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Copyright 2009 Pere Marquette Outfitters: Michigan Fly Fishing. All Rights Reserved.
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 adn i are still doing well adn continue to do so on the Muskegon River.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 21

The weather was spot on today as we started the morning temps at 39 degrees, and I don’t think it got much warmer as the mid-morning heavy winds and driving rain hit, which ultimately around 11 a.m. tried so hard to turn to snow.  It actually did snow but all for about a minute or two.  Today was the type of day that if you owned it, you wore it.  The fishing on the Muskegon has been good although I would still like to see a little more water.  While it isn’t bad, they finally shut down the one flood gate that was open, so I’m not complaining about the rain.
Tim Schremshock from Schremshock architects and his group of friends had a blast the past three days, playing golf on the very warm Sunday we had and fishing in ‘steelhead weather’ the past two days.  Between guide Blake Roller on the “PM” and Crocket and I on the Muskegon River, the boys had a lot of fish on and plenty of stories to tell.
Also my thanks to Mystic Outdoors, who very quickly got us some new rods to fish with and at a $250.00 price point (retail), the 10’ ~ 8wt. Mystic Reaper is a bargain and a pleasure to fish with, I was pleasingly surprised.  Jason (pictured above) fished the rod the past two days and will be looking at purchasing one in the near future.  The rod has plenty of back bone for chucking heavier lead in high water and would make a great “Indy” rod.
Satellite Internet signal has been difficult (couldn’t post last night) with the weather so you may at times see two days’ worth.  We’ll be back at it tomorrow!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 20

Weather played trick on us today as we started out in the mid 50’s for temps in the early morning.  As the day went on the cooler temps came with it, however it was great steelhead weather and Crockett and I did well on the Muskegon River as did Blake on the Pere Marquette River.  Dress appropriately as colder weather is coming and snow predicted for tomorrow.  My internet has been spotty here in Croton, MI so this one will be short and sweet.  For those needing to get with me, the easiest email address is peremarquetteoutfittersalaska@yahoo.com and my cell phone at (231) 342-0049.  All is well on the Muskegon River!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 18

It was another beautiful day on the Muskegon River chasing mid-April Steelhead with the Gossett brothers, John and Dick, whom I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with many years, both here in Michigan and Alaska.  With another brisk morning (with no frost) and warming up to delayering temperatures, it just made for great fishing.  The Muskegon in still holding decent water flow and nice color as new fish are working their way in as is evident with the fresh little hen that John is holding in the picture above.  Fishing is good on the Muskegon River but far from peak as there are plenty of fish on the lower river starting to come in.   Given the nice day, and a Saturday, there were lots of boats ‘trying’ and as I looked around saw very, very few rods bent.  But the guys/guides that are “in the know” are doing quite well.  Crockett started out slow this morning and had to bounce around, but a sweet spot got missed by others as he slid in around the 11 a.m. hour and made his day as the both of us had plenty of hook ups and fish to the net.  I hear rumors of precipitation coming, and a cold front.  A little kick in water levels and we could have our next wave of fish coming in.  We’ll be here when they arrive!
Meanwhile, back on our home waters of the Pere Marquette River, guide Blake Roller worked hard, but managed to get the job done.  The upper "PM" has gotten really clear as the water has been dropping and the clear, sunny conditions didn't help matters any, but in the end he managed to put six nice steelhead to the net.  Again, any amount of precipitation, and both rivers will see another wave of Steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David

April 17

Pete Mans from Mans Lumber came up for a second time this spring, a tad bit warmer than when he was here the third week of March.  While Crocket guided on the Muskegon River yesterday, this would be my first day of thirty plus on the Muskegon for this season.  The weather certainly treated us right, and for the most part so did the Muskegon River steelhead.  Pete would start the day off right with a nice male shortly after a cool, crisp daybreak.  Within the first hour or so, Blake and Pete would also boat three nice walleye, typical for this time of the year as the Muskegon runs cold.  We would have a few hook ups, but it wasn’t until after the sun got up a little higher and we could feel it’s warm rays, when we started to bend rods.  While Pete would put a few fish to the net, Blake was cursed for most of the day as he would hook them up, and stupid, crazy stuff would happen to unbutton every fish he would come in contact with… until the very end of the day, when Blake would land the largest fish of the two boat party. Pictured above is Blake with the Steelhead that caused a lot of drama and had us all wondering if Blake could finish the deal especially after the steelhead headed down river and was making friends with another boat’s anchor rope.  We drifted down with the fish, kept the rod high as we lifted the line over the boat and Blake pulled the beautiful, now somewhat tired fish (after several jumps) away from fallen timber, away from the boat, and nothing but net!  The Muskegon River steelhead did not disappoint.  Crockett had Meghan and her father, (Pete’s cousin), and all had a great day on the river putting some very nice steelhead to the net. 

