Kiger , to experience what are steelhead are all about and Blake did a great job in the introduction.
Most of our winter fish have spawned and heading down stream, but our new fish are starting to come in.  Yesterday, Russ Hajek hooked a bright, chrome male in a run that would make a November fish cringe with it’s speed.  It was a 30 second ride that I witnessed and won’t forget, neither will Russ.
Pete Borlace from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula came down to fish with us yesterday and did a quick fish with Crockett getting off the water by early afternoon and managed to land four nice steelhead and lost some screamers.
I’ll be out in the storm tomorrow with Dr. Robert Starr, who is no stranger to the Pere Marquette River, steelhead, and the weather that one can endure.  Stay tuned and see how we do.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 21

More of the same as the past two days, hope to do better tomorrow.  Bernie from Nashville, TN lands a very nice steelhead. Between a warmer morning and a front coming in, it could be a lot better. We'll be there to find out!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 20

The weekend was tough as a different ‘perfect storm’ hit that put a lot of steelhead down and knocked out numbers in a half (and more). Cold nights, colder water temps, severe blue skies, river clearing up, and heavy boat traffic put a ding in our numbers real fast.  If just a couple of the variables were not in play, we could have done better.  But every morning we put our waders on, guide, and work with the given conditions.  After the boat parade yesterday in the upper Pere Marquette River, Crockett migrated further downstream in hopes that less traffic would mean a few more fish.  But after two cold days back to back, the fish went defense on us.  Fourteen-year-old Gabriel Schario, from Missouri accompanied Crockett and he was a guide’s dream as the kid could cast a floating line and indy rig like no bodies business.  He jumped some very nice steelhead and had some of the biggest fish he ever had on, and ended up with a smaller steelhead to the net.  But the memories that are engrained will bring him back again and again.  Kudos to his mother for bringing him up here and sitting in a boat watching her son fish.  Also Kudos to Malcolm Royce of the Ozark Fly Fishers for setting the young man up with the trip.
Meanwhile, a little farther upstream, guide Blake Roller and his friend took an afternoon trip and wanted to run some floating lines and indy rigs just to see what was going on after the cold front.  Seeing nothing on the redds, they poked along a few runs in the short time they fished.  Blake landed the nice steelhead pictured above, lost one, turned another, as well as landed some nice Brown trout.
Colder weather (or more seasonable) is setting in for the next week.  It may take the fish a day or two more to adjust and we should be back to more normal numbers if we can stay in the low thirties at night and reach the mid-forties for afternoon temps.  In the meantime, tomorrow morning we’ll be getting booted and suited and hitting the river again.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 19

Severe blue skies, cold morning temps, and a 40 drift boat, boat parade, made for a tougher day today as Crockett, Ken Peters and Andrew (pictured above) hit the river. With 20 degrees slapping them in the face this morning, the guys still did well even though the first six fish came unbuttoned.  With a little pressure, colder water temps, river clearing up, and the bright sun beaming on the water, it didn’t take long for fish to start disappearing and heading for cover under whatever they could find.  The boat traffic became so heavy that when the guys left their last run to go further down steam, there wasn’t one empty hole left to where a drift boat or float tube was setting in, all the way down to Gleason’s Landing.  The guys did better than most as they hooked a dozen fish and put three in the net.
We’re going to have well below freezing temps for the next couple of days and staying in 40’s for quite some time, which should still give us plenty of opportunities on fish this week.  The good news is that we have fish in the river with the warm weather we’ve had, so if fish are not on gravel as much in the next two or three days, we should be able to pick a few out of the runs on a daily basis and there will be some fish that have to spawn once the fish get acclimated to the cooler temps again.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 18

Jacob Brushaber (pictured above), student at Central Michigan University, takes “spring break” into another perspective; enjoying a day on the Pere Marquette River with his dad and Pere Marquette Outfitters was happy to accommodate.  Jacob has fished with us on the Muskegon River most of the time, but with the early warming trend, he and his father took advantage with Crockett as their guide.  This was also day 2 for Mike Chiuchiarelli and Craig Chamberlain as we fished the lower river.  The river came up and other 6 inches on the lower end and stained up much heavier making the visible redds we saw the day before invisible.  So we picked our way down the river and the boys fished hard.  The morning was more difficult for us as we hooked a few fish but couldn’t seal the deal until Craig Chamberlain broke our streak and put our first steelhead to the net.  While not as productive as yesterday we still had a great day putting twelve steelhead on the end of the line.  Craig and Mike had a great two days of steelhead, far better than last year at this time.  Meanwhile further upstream, Crockett maintained his batting average with the father and son team Kurt and Jacob Brushaber.  It looks like our big warm front has ended to a certain degree as we are now experiencing below freezing temps in the a.m. and highs in the 40’s, still warmer than last year.  With the water being a little on the high side and well stained, we should still hang on to favorable water temps.  Tomorrow will be our coldest morning in a while, so stay tuned to see how we did.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 17