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 14

The high muddy waters of the Peré Marquette are receding nicely as it starts to clear up, making fish visible again on the upper end.  Paul Orth from Ohio and his two boys Bradley and Mathew saw it on the downslide but experienced as a brand new batch of steelhead came in and did extremely well, so well that Paul decided to fish an extra day with Guide Blake Roller, and in doing so he and his boys (Mathew pictured above) had two stellar days back to back.  A week ago the rains came and the river crested on the bottom end of where we fish on this past Sunday and with the crest came debris such as grasses, leaves, pine needles, and everything else that washed off the bank, making fishing conditions tough.  I rescheduled the past couple of days so by now the river ought to be in pretty good shape.  Crockett took a run to the Muskegon River today, and with the river traffic down, he got to fish just about anywhere he wanted to (although that will change very soon) and hit steelhead in just about every area, so the Muskegon is just getting started and we’ll all be down there soon.  With that being said, I’m sure the Peré Marquette will still have another week to ten days of good fishing yet and I’m sure during the “trout opener”, the trout fishermen will be nicely surprised on the upper tributaries, with a nice handful of steelhead around.  Also this past week, I had the pleasure of fishing with members of the Ozark Fly Fishers again as Mark Harris and Bill Todd, from around the St. Louis, MO area fished with us again.  This past winter, Bill custom built from scratch, a cane rod, splitting and carving out his cane rod, using a Gillum taper in an eight foot, six inch, “Light Salmon” taper.  I must admit I was a little skeptical, until I actually roll casted about 20 feet of line with ease, running an “Indy rig”.  The little rod had some beef behind it and performed well for Bill as I watched him land plenty of Steelhead with it.  We have another solid month, and then some, of steelheading left.  It should be a great spring, as it is just getting started.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 6

It has been a week of ups and downs since my last posting; mostly due to being very busy and keeping a lot of balls in the air sort of speak.  We’ve had some great days, like last Thursday, when we started the early morning with 60 degree temps.  With the warm day combined with a drizzle and solid rain mix, it gave us ideal fishing conditions as Dwight Montgomery, his wife Dona, and his thirteen year old daughter Ellie from Columbus, OH and father as well as father and son team from Colorado, John and Paul Morrison where fortunate enough to be there as we had rods doubled up putting these guys in double digit hook ups.  Dwight and his wife and daughter has been fishing with us for quite some time in AK as well as here in MI, and this years Pere Marquette River steelhead trip was his best ever. The picture above is Dona and Ellie, a mother and daughter duo as they doubled on steelhead and Crockett was able to net them both. As what goes up, must go down… the very next day it was cold and clear and our numbers dwindled quickly as cooler water temps put the fish down.  Not however with some very nice steelhead caught that day.  I had the privilege of fishing with a man from Japan named Yoshi who was here on a visa for work.  Being his last month here he wanted to fish steelhead.  Yoshi had all the good stuff, waders, rods, reels, etc.  His 10’9” Beulah switch rod got broken in nicely as he landed his first three steelhead ever, on a day that was less conducive for good fishing.  Paul “Uncle Jake” Jakubiak introduced Yoshi to a great time on the river and memories that will bring him back from Japan someday.  The Borlace Brothers from Michigan’s U.P. also got in some good fishing.  Shawn and Stan have been with us for years and this year’s return was another good one as he was guided by Crockett.  My “Nashville” group also did well considering the cold harsh winter like conditions they fished in last year (negative 6 was our coldest morning fishing last year, last Wednesday of March), as Chuck Robinson, Mike Bell, John Morrison, Paul Morrison, and Seattle Jim all landed nice fish with a couple of epic battles in the mix.
The past couple of days have been good, but still not a lot of fish on gravel given the bright day.  We fished a mix of runs and redds today with the Ken and Cathy (the “Egg Lady”) Zimmerman and had just a beautiful day, with some nice steelhead and warm weather.  Crockett fished Al Hemerling, who I fished yesterday as well.  Al is used to fishing in extreme cold weather the past year and today was as warm as he’s seen on the Pere Marquette River.  Al is a switch and spey guy, started this past year, and has come a long way.  He will be joining us in Alaska this year, putting his knowledge all together as he hunts Fifty pound Kings on the Alagnak River with me this year.  He’ll be back with us though this spring, later in the season.
We have more “steelhead weather” on the way as cloudy, wet conditions are forecasted with temperatures fluctuating between mid thirties for lows and fifty degree for highs, and with a little more ‘hopefully’ higher water coming down the river, we could see multiple days of great fishing as the rifer gradually warms up.  Enjoy the many new pictures in the film strip; a lot of them are from this past week.  More coming tomorrow!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

April 1

The Pere Marquette River, on the lower end of the spawning grounds for steelhead, still remains cold with very few fish showing up on gravel and most of our fish are caught in the runs.  The upper river in the Pere Marquette’s “flies only” stretch is fishing a little bit better with much more pressure and more steelhead on gravel.  A lot more new faces on the film strip as all of us have done a little better in the past few days as the warmer temperatures are helping.  One of my “Nashville” groups have been up for the past three days with a couple more yet to go, and with the tough fishing last year, due to very cold weather, this year they have done much better.  With the entire Roller’s out the past couple of days, we have put some very nice fish to the net.  Wayne Baird and his wife Chris, from Muskegon, MI has done quiet well today and this past Monday as they are up for their annual steelhead trip as well and as normal, Chris out fishes her husband and they both like it that way as Crocket guided them both days.  Guide Blake Roller has helped me out with the Nashville guys, as he made sure that everyone from that group has landed a steelhead or two that have been up for the past few days.
We had a good shot of rain two nights ago, which really muddied up the river on the lower end, making the fishing a little tougher, today however it changed over to a very nicer tea color which made it easier for the steelhead to see our presentations and put more fish on the rod.  The upper “PM” which was getting extremely clear, stained up nicely, making fishing a little easier up there as well.  If we don’t get any major cold fronts coming in, the fishing should remain good from here on out and I have a hunch that the Pere Marquette River, will fish clear to the end of April again, as the season is just getting started and running about a week behind. 
A warm day coming tomorrow, preceded by a very warm night… it should be great fishing!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 29