The weather has cooled down by 10 to 15 degrees but the fishing remains hot! The recent thunderstorm with high winds of a couple of days ago has given way to higher, dirtier water conditions.  While some redds are visible, there are a lot that are not, even in the Pere Marquette River’s “Flies Only” stretch.  The farther downs stream you go, the muddier the water gets.  With that being said, we still did extremely well yesterday, even though we fished some non-productive ‘good’ water.  Craig Chamberlain and Mike Chiuchiarelli were up on their annual steelhead trip with me and today felt like a warm front to them considering last year when we started a morning in single digit temps.  The three of us had fun and some large fish had exploded the water at the end of their lines.  Crockett and Blake took a guide’s ‘day off’ and hit the river with their friend Trent from Reed City.  They also had a stellar day, and kept in tune with the river.  Temps are going to cool down a little more, but as long as we have high water, and staying barely around freezing at night, the Pere Marquette River should still fish well.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 15

While we haven’t peaked, this mid-March, the steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette River has been stellar, and it started a little over a week ago.  With that being said there have been spawning steelhead almost throughout the winter.  A couple of weeks ago, while running hardware for steelhead, we caught out first spawned out hen.  The warm weather snuck in, the overnight lows stayed above freezing, and it didn’t take long for the water temps and water to surge with run off.  As the river came up and colored to a very deep stain, it set most of our winter steelhead into a spawning frenzy.  The early bird gets the worm and on a moment’s notice both Dr. Bevin Clayton and his friend Jim from northern Michigan as well as John Kirby from Cincinnati, OH migrated to the Pere Marquette River in quick fashion, just like the fish they were pursuing.  Pere Marquette Outfitter river guides Blake Roller and Crockett, respectively guided the men and many fish were caught as well as lost.  The river hasn’t gotten too busy yet and with Easter Sunday falling the 27th of March, it will also help for crowd control.    We are getting a phone call or two daily, some making time and some anglers just not able to get away, as many have pushed their fishing ‘days’ more into April, justified by the winters and cold weeks of March the past three years.  While we’ve got great fishing ahead, it’s nice to have great fishing now, without the crowds on the river.  Take the time and get it while the gett’ns good!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 14

Ohio was well represented today with veteran Pere Marquette River steelhead fly fishermen.  Tim and Scott Shremshock from Shremshock Architects, Inc., Columbus, Ohio have been fishing with us for a long time when their father, Jerry Shremshock started bringing them along.  I’ve been fishing with Jerry for the past 30 years and now the torched has been passed on to the kids.  The two brothers were up for their annual “early” steelhead trip, when they are used to snow, cold, and hitting a few fish a day as we scour the bottom of the river with plugs.  However, this year, our spring season has sprung early and the boys found a lot of fish to play with as they were guided by my nephew Blake Roller.  In two days’ time the guys did well, as new fish show up daily with the warm weather, and I see us peaking real soon. 
Also fishing from the Cincinnati, Ohio area was our good friend John Kirby who fished with Crockett.  He called us, found out what was happening, and headed north.  John will be fishing tomorrow as well to get one more great day in.  The weather is warm, the fishing is hot, and we still have a few open days left for this month.  Given a little rain and the river kicking up again, and we’ll get another crazy push of fish.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 12

The great steelhead fishing on the Peré Marquette River continues.  Even though we don’t start fishing solid for a couple of more days, Crockett and Blake have it in their blood, like the fish in the Peré Marquette River that we pursue.  This time of the year, the water warms, run offs start pouring off the banks, making for a much stained, slightly high river.   Steelhead don’t know how to read calendars, but they know temperature and the time is now as more and more fish show up on gravel and in the pockets behind the active spawning redds.  Yesterday, Kalisha Fisher, Crockett’s girlfriend, decided to join the fun.  She is no stranger on the Peré Marquette River and couldn’t stand the boys having all the fun, and did very well herself.  With warm weather, run off, and steelhead migrating up one of Michigan’s “Natural” rivers, we should have three weeks of great fishing to say the least.  Throw in some rain and higher water it will be epic and last longer.
Fishing is something we do, no matter what time of the year, how nice, or how bad the weather may be.  We as a family have been on the banks of the Peré Marquette River from its origin down to where it empties to Ludington for generations.  And seeing the two ‘cousins’, on a moments notice, head for the river, doing what we do, makes me smile.  We are the Roller’s and the river is our passion!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 9

Another great day on the Peré Marquette River in early March, which is acting more like early April.  It has been a few years since one could start in the morning hours and its above freezing in March.  Cousins and guides for Peré Marquette Outfitters, Blake and David S. Roller (a.k.a. Crockett) were at it again today, to take advantage of good fishing and beautiful weather.  Early March is rarely like this, and we still have some open early dates.  Therefore if you can take advantage and pull a day off, get up here and enjoy the great fishing that is taking place.  I’m sure they’ll be at it again tomorrow.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 8