What a difference a day makes.   Today’s 25 degree start up (and warming quickly) felt like a heat wave compared to yesterday morning’s 4 degree start up.  Today was not with out the elements of weather however as we fought wind (63 mph wind gust recorded), snow, sleet, rain, and STEELHEAD.  The father and son team Rob and George Glessner were up for their annual steelhead trip, and the guys always seem to put it together.  The morning didn’t start out the quickest as we fished our first three runs and never turned a fish, the fourth run we lost our first good Steelhead and then the day turned around as quickly as the temperatures warmed up and the front came in.  At first we could hear the wind above the trees as we were protected by some of the river banks.  Then, just as we were making lunch, in tornado like fashion, the high winds hit with out a warning as we watched whirlwinds of snow race across the river.  With in about 30 minutes we were covered in snow which turned to a rain snow mix, then a drizzle.  It was all good as we barely noticed the weather as the guys kept putting steelhead to the net.  Certainly my best day of the spring as hopefully our steelhead season is on our way to being another great one.  My Nashville, TN/Seattle, WA crew are now up for the week, and with a little luck weather wise, they should have a great week.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 28

It was bitter cold this morning!!!  Bitter as in 4 degrees this morning as two of our boats were launched in search of Peré Marquette Steelhead that would test the patience of any angler as our water temperatures plummet again.  But when you are here, you go fishing and enjoy the day.  John Williams and his son George (both pictured above) from Cincinnati, OH did just that and they were our big guns today and they possibly could have done the best on the river.   Yesterday, 13 year old George landed one of the largest Steelhead on the river, as the scale pushed 13 pounds.  They fished with Crocket, running plugs, and though the ‘catching’ wasn’t that good, they certainly had a great day, making memories, and I could tell by the smiles on their faces when they passed me on the river, mid afternoon.  They had landed three nice steelhead, and my guys and I had only one fish on for the day, and that fish, after about a 30 second work out had given us the slip as it spit the hook.  The conditions have been tough the past few days as we just can’t see to shake the cold weather.  What few fish we had on gravel, drifted back into the runs, and with the cold water, they seemed to just set dormant.  Even the trout weren’t hitting.  Tomorrow were supposed to have a low of 22 degrees with a high of 38 degrees stemmed with 20 mph winds and some snow.  Perhaps a little crazy weather will trigger a few more fish to bite.  No matter how bad the weather turns tomorrow, we’ll be out there, searching every run we can with what time we have.  Stay tuned and see how we do, better yet, get on the water, and like this father and son team, catch a few steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 27

The past 24 hours turned cold with low teens for a morning start and we didn't get much higher than 25 degrees today which meant fighting ice in the guides of our rods more than fighting steelhead.  However we managed to put a few steelhead to the net.  Tomorrow will be a start up in the single digits but we'll finally get above freezing again as a warm up trend is starting which should put more fish on gravel and more fresh fish back on the bite in the next couple of days.  It's all good, a little chilly, but with less pressure, it makes for a fun day.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 26

The past two days have been nice.  While not stellar by any means, the warmer nights (just above freezing) has put a few fish on gravel and a few new steelhead in the runs.  Pete Manns from Manns Lumber saw the transition as he and his crew fished the past three days, and the past two days it was nice seeing rods bent and to do ‘some’ sight fishing.  The water is almost perfect as there is still just a slight tint to the river. I have posted a few of the fish we’ve caught with Pete’s group with Blake, Lil D, and myself at the oars.  While fishing today, the cold front blew in and by 5 p.m. the guides on the rods were getting a little slushy.  15 degrees predicted for tomorrow morning, we can only hope that the water temp does not drop too much.  Regardless, we’ll be out in search of one of our favorite fish…Pere Marquette Steelhead.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 24