What a switch from the past two years!   It was exactly a year ago today, that the river had busted loose of it’s frozen state and I was able to put a drift boat in the Peré Marquette River.  She was locked up with ice from Baldwin to Ludington.  The “flies only” was the first to open and quickly the rest of the river followed suit.  This year has been a little more normalcy; being able to fish all winter long.   Yesterday we hit 70 degrees and it felt like it and Peré Marquette Outfitter guides Blake Roller and Lil David couldn’t take it anymore.  After a quick phone call between the two at 10 a.m. they were like a fire alarm going off, grabbing gear and heading out.  With ten boats already on the river, a river that was dirty from run off, they had a plan and it paid off.  In a matter of a few hours the guys saw what they needed to see and had fun doing it, so much so, they put everything off to do it all over again tomorrow.
The Peré Marquette River spring steelhead run is on.  Fish are actively spawning and new fish are coming in.  The water temps have pushed our steelheads biological clocks ahead, as they know no calendar, just the ‘feel’ of the river, and when the water swells, gets muddy and warms up, they know what to do.
If the warming trend continues, we will peak out here in March with good fishing thru the middle of April, and then the rains will depict what happens afterwards.  We’ll migrate to the Muskegon River by the 18th of April and probable hit that river in full swing where we’ll continue to fish daily thru mid May, maybe farther with a little precipitation along the way, keeping the water levels up.   We're looking forward to a good spring and great summer as we are almost booked up for Alaska at our new camp, Alagnak Wilderness Camp.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 6

The weather is warming up and quickly as evidence on the river shows.  Redds that were about 2 feet in diameter are 4 feet in which some fish have spawned and are starting to exit.  There have been fish in the ‘Flies Only’ stretch spawning on and off for the past three weeks or so.  Not to panic, and nothing I haven’t seen before, but this year I have a hunch my anglers coming the latter part of March should do really well.  The lower river had a nice run of fish, then word got out, pressure started, and the natural course of migration, most of them exited upriver.  Today Blake (pictured above) and Crockett decided to make a quick run on the lower river to see if any new fish had come in, to replace the nice batch of fish we had.  The river was in great shape, but with rain forecasted for the next few days, it could turn muddy real quickly; another reason the guys fished it one more time.  What they thought was only confirmed as not near the fish in the lower river that once was, however they did manage, in a short amount of time they lost a steelhead and landed a very nice hen. 
If rain hits and we have the warmer nights and highs in the 50’s, it won’t take long for the water to warm up and it will be game on.  Stay tuned as we’ll be on the water this week just to see how good it gets.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

February 27

And she said Yes!  It is always a special day to be on the Peré Marquette River, but today was just extra special as we had 5 steelhead, a nice brown trout, and by days end a fiancé’ in the boat.  It was as nice as a late February as one could ask for with high 20’s starting the morning out and quickly warming up to somewhere in the 50’s.  While the fishing wasn’t exactly easy and we saw a few anglers who hadn’t touched a fish, we poked and prodded our way down the river and made the day happen.  Then around sunset, Cody Showalter went down on one knee and proposed to Chelsea McDaid.  The happy couple is shown above with a nice steelhead Chelsea caught, shortly before the big moment.  The day couldn’t have gone any better.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

February 22

Paul Jakubiak, owner of “Uncle Jakes” in Kalamazoo, MI and I have been friends for the most part of twenty five years, when he was manager at Barothy Lodge, in Walhalla, MI.  Apart from his ‘day job’, he and his wife Kathy own “ Uncle Jakes” where he teaches fly tying, rod building, and has a pretty nice fly shop/sport shop that they are managing.  It’s almost been a year since we fished last together.  Fly fishing for steelhead and running his Switch rod was first on the docket.  With the very nice ‘warm’ weather we were experiencing, throwing a fly line and not dealing with ice, in February is a dream.  So on Sunday donned only with our switch rods, we were floating down the Peré Marquette River, which had turned extremely dirty over night. Too much warm weather, too much run off had given my favorite stretch of river a visibility of less than ten inches, and we worked hard.  I landed one smaller fish, a small steelhead smolt, and Paul had hooked into one good steelhead and that was our day, including the pleasure of casting fly lines, working currents, ice free.  I preach this a lot about booking two days, and for day two (today) we would change tactics, find cleaner waters, and be joined by my nephew, and PMO guide Blake Roller.
This morning was much cooler and we knew we would fight ice so we broke out the plug rods early.  Ironically, nothing happened the first few hours, not as much as a take down on a rod.  Then we broke out the switch rods.  I turned two fish, one was evident it was a smaller fish, whether it was a brown or skipper.  Then the next run, after a few drifts, I’m stripping my fly line in, prepping for another cast, and I get hit hard, by rig gets hit hard, hard enough that my switch rod doubles over and snaps my 8# test tippet… you never know what a steelhead is willing to chase, a small egg pattern swimming upstream.  I’ve had kings do the same thing.
After the frustration of not putting a steelhead to the net in one and a half days, we went back to plugs.  Barometer change, temperature change, or just where the fish were in the river, who knows, but suddenly a bite was on and in very short order, we put three nice steelhead to the net and one brown trout anyone would be proud to catch.  After another round of indy fishing with our switch rods, and the afternoon creeping towards evening, it was time to head to the launch as Paul had a two hour plus drive home.  While we didn’t completely do what we had set out to do with our switch rods, we left options open, had fun fishing for two days, and came in close, personal, photographic contact with three beautiful Peré Marquette River steelhead and one of the PM’s beautiful browns.  It was a great two days, and we look forward to doing it again.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

February 18

Today was a case and point of going fishing ‘when you can’!  With that being said, the day we could go, just happened to be one of thee coldest mornings I’ve fished in a long time.  It was 1 (one) degrees starting out.   The warmer weather we’ve been enjoying the past few days was our only saving grace as it kept the water temp ‘warm’ enough to keep slush and anchor ice from flowing down the river, which could have ruined a good outing.  Cody Showalter from Lowell MI, who works for “Wrestling Addix” in Lowell, also decided to initiate his girl friend Chelsea McDaid, Dr. of Acupuncture, to steelhead. If one has to be initiated to the world of steelhead, cold weather is sometimes a must, and we took it to the extremes.   She has fished with us before, during salmon season, of course the weather was much more tolerable.  With heaters in the drift boat fore and aft, Cody’s mother, Karen Showalter taking pictures from the rear of my drift boat, we headed down the river.  We would start out running plugs, but ultimately, Cody wanted to catch a fish on his centerpin float rod, but we would wait for the weather to warm up.  The morning slowly warmed up, creeping slowly to 5 degrees, then 8, 11, and by noon it was just above freezing.  The morning was slow, but we turned one steelhead on plugs and landed two brown trout, one respectable eighteen incher.  Not all bad for a single digit morning.  At noon we stopped for lunch, and I wanted to make sure we were in a decent run, to where Cody could run his centerpin float rod.  With the grill smoking and lunch almost done, Cody’s 12’ rod was doubled over and a decent steelhead was pulling on the other end. Despite the cold, the nice hen braved a couple of nice runs and finally gave in to the net.  We drift fished a couple more runs, and then it was time to get Chelsea her first steelhead.  The girls were having fun and were great sports given the cold weather that a lot of people wouldn’t tolerate.  With the plug rods back in action, Chelsea connected with her first steelhead, a feisty skipper, which she backed up with a spirited 5 pounder that come unbuttoned.  The water was warming up, as was the day and a bite appeared to be on.  Cody lost ‘the big one’ of the day, a semi bright, large bodied male, which could have easily tipped the scales around the 12 pound mark. No question, a great fish!  It wasn’t long and Chelsea connected with another steelhead that pushed five pounds and we were making a day.  Karen had all she could take, taking pictures, and she and Cody swapped positions in the boat and both girls were manning the rods. It wasn’t 5 minutes later and Karen would catch the twin to the one Chelsea had just landed. By days end, we had put 4 steelhead to the net, 2 brown trout, and fooled 4 other steelhead.  Even given the harsh, stingy morning of one degree above Fahrenheit, the time to fish was when we could.  With proper clothing, a couple of heaters, and great company, we enjoyed a beautiful morning, the way the frost had clung to every branch along the river, and the sun sparkling off of every spec of frost like diamonds. We braved the cold, enjoyed the scenery, and caught some very nice fish, as we made memories with friends and family.
I’ve said it before, the time to go fishing, is when you can.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

February 10

While hot wings, pizza, and any other great party foods were flying off of counters into the living room of millions of people, this past Super Bowl Sunday, guide Blake Roller had his own way of celebrating, and creating his own pre game show.  He was joined by his dad (my youngest brother) Shawn (pictured above) and Randy, as the trio hit the Peré Marquette River. Steelhead and Brown trout were hitting harder than the Denver Bronco defense, and is short period of time, the guys did extremely well.  With a couple of warm days back to back, a few fish were also found on redds, as one of the steelhead Randy caught, was one of the darkest fish we’ve caught this year.  The guys watched the hen come off the redd and smack the lure, only to very quickly come unhooked and the dark male followed in tow and ate the faux intruder.  These kind of weather patterns don’t stay long, but there are also many more coming before the mad rush of spring hits in just a little more than a month. Now the cold north winds are blowing again giving us near the Lake Michigan shoreline 8 to 10 inches of snow. It won’t last long and in a few days we’ll be playing in above freezing temperatures again, fishing steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David L. Roller