It was a day with minimum numbers through out the whole river system today.   With cold temperatures through out the night and morning, then water temp plummeted and shut most of the fish right down, and it didn’t seem to matter what one was throwing, from flies to plugs to beads and spawn… it was just a tough day.  We did so much better this past winter, what very few times we could get out.  Last weeks warm temperatures acclimated out steelhead to slightly warmer water temps, and when the last two mornings plummeted to almost single digits, so went out warmer water temps, and so went out good fishing that we had just a week ago.
While the last post was on March 12, I did make it out with the “Egg Lady” on Tuesday the 17th of this past month, a day after our warmest day of 65 degrees.  The warm weather caught up to us to the degree, a lot of run off busted loose and turned the river extremely muddy with dead leaves, grass, and other debris flowing through.  Ken and Cathy Zimmerman (the Egg Lady) and I gave it a good try from Sou Lacs to Upper Branch Bridge and never touched a fish.
Today, after the river clearing for a few days, the river looked perfect, except for that temperature thing this morning.  I included, we had four boats scattered across most of the Peré Marquette River system.  “DJ” ran Custer to Scottville, ran plugs, and never touched a fish.  I ran Lower to Walhalla with my two guys and we hit two solid Steelhead with potentially two others on, and never boated a fish.  Crocket was our big gun today as he ran plugs from Upper Branch to Barothy Lodge.  He put three nice Steelhead to the net and lost one other.  Blake ran his favorite stretch, one that has treated him well, and never turned a fish until after 1 p.m. and finally put a nice Steelhead and Brown trout to the net.  We’re supposed to be warmer tonight with a low around 30 degrees and a little rain, possible freezing rain.  A change in the weather is welcome, and with three of us out tomorrow, hopefully we can put a few more Steelhead to the net.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 12

The past week the weather has been outstanding, fishing in 50 degree weather.  While there is still plenty of snow on the ground and thick shelves of ice that line the river bank, the steelhead fishing on the Peré Marquette River has been  really good, and today was no exception.  The past three days, Thom Ries and his buddy Ed Ball, appreciated every warm moment as they have been with me in years past, mid February, where we fished in highs of 22 degree weather and plenty of ice in the guides that we had to knock out every three to five minutes.  So the past three days have been a real treat to all of us that have fished in almost miserably cold weather.  The first run this morning, Ed Ball would start us off with a nice bright female, and a couple of runs later, he backed it up with a nice male.  Thom Ries, who had the hot hand yesterday finally started hanging on to fish and would back the day up with some nice Steelhead as well,  Father and son team, Randy and Caleb Buys from Reed City, MI had a great day on the river as well fishing with Pere Marquette Outfitters guide Blake Roller.  This would be Caleb’s first time fishing Steelhead and he capped the day off with a nice 13 pound male.  It’s been great fishing with the weather being so nice; it’s been like a double bonus, given this time of the year…too much fun.  We have a great spring steelhead season lined up and if you’re not in the books, there is still time, but the time slots are getting very limited.  Grab your son or daughter, significant other, and go outside and have some fun, and what better fun than some of these chrome steelhead that are just starting to come in mixed with our winter fish, a person can hardly go wrong…just being out in this kind of weather is worth it!

Tight Lines!   David Roller

March 11

It was another magical day on the Peré Marquette River as warm weather prevails and almost makes us forget just how crazy cold it was not that long ago.  Even with the clear nights it barely gets below freezing, just enough to tighten up the slushy roads, but by mid to late morning, the layers start to come off, more snow disappears, and the ice shelves that line the banks of the river have a continuous drip.  The fishing has been good and a few ( I reiterate “few”) fish are showing up on gravel, mostly in the Flies Only stretch in Baldwin, MI and I’ve heard of a few spent hens being caught, that doesn’t surprise me this time of year.
Day two of Thom Ries and Ed Ball’s three day steelhead retreat, the guys did well.  In years past, Ed is normally the one with the hot hand but this year Thom has been hooking most of the fish as he rides shotgun in my drift boat.  Three of the five fish landed today fought the best that I have seen since November and one acted like a November steelhead…long, hard, fast runs, 7 jumps, in which 5 of the airborne antics, the fish completely cleared the river as if it was tail walking in thin air, it was almost surreal watching a fish like this behave so wildly in such cold water; even they like the warmer weather.  Most of the fish we’ve been catching the past few days are fresh, bright females that are slowly working their way up river in search of their home spawning areas, as they await the water temps to get just right.  With the amount of ice and snow (ice water) melting in the river, it will be a while before we see any significant amount of spawning taking place, but in the mean time, we’re making a decent day of it and any time you can see a Steelhead do what it did today… well you just had to be there.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

March 10

Thom Ries and his buddy Ed Ball, from Columbus, OH have been in the books since the middle of February, as they normally start their annual Michigan pilgrimage to the Peré Marquette River to fish Steelhead.  With February being the coldest on record for us, it was not easy for Thom to hear me tell him to stay home, “We’re still locked up”.  He wanted to squeeze in three days and the only way he could do it was this week and he had to be on the road by Friday, heading back home.  Sunday I gave him the heart breaking news, that our favorite stretch of water was still locked up, but with 48 degree weather and sun, we could fish somewhere; he would wait for my report on Monday.  To my surprise this past Monday, within a 24 hour period, a river that was completely frozen over was wide open.  Thom told me he would be on the road by 8 p.m. and at 3:45 a.m. he pulled in my driveway.  No rest for the wicked, we got a few winks of sleep and made it to the river.  My nephew and Peré Marquette Outfitters guide Blake Roller had the same idea as he ran plugs a little farther up river.  Thom, Ed and I had Switch rods for our arsenal with floating lines and strike indicator rigs.  While what we did wasn’t stellar, we enjoyed fighting a few fish, including a giant that Ed Ball hooked into and lost a minute into a good battle.  Thom landed a nice 8 pound Steelhead (pictured above) and I had the pleasure of landing a skipper (immature 18 inch Steelhead).  It wasn’t just a good day; it was a great day as it was so much fun fishing floating lines with no ice in the guides on a beautiful 45 degree day.  Blake produced a few more fish running hardware including a large 13 pound male that Cameron Leonard caught.  We’ll be on the next couple of days, and enjoying some of the nicest early March weather that we’ve had in a few years.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

February 11

I don’t think we’ve went a week since the first of the year where single digit temperatures haven’t plagued us, making it almost impossible to fish, as shelf ice creeps out from the banks and anchor ice floats down the river. The lower river is still jammed with ice as the launches at Custer Bridge and Scottville Bridge have too much shelf ice to launch a boat with barely ten feet of open water coming down the center of the river.  Twin Bridges, down by Ludington, MI is iced completely shut.  However we’ve had just enough little warm fronts sneak through, that if you were able to make it out on the back side of these fronts, you would find the Peré Marquette river wide open from Walhalla Bridge up stream. 
Today, one of Peré Marquette Outfitters’ guides, Blake Roller and his friend Cameron Leonard, both from Reed City, MI took advantage of nice weather before the temps plummet back to single digits later this week.  Despite the freezing rain of this morning, the guys had a great day boating four nice steelhead, the largest 13 pounds that Cameron caught (pictured above).  Blake even managed to land a nice Steelhead, while manning the boat most of the day, putting a nice ten pound buck to the net.  For fishing a little more than a half day, the guys did great (great any day really). 
Blake called me around 3:30 p.m. to give me their report, and I couldn’t help but get the itch to go fishing, knowing my time would be extremely limited.  By 4:30 p.m. I was walking in to a favorite little stretch of mine on the Peré Marquette, and it was good just to cast a rod, running my 11’6” Switch rod with a floating line and indicator rig.  Several minutes into the first run, I landed a Brown Trout that would have made me proud in the summer time.  My second run was empty or at least no one wanted to play and it was getting darker by the minute.  I walked up a ways and decided to fish a run I haven’t fished in years, but on foot, you fish everything you can, and time wasn’t on my side. A couple good drifts through the run and nothing, as I waded a little farther down to get deeper into the run, then a couple of quick snags and re-tie.  The temps were dropping, wind picking up, and the snow was flying, and getting darker.  Knowing I had about a dozen more drifts left before I would need to start walking back to the truck, my indicator went down where it hadn’t the previous drifts, and just like that a small steelhead, of about 4 pounds was on the line.  It didn’t fight like the big boys, but it was a nice fish none the less, and after putting it in the net, it was enough to satiate the need for a steelhead.  I broke down my rod, and enjoyed the quiet walk through the darkening forest, back to the truck.
Bitter cold and lake effect snow is back on its way, and with it comes more shelf ice and flowing anchor ice.  With just another little break in the weather next week, hopefully, the river will be flowing cleanly again, and cure a little more “cabin fever”.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

January 31

I thought I’d share an ‘adventure’ of Mr. Diggins that I learned about while we fished steelhead on the Peré Marquette River this past Thursday, the story was interesting and worth sharing.  He’s been fortunate to be able to hunt several places around the world and I’m fortunate to be able to fish him as well as everyone that steps foot in my boat.  Two pictures of the moose and wolf that Vance Diggins shot are in the film strip above.  He was hunting Moose in a very remote area of the NW Territories with his wife.  Vance loves shooting long distances and practices such.  The moose was shot at about 200 yards with his specialized 7mm rifle.  He downed the moose at 200 yards and as he and his guide was in the process of field dressing the large bull, the ravens started to cutting in.  Soon after wolves were howling in a malicious fashion a mile and half away, and the guide knew they would close in quickly.  Was it the ravens that got the wolves attention or downed moose remains a mystery, but the wolves quickly moved in to the point the guide became concerned as they were in thick tag alders with visibility of about 20 feet.  The wolf pack, within a couple hundred yards and closing in, split up and flanked sides of Vance, his guide, and the downed moose, sounding as unfriendly as the situation the two guys were in.  One large wolf sat on the hillside, some 150 plus yards away, as if directing his pack.  Per the guides instruction, Vance pulled up on the wolf, and in one shot the wolf was harvested and the rest of the pack scattered and disappeared.  Whether hunting or fishing in remote areas, we are not necessarily the top of the food chain.  Its part of the adventure that is in each one of us to fish and hunt such areas, that makes us feel alive.  Preparation, common sense, and listening to the guide go a long way, and when it all comes together, great memories are made.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