February 4

The past few days we’ve enjoyed warmer weather, well above freezing.  A couple of days ago, we had 5 inches of snow dumped on us in a couple of hours in the evening, and then it turned to rain.  With excessive snow melt and rain, the Peré Marquette River was higher as well as much dirtier with about 2 feet of visibility.  Mitt Drew and Sean McNally fished with me and fly rods, floating lines, and indicators were top priority. The morning started out at 27 degrees and it would only get colder through out the rest of the day.  It wasn’t long after the first line was cast, the snow started flying, coming down fast as snow started accumulating in the boat.  About every seven or eight casts, the ice build up in the guides of the rods had to be knocked out.  The second run of the day, Sean hooked up and instantly the steelhead raced down stream, farther than I anticipated, to the point pulling anchor and a small chase was necessary, but soon Sean was winning and we put our first fish in the net.  Sean would hook up again, only to come unbuttoned, and then Mitt kept the pace going as he put our second fish of the morning to the net.  After three more runs the cold started to creep in and the plug rods came out.  Things went pretty quick for the next few runs as we would loose three steelhead in a row.  On the first fish running plugs, in the process of the fight, one of my plug rods got knocked in the water and in an instant was swallowed up by the river.  With murky water conditions, seeing it was out of the question.  With the anchor down, we put the rods two working rods back into action, only hoping that ‘maybe’ the action of a hot-n-tot would dig deep enough to find 30 feet of monofilament from the sunken rod.  Within minutes, the vibration of the left rod stopped, like it had connected with a leaf.  As Mitt started reeling in to check it out, the orange colored line that was on my reel come to the top, hooked into our hot-n-tot.  Unbelievably so, we salvaged the rod from the bottom of a run, and were back in action with three rods working off the bow. Two more fish on and a couple of nice brown trout made the rest of the day and once we hit Barothy Lodge, the guys knew the hot tub and a stiff drink were in order, and I floated to the launch.  Further upstream, guide Blake Roller, had the ‘new’ guys in Mitt’s group.  This would be their first time steelheading and with in a fish or two, Larry would put their first one in the net.  Then the steelhead started winning.  They would land a brown trout, and loose a couple of steelhead, lands another brown, and looses another steelhead.  The new guys hit more fish than we did, lost a monster and one out of eight steelhead made it to the net.  All in a days work, the four guys had a fun time, a great experience at Barothy Lodge, as well as a great experience on the Peré Marquette River.  Winter steelheading is as unpredictable as our crazy weather.  Don’t try and predict the ‘best’ day.  The best time to go winter steelheading is when you can.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

February 2

Nate Speith (pictured above) and Cody Showalter, from “Wrestling Addix”  a company specializing in wrestling uniforms (and expanding to football), from Lowell, MI were with me today, the first time I’ve been on the river since the cold front hit.  The past few days, warmer temps and rain have dominated the Peré Marquette River, ridding of it shelf ice, anchor ice, and the ice dam below Scottville that put the lower river area into flood warning stage.  The clear skies early this morning and through the night, gave way to frosty conditions early, and a lot of ‘black ice’ on the roads.  While I was in a quandary this morning on whether to use the drift boat or my 20’ Go-Devil, I made the right choice as the snow melt and rain had colored up the river nicely, more of a milky color over tea color.  The lower river was much worse. We were loaded for everything as the guys brought their center pin rods to drift and I had my ‘plug rods’ loaded and ready in my boat storage.  We started out ‘drifting’ with floats.  Cody ran jigs and wax worms, Nate with spawn.  After fishing the whole morning, we ended up with a couple of crushed spawn bags and one bite that striped a wax worm off the jig.  Cody landed a brown trout, which gave us a little hope the bite might start, but that was the best we could do.  So after lunch, we decided to break out the plug rods and our day turned around for the better in a quick hurry.  The second run we hit, a large female smashed the ‘plug’ and instantly the chrome steelhead turned for the left bank and become airborne.  After we worked the fish around a small cluster of logs underwater, the bright, fresh hen made it to Cody’s brand new net that we wanted try out, and it worked flawlessly.  The fourth run, Nate boated a nice 8 pound male that was just starting to sport spawning colors.  We were looking pretty as we still had some great water ahead.  Then, steelhead have a way of humbling us.  Cody proceeded to hook into three nice steelhead, two of which were in a minute or two of being netted and managed to shake free of our lures with two treble hooks attached, and a very nice steelhead that snapped the line.  All in a great day spent on the river and taking advantage of the ‘warmer’ weather that made the day extremely comfortable.  Another cold front is on the fringe with more snow coming.  However as long as we can get a boat in the water, we’ll be on plenty this next month and looking forward to it, no matter the weather. We’ll be out again on Thursday; we’re putting on a small rod building clinic early next week, then back on the water Wednesday the 10th.  It’s going to be a busy month.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

January 7

Long time friend and retired guide of Peré Marquette Outfitters, Steve Goerner, from Montgomery, IL was up the past couple of days to enjoy some winter steelheading.  Along with him was his friend John Holman, also from the Montgomery, IL area and together the two fished with Crocket the first day and with me today.  Yesterday, a quick trip on the water, John (Pictured above) boated the only fish out of five or six steelhead on.  Today, in warmer than average temps (quite comfortable), we set out to do a little better and get John into a ‘few’ more fish.  We worked ‘bankers’ hours as we had lines in the water by 9 a.m. The first four fish would somehow give us the slip, even when we would have them close to ‘net’ time, they would come unbuttoned.  Odds were on our side and finally John connected with one that stayed on from start to finish.  After loosing another fish, and the guys wanting to get on the road early for the drive back to Illinois, I hit a run on the way back to the launch that we had passed up.  It wasn’t long, as the three rods were working, tips vibrating in the air as our ‘plugs’ were diving deep, the center rod went down and John was quickly on it.  A nice 8 pound male, after a series of good runs, made it to the net, and shortly after 2 p.m. we headed to the launch.  John and Steve had a great three days.
Further upriver, Crocket, Kalisha, and good friend Loye Carter hit the river, taking advantage of the nice weather. Fishing leisurely, they put four nice Peré Marquette River steelhead to the net, the largest landed by Kalisha. 
We have a couple nice days left before the temperature starts to drop on us.  I’ll be out again Saturday running switch rods and indy rigs as well as doing a little swinging.  I’m sure, even in the much colder temps coming next week, as long as we don’t lock up with ice, we’ll make it out; that’s what we do.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