January 29

Vance Diggins from Colorado called me a few days ago, wanting to fish Steelhead.  He was at his place near Traverse City for a couple of weeks and had some wiggle room on when we could play the weather
to our advantage (comfort level).  After several of single digit mornings and mid twenties for high temperatures, cloud cover coming in last night keeping the night to a warm twenty five degrees and a high forecasted for thirty five degrees gave us our only window, as single digit temps were back in the forecast for the next several days.  So this morning, Vance drove down from Traverse City, through a major snowstorm to meet me.  Strike indicators, floating lines, and Switch rod were on the technique of choice as Vance wanted to learn more.  He was a quick study as after the first run, he was casting the fly line in fishable measures and soon, as a reward, a nice twenty one inch Brown trout was on the end of his line that he soon brought to the net.  A couple runs later, in the ‘sweet spot’, another Brown trout was fooled, and fooled us as we thought it could be a potential steelhead.  A fish is a fish, and while we were both happy of our morning success, Steelhead was on both of our minds.  The water temps weren’t helping and it was just comfortably cold enough to put slush in the guides of the rod.  Most of the shelf ice was gone but remnants of thick ice lined the bank some 30 inches above the water line indicating the backed up water from ice dams just a couple of weeks prior when the river was frozen over.  The first run after lunch, Vance made a couple of nice casts, mended out line for a perfect drift, just a little farther than the last and the indicator went down.  A quick strike, and it was game on, a fish much larger acting than the nice Browns we had caught earlier.  It was no doubt a steelhead was on the line as the larger, brighter fish charged up river.  Stripping line quick to keep up, Vance played the fish nicely, only to see the steelhead roll on the surface and spit the offering, both our hearts sank.  All was not lost as we still had the afternoon left and plenty of great water, if one steelhead was ok with the existing water temps, than we should be able to find another.  It wasn’t long and we did find another that fought hard and long, to the point we knew we were winning, but it’s not over until it’s in the net.  After a little coaching and the ten pound buck surging for deep water, Vance soon got the steelhead near the drift boat, lifted its head and rolled it to the net and out day was a success.  We fished other runs and soon darkness was coming on and so was the cold front as the winds kicked up from the north, and the ‘slush’ in the guides soon turned to solid ice.  We fished until we could hardly see the indicator floating down the seam of the last run, and called it a day.  On the way home, I wouldn’t call it blizzard conditions, but the temps were dropping fast and the wind was whipping the snow around that made visibility a little tough.  As the weather man predicted, the cold temps were back and now we’re in for another week of single digit lows and mid to high teens for highs.  We’ll wait for the next window of opportunity to hit the Peré Marquette once again, but until then, the nice ten pound steelhead pictured above that Vance Diggins caught with me; we’ll cure a little “cabin fever”.  Until next time…

Tight Lines!  David Roller

January 7 2015 has come in cold and sharp, almost the way we started 2014.  However there is a difference, the difference being we’ve been able to fish right up until the end of December, where last year, December “14”  we were just about locked up by the middle of the month.  On the eve of Christmas Day, Steve Goerner from IL came up to visit for a few days as well as fish his favorite fish on the Peré Marquette River, Steelhead.  Many of you remember Steve when he used to guide for us back in the 80’s and early to mid 90’s.  He hasn’t changed a lick, and he and I enjoyed a day together fishing on the 29th of December.  We had a high of 22 degrees that day, but that didn’t stop two river rats, nor did it seem to affect the steelhead.  I somehow managed to leave my camera in the truck that day, but in 4 hours time Steve and I put four steelhead in the boat and lost 4 others. 
Since then, as you all know, it’s gotten colder, much colder, and as I type this it’s we’re in the middle of a snow storm in which we’re supposed to get 8 to 12 inches.
The good news is that\ our spring steelhead season is just two months away and I have a hunch that there will be some good days to be had well before the month of March arrives. In the mean time, we’re hunkered down, filling in the spring books, fall books, working on Alaska, and getting into rod building mode.  I’m going to get as much ‘indoor” work done as possible, so when the time comes, it’s FISH ON!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 24

It was a last minute decision, but neither Joy or I could take the fact that it was pushing 40 degrees, weather was coming, and we were cooped up like a couple of caged lions.  So in the early afternoon, with a few hours of daylight left, we threw on some warm clothes, hooked the boat up, took the dogs, and headed for the river.  We wanted to see just how well “Timber”, out 100 pound German shepherd would handle being in the boat anyway.  And with “Karma” our Black Labrador leading the way, we were sure Timber would be just fine and he was.  Knowing time was short for the day, we hit some of our best runs, and in less than fifteen minutes, Joy had her first fish on, and soon brought it to the net, a nice five pound chrome male.  After a few pics, we no sooner got the lines back in the water and she was hooked up with a fiery male that fought like it was fresh from the lake.  We knew he was a larger fish, and the way he fought, so did the ten pound Steelhead that Joy finally landed which is pictured above.  After a couple of fish that hit and we lost, we were in our final run, and Joy said, “You land the next one and I’ll net it.  You don’t have to be a guide all the time.”  As we worked the plugs near the brushy shoreline, the right rod was nearly in the brush.  I picked up the rod out of the rod holder to clear the rod tip of branches when the left rod went smashing down.  With my left hand I grabbed the left rod as the steelhead cleared the water and came running towards us.  I was helpless, so Joy came to the rescue, grabbed the rod the fish was on and the battle had just begun.  It was another fresh run Steelhead who didn’t know it was the end of December.  After a few jumps and running quickly towards the boat, it decided to head behind and under a downed tree in the river.  Joy put the rod tip in the water to keep the line angle low and under branches, I lifted anchor to drop below the dead fall, and it wasn't’t long and we were in the clear and Joy had her third Steelhead to the net.  As evening was upon us, and a small mix of light rain and snow was starting to come down, we called it a day and headed for the launch.  While our time was limited, we had a great afternoon on the Peré Marquette River, and made it home to a warm house, just as the freezing rain started to come down.