January 3

Under a “winter weather advisory” the four guys from Indianapolis, IN switched things around today between Crockett and I.  I fished with Eric again but instead of Ed Reagan, I had the pleasure of fishing with Eric’s fourteen year old nephew Arman.  Crocket would fish with Ed and Armand, Eric’s brother and they spend the day fishing bobbers and spawn, and successfully I might add.  It has been a great two day steelhead event on the Peré Marquette River for these guys as they put a lot of steelhead to the net. Including in the excitement of it all was Crockett’s “double” in which both Ed and Armand had steelhead on at the same time and managed to put both in the net.  It hasn’t been easy the past two days.  While it has been warmer than last year’s standards, winter is trying to sink its teeth in.  However with mild temperatures intermittently coming in, we should have a great winter steelhead season.  Winter’s a great time of the year to be out chasing steelhead.  Boat traffic is down and at times like today, the stretch of the Peré Marquette River we chose to fish was ours.  We didn’t see another angler or boat all day.  It doesn’t get any better!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

January 2

A group of guys from Indiana started the New Year out right as they headed north on New Year’s Day to fish with us.  Eric Angeles and Ed were up here just before Christmas and had to have another quick steelhead fix.  Eric’s brother and nephew (father and son team pictured above) were eager to join and it would be 14 year old Armon’s first time on the Peré Marquette River, who has wanted to come up here for quite some time.  We had to work hard for what we caught today.  On the lower river, Eric, Ed and I struggled with “lite bites” as we turned 6 fish through out the day, but the guys each managed to land a nice Steelhead.  Further up stream, Crocket fished with Armand and his fourteen year old son Arman and while they didn’t turn a lot of fish, they landed just about everything that bit as the father and son duo landed five nice steelhead.  The six of us will be at it again tomorrow, taking advantage of the ‘warmer’ weather before the next little cold front comes in, but by next weekend, we are supposed to be back in the mid to upper 30’s, another reason to get back on the river.  More tomorrow!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 26

I hope everyone out there had a very Merry Christmas.  It was a good one for the whole Roller family despite the fact that Karen and I were out of power for due to high winds exceeding 60 mph at times, since Thursday night and it finally got turned back on about 5 p.m. today.  We didn’t miss a beat however as we celebrated Christmas with my mom’s, at the old Roller homestead by the middle branch of the Peré Marquette River on Christmas Eve and Christmas day found Karen and I in our tree stands bow hunting.  Since we were out of electric this morning, we got up and headed to the river for a few hours as I wanted to check out the lower river to see if had improved since the water had went down since last Monday when Eric, Ed and I had a tough go of it the day after we had a stellar performance of boating 9 steelhead.
The temps were falling today with high in the mid 30’s but with the clearer water conditions, I felt hopeful.  With in fifteen minutes, Karen had landed our first fish of the day and while the water temps had cooled, the fish fought hard, like a fall steelhead should.  We missed another fish in the same run, fished our second run and it was empty.  Our third run, the wind had started to kick in, with a little mist in the air and as the wind had kicked the stern of the boat towards a small log jamb, the middle rod went buckling down and before I could say Fish ON!  Karen had the rod and the chrome steelhead came airborne in fall fashion.  As the steelhead came toward us and leaning towards the small log jamb, Karen quickly moved the rod low and left and quickly the steelhead was mid river and for the moment playing on our side of the court.  As I cleared the other rods, and grabbed the net, the fish was soon played out as it ran deep under the boat and soon after we had our second fish to the net.  With in a couple of hours we boated 2 steelhead, missed another and we were happy to beat the rain, so we headed to the launch.  Tomorrow is the last day of our “late season” for waterfowl in the ‘southern zone’ with 20 mph north winds predicted, so we’ll head south for the final time this year and in the morning be setting in a marsh, hoping to bring back a few more greenheads for dinner.
While the temps are cooling, the steelhead fishing should remain good as the water level drops and clears a bit.  I’ll be on the water this Tuesday with Robert Starr from Beverly Hills, MI and Eric and friend Ed and company will be with Crocket and I on the second and third of January taking advantage of open water and what appears to be a great year for winter Steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 22