Merry Christmas everybody!  David, Joy, and the crew from Peré Marquette Outfitters

December 10

When Al Hemerling (pictured above) was fishing with me three weeks ago, on the 17th of November, you would have thought it was mid January with the blowing snow and temperatures ranging in the teens for highs, not to mention we had to break ice on the river to get back to the launch.  Well Al was back the past two days and it was like fishing in the tropics compared to last months outing.  Donned with his Sage, 11’9” ~ 8 weight “Method” custom built by yours truly, Al did a great job on the steelhead yesterday and today.  While the fishing wasn’t stellar, it was good, especially considering Al has just been casting his “switch” for less than a year, and most of that has been with me.  We fished two different stretches of the Peré Marquette the past two days with mixed results, running a floating line with strike indicators.  Today was a crazy day as Al hooked up three fish in short order this morning, putting one to the net.  Then we worked and worked and around 1 p.m. he landed another one.  However, a nice prize is always worth the wait.  As we approached the final hour of the day, in one of our last runs, Al finally turns another steelhead, only to feel the gutless feeling of it coming unbuttoned.  In less than four casts, Al hooks up again, with a steelhead that pulled a little harder than the last and battle started.  After tiring the fish, Al slides the chrome male to the net.  Although we were in the final hour, it was as if our day had just begun, because only six casts or less later, Al connects with another nice male and proceeds to land it as well.  Knowing our time was limited we moved quickly to a very short run, and in less time that I could rig another leader, Al had connected again, drifting a line fairly close to the boat.  It was an up close and personal battle as the two stepped toe to toe with another nice chrome steelhead bucking and thrashing the water as all 11’ 9” of Al’s Sage Method was doubled over.  We had to fight it harder than most as we were surrounded by logs, ultimately the Steelhead won, not because it took us to the wood, but came unbuttoned, but for about twenty seconds it was chaotic, heart pounding and fun to watch, all at the same time.  And so we ended the day.  Surprising the past two days, as cold as the water temps are, these fish fought hard, one even jumped twice for us today, clearing the water, and yesterday we had fish run from the bottom of the run, well below the boat, racing clear up river, thirty feet above the boat in mere seconds.  We have new fish in the river again and it’s a pleasure to see them fight, whether we win or loose.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

December 5

November has blown by like pages in a good book, and here we are encroaching mid December.  While we have had our share of cold, crazy weather, we are not as bad as last year.  By this time last year the lower river was almost locked up and trying to fish or hunt ducks was an undertaking.  The high water we had a week ago is starting to recede nicely especially the mid to upper river.  Guide Blake Roller and his friend Randy Buys from Reed City, MI took a quick trip this past Wednesday, and did extremely well putting some very nice Steelhead to the net.  With the cold, mid winter like conditions we experienced a couple of weeks ago, it’s no surprise to see some of the males look as dark as the large Steelhead Randy caught this past week donning spawning colors…Yes I said it.  One little “January thaw” and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see some steelhead on spawning gravel.  I’ll be in “duck mode” this weekend as the last days of duck season are sadly upon us.  This will be the last weekend for the southern zone open for the regular season.  We have two “late season” weekends to look forward to and then as quick as it got here, it’s over.  Then we will be in full Steelhead and rod building mode until March gets here when our spring steelhead season will begin.  Hard to believe it’s only three months away, literally!   December could be a great Steelhead month as it’s already started out to be for Blake and Randy, jump on board before winter clutches us for the long haul.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

Novmeber 29

Our weather has been all over the map, from 12 plus inches of snow, to rain and two days of 50 degree weather and back to snow, which ballooned up the river, flood watches, etc., etc.  A couple of days ago, the lower river was almost unfishable due to extremely dirty water, but cold temps that came after the rain helped, and yesterday and today the river cleared up to a nice tea color, although remains very high, pouring into the woods in many places.  Bill Becker and Sean Frost joined be today to just Steelhead fish as in years past we would do a “cast and blast” as he and his group annually stay at Barothy Lodge.  We all slept in this morning and as the temps hit 35 degrees around 11 a.m. we were fishing and it didn’t take us long for Bill to put our first Steelhead to the net, and Sean (pictured left) followed minutes later with the 12 pound male that is pictured above.  We would work most of the afternoon with out another hit, but we worked our way on up and before day’s end we would put 4 nice Steelhead to the net and loose one other.  After several days of mid to low teens for lows and mid to low 20’s for highs, it was nice to fish with out gloves on in very comfortable weather as we reached the lower mid 40’s today.  The water is still extremely cold which made for more manageable Steelhead and still extremely high but coming down.  IF we don’t lock up any time soon, we could have a great winter steelhead fishery for weeks if not months to come.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 18