It’s hard to believe a year ago, our steelhead fishing on the Peré Marquette River had just about come to a halt as the lower river had “locked up” with ice and “anchor ice” was flowing freely throughout most of the river.  But that was last year and we are definitely taking advantage of the warmer weather.  Instead of snow storms we’re having rain which is keeping the water level to very good fishing conditions as Eric Angeles (pictured above) and his friend Ed, both from the Indianapolis Indiana area, found out on Sunday.  Eric is no stranger to the Peré Marquette River as he has been with us several times, and the past two days he introduced his friend Ed to what all the hype about steelhead fishing is all about.  Ed got to see both sides of the coin, as we had a stellar day on Sunday and there was never a dull moment.  However yesterday, the lower river humbled us fiercely as we switched gears; hit the lower river, where I had been doing very well all fall.  Only one of two things could have happened, either the higher water pushed the steelhead farther up river or they were just not on the bite, and I have to believe the first case scenario.  It has been a long time since I could not put a fish in the net, and yesterday was one of those days, and I can’t think of a time where I’ve worked so hard.  The day looked positive as the third run we hit, we had 3 nice hits on the plug rods, but then we worked for the next six hours with not as much as a ‘fishy’ twitch on the rods.  Then about 3 p.m. the center rod goes smashing down and a large colored buck steelhead was on the line, thrashing nicely on the surface.  Everything looked right, Ed was on the rod and I really felt we would finally put a fish in the net.  As I’m dropping anchor and grabbing the net, I heard Ed’s heart breaking voice, knowing the fish had come un buttoned, as the three of us just stood in the boat in disbelief.  We had touched 5 fish briefly through out the day and darkness was upon us and we headed back to the launch, thankful of the day we had the day before.  I’ve preached it many times and Eric reiterated last night at the launch, which is why you book two days. Quite often both days are good, but rarely are both days tough, and the two guys headed home knowing and feeling they had a good trip.  Eric will be back in very early January, and in tow days time, we’ll find fish and have a great time, enjoying this weather and everything the Peré Marquette River has to offer.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 18

The last ten days has been busy. We duck hunted the last day of our two day “late season” in Ludington, MI and although somewhat poor conditions, Crocket, Karen, and I had a very good hunt on Green heads, a Black Duck, a Gadwall, and a Green Winged Teal on the 13th of December.  While I spent time in the tree stand, during our Muzzle loading season, Crocket was chasing steelhead both on the Muskegon River and the Pere Marquette, doing very well.  I’ve been watching a couple of decent bucks and yesterday morning, I harvested a seven point with my “Tradition’s” muzzle loader.  I’ll be bow hunting on and off through the first of the year.
The rains we had several days ago, made for muddy conditions on the PM for a few days which has given way to prime conditions now, despite the cold weather the past couple of days.  On the 17th of December, Crocket and Loye Carter (pictured above) caught some nice steelhead on the Muskegon, and then yesterday the duo did extremely well on the Pere Marquette River, despite the 24 degree high for the day with wind and snow.  While we have the coldest conditions so far this winter, it will give way to temps back in the 40’s which will make for some very comfortable steelhead fishing.
I’ll be on the water this Sunday and Monday, then on the 26th and 27th, we are into our final two days of the 2015 waterfowl season as we hunt in the ‘southern’ zone for the final two day late season. Then back on to steelhead the weekend after New Year’s Day. 
Our Alaskan bookings are coming in strong, as we are finalizing the purchase of Alagnak Wilderness Camp which will give us a great summer, including some early September waterfowl hunting and a couple of “self-guided” moose hunts.
Whether it’s fishing our Michigan winter for steelhead or spending a week during the summer at our camp in Alaska, come join us for some great fishing.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 8

Santa Clause visited the Peré Marquette River today as he took a little break from working as he prepares for the “big day” on the 25th of this month and Karen and I had the pleasure of fishing with him and Mrs. Clause.  Within 48 hours, we’ve switched gears from waterfowl back to steelhead and the river didn’t disappoint.   The river has finally come down to decent levels again after the hard rains around Thanksgiving weekend.  While the river is still up, it has the perfect stain with a handful of new fish to go with it.  Santa started the day off with our first fish and Mrs. Clause was soon to follow.  Then it was Karen’s turn and it didn’t take long and she had put our third fish to the boat.  Within 5 hours we put five nice steelhead to the boat and had lost a couple and by 3 p.m. due to Santa’s deadlines, he had to call it a day.
A little farther up river, Crocket was fishing and had a decent morning as well.  The fishing has been good and with the weather pattern and ten day forecast, I think we are well on our way to be able to fish all winter long, unlike the past two.  The rest of the month will be busy as we have a two day late season waterfowl hunt lined up for both the middle zone (Ludington, MI) and the southern zone shortly after Christmas (Muskegon, MI).  Hope you can take a little time out of your busy schedule and join us.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 7

It’s been a very busy late November early December and my apologies for time frame in between “up to the minute” as I’ve been chasing ducks through out the southern part of Michigan as we ended the regular waterfowl season this past weekend.  In the mean time, Crocket has been hot after Steelhead this past week and doing quite well.  Pictured above is Kalisha Fisher, Crocket’s girlfriend, with one of four steelhead that she landed on the 4th of this month.  The river finally came down enough to clear to a nice tea color and made for some great steelheading.  Our rifle season for deer ended the end of November and we harvested some nice bucks on the family property just east of Baldwin.  Kurt got the biggest with a nice 12 point he shot in the middle of a rain storm at 4:20 in the afternoon on the 20th of November.  He also got a nice 8 point with his bow in late October.  Karen Showalter also shot a nice 8 point on the deer opener hunting with me.  With two of his tines broken off, fighting with other bucks, it should have been a 10 point.  My nephew and guide Blake Roller arrowed a very nice buck as well during the bow season in early November.  Honorable mention goes to Kayla Roller, my niece, with a nice doe she arrowed during the bow season in early November.  We have two, two day late season duck hunts coming up later this month but most of our focus will be on December steelhead and getting ready for our newly purchased camp in Alaska, on the famed Alagnak River.  The bookings are coming in quickly and 2016 looks like it’s going to be another GREAT year.  Hope you can join us!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

Nomember 17

It's been a busy weekend from steelhead, ducks and a nice buck.  More to come tomorrow.

November 13

We fought through gale force winds, hard driving rain, rain snow mix, hard pelting sleet, in search of Steelhead and through it all we fought fish, which made it feel sunny and 75 degrees.  With our crew spread out over 50 miles of Peré Marquette River we managed to put 17 Steelhead to the net, not all bad in a days work with the best crew of guides working on the river.  Everyday a few more steelhead enter the system as well as migrate farther upstream, spreading themselves thin.  However, the upper river is starting to see a few more fish.  November is starting to show itself with weather, waterfowl, and of course on of our favorite fish, the Steelhead.  We have put well over fifty steelhead to the net at this point and if we don’t lock up early in December like last year, we could have a great winter fishery.  November is almost at the half way point and we plan on being on the river or in a duck blind to utilize every day left.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

I have to keep it simple as the lack of time, but we have had a great season on the Muskegon River, near Newaygo, MI.  We suffered a little low water in early May but the rains came and two flood gates were opened, and new fish arrived.  With that being said, in teh low water, we still managed to hook 18 to 20 plus fish a day.  The river remains up a bit and while the fish numbers are waning a bit, so has most of the pressure.  With fewer and fewer boats (two other boats today) we have the run of the river and are still able to put plenty of fish in the net per day.  We should have no problem continuing that through out this coming holiday weekend. My cell number (231) 342-0049 is still the best number to contact me.  Crocket and i are still doing well and continue to do so on the Muskegon River.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

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Crockett going out and having fun on the Pere Marquette River.  Fishing steelhead!  It's what we do.  12/5/16Two fish out of the same run!  12/5/16Loye Carter from Ludington staying busy wtih Crockett on the Pere Marquette River  12/5/16Pere Marquette Outfitters guide David Roller aka "Crociett" with another chrome steelhead on  12/5/16Loye Carter with a nice skipper added to the mix on a great day spent on the river.  12/5/16There weren't many fish on today for the boys in the dirty, high water, but the ones they caught were LARGE!  12/1/16Loye Carter with another big fish for the day as Crocket and Loye hit the lower river, despite the high dirty water.  12/1/16A few geese come by the spread once in a while and Karma was quick on it as it swam and dove on her.  11/21/16Kevin (left) and Ted Knight from Midland, MI enjoying a cast and blast.  One of four fish we landed that afternoon.  11/18/16Another beautiful morning in the duck marsh as we await a little more wind and colder temps.  11/18/16Grant Hughes from Indiana with our first fish landed of the morning.  11/17/16Grant with the early hot hand on Pere Marquette River steelhead on 11/17/16.Steve Haywood, enjoying a very mild day, great friends, and wonderfull  Pere Marquette River steelhead.  11/17/16Steve Haywood with a solid 12 pound steelhead on the Pere Marquette River.  11/17/16Grant Hughes from Indiana, with the first Lake trout I have ever seen come out of the Pere Marquette River.  It weighed a solid 12 pounds.  11/17/16Tom Brown with a very nice steelhead fishing with guide, Blake Roller.  11/14/16The "egg lady" Cathy Zimmerman, doing what she loves best, catching plenty of steelhead..  11/13/16Santa Clause, incognito, getting a little fishing in before the work begins.  11/13/16Bob Starr with 'our' mornings hunt.  The wind was blowing and the birds were flying.  11/10/16Kurt Iueter with his two sons, Austin and Drew enjoying their annual cast and blast.  Two steelhead landed wth some great fish on!!!  11/8/18A very nice steelhead by Dan Holland on the 5th of November.Chris with a very nice steelhead as we switched over to floating lines and indy rigs.  11/5/16Karen and I with some early September Alaskan ducks, and the afternoon Silver fishing was fantastic. 9/2/16Sean and Matt with a limit of Silvers as well as a nice pile of ducks from the morning hunt.  9/16Tim Oneil with a mid September Silver on the Alagnak River.Damon with a mature Silver Salmon in spawning colors.Matt with a beautiful  male Dolly Varden in spawning colors. 9/15/16Karen cleaning the front yard of dead chums in Alaska.Ed Levine from Idaho, 85 years  young, having fun with Alagnak Silvers the third week of August.Thom Ries and his fine sons, Hogan and Hewey with a large King in Alaska.Hogan and Hewey with a limit of Alaskan Pink Salmon.Work is never done in Alaska, as I knock out one of the floor frames, ready to rebuild for next year's busy season, at our Alaska's Alagnak Wilderness Camp.The last day of our camp in Alaska, a final fairwell, as we head for the lower 48. 9/18/16Another September sunset  in Alaska. 9/16This nice moose was taken by Damon Lars right behind our camp in Alaska this past September.

   December 5,