Today, Al Hemerling (pictured above) from St. Joseph, MI fished steelhead with floating lines and Indy rigs in about as extreme conditions as it gets with out cutting holes in the ice of the river.  With temperatures less than 20 degrees and wind chills in the single digits to below zero for two days in a row, the water temp finally caught up.  As we launched the boat in the lower river today, slush was pouring down the river but we decided to head upstream to see just how bad or better it could get.  As if casting between slush flows wasn’t bad enough, the frigid temps would not permit ten casts in a row with Al’s switch rod and floating line, rigged with an indicator rig.  Like clock work, in mere minutes, we would have to take the time to knock the ice out from all of the guides.  Dipping the rod in the water, which normally takes out the ice, only made matters worse as it was as if we were dipping candles.  Ice would accumulate on the shaft of my Go-devil motor while it was underwater and ice would build up on my anchor and anchor line, again, while it was underwater, and this lasted for most of the day.  Around 2 p.m. the temps tended to increase to a balmy 25 degrees and for about two hours the slush had dissipated that had been flowing down river all that time, and it wasn’t long after, Al had hooked into his first Steelhead.  The fight was long enough that I really figured we would land it, long enough for me to unthaw the net that was frozen in a collapsed manor.  Then in the blink on an eye, it came unbuttoned.  The next run produced the same, a good strike, a good hook set by Al, a good fight between his 11’9” Sage Method 8 wt. switch rod and  a chrome steelhead that acted more like a fall fish versus the cold water temp fish we had hooked, and again it come unbuttoned.  By 4 p.m. we had about enough of the cold weather and we decided to head back towards the launch and fish one more short run, we made ourselves!  With in a few short casts and new slush starting to form, Al hooked up again, and held on.  As ice and slush peeled off the fly line as Al stripped the line in through the guides, he worked the chrome Steelhead pictured above to the net and we had finally scored, in conditions unfit for most.  Our day was far from over as we headed for the launch.  In two areas my boat had to break ice for over 100 feet as the river was completely choked off.  It wasn’t as easy as motoring through slushy ice; it was hard ice to the point in another day, it will be impossible to get through with out doing some sort of damage.  However, this day we had won, had a great time, came dressed for the occasion, caught a nice Steelhead, and fought a couple more.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 17

It's been snowy and cold but we're still fishing.  Above, Al Hemerling, from St. Joesph, MI with a nice Steelhead we caught in a blizzard.  He and I are going again tomorrow.  We'll be picking ice out of the guides often as Al throws his "Switch" rods and catching Steelhead.  More to come!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 12

Todd Ewers, owner of Buckeye Western Star Truck Company, near Columbus, OH and his son Todd have fished with us since 2011, fishing Kings in early September, and spring Steelhead in May but they have never fished for fall Steelhead.  They decided to give it a try and witnessed first hand how dramatic, feisty, and hot these November Steelhead can be and how quickly things can change from one day to the next.  After having a great week of steelheading in pretty harsh, windy conditions, this past Monday the wind switched out of the East and we had fairly mild conditions.  Either the Steelhead we had migrated up river and no new fish come in or they were just plain turned off as the first few runs we fished, we came up empty, some runs that I had been hitting multiple fish in every day, I was a little stunned to say the least, but Steelhead has a way of humbling a person.  With not as much as a strike, we fished most of the morning, until finally we put our first two Steelhead to the net around the 11a.m. hour, then shortly there after, Todd and Tom put a third fish to the net and loose a nice one…we were finally on a roll.  We kept working little nooks and crannies of the lower river and by days end the guys had landed five our of seven steelhead on, not a bad day, but certainly took work on all of us in the boat.  Yesterday was their final day of two days steelheading and the fish warmed up a little as a major cold front that dumped 16 inches of snow northern Minnesota, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and reeked havoc on northern Lower Michigan up near Traverse City.  The morning started out at a balmy 48 degrees and the steelhead were on the bite even though we lost the first four or five fish.   As the temps plummeted 15 degrees through out the day and the cold rain hit, which ultimately turned to snow, we kept at it and the steelhead stayed on the bite as the Ewers put six out of thirteen fish that we had on to the net. It was a good day and the fish we had on made the cold day just a little warmer.  We still have half of November to go and I hope to utilize every day of it, hopefully you can get out as well.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 9

Winds were more stable today as John Kirby and I hunted ducks in the a.m. and fished Steelhead in the afternoon.  We started fishing a little later today as there were a few more birds in the air.  Steelhead fishing remains good and today was just another reminder of what John Kirby said yesterday, "Pure Michigan!"

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 8

John Kirby remained dedicated despite the weather conditions that were spot on.  Despite heavy rains at times, a steady 25 to 30 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph, the ducks flew a little and the steelhead were more than plenty.  It was a great day and in the words of John Kirby from Cincinnati, OH… it was “Pure Michigan” as the winds couldn’t erase the smile off his face.  We’ll be at it again tomorrow!

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 7

It was a chilly, frosty morning as six guys caravanned from a contractors banquet held at Ferris State University, led by Eric Steck (pictured above).  After last nights rain, there was also a “black ice” warning out on the highways, and I can testify the roads were a little slick.  Guides Blake Roller and Crockett would run plugs and Eric Steck, his friend Bruce who is very active on the Au Sable River system, and I would run floating lines and indicator rigs with our switch rods. All in all it was a very successful day as rods were bent and Steelhead were put to the net as we would have three boats spread through out the river system.  Eleven Steelhead were put to the net with another dozen or so on.  The fish are wild, hot, with runs that make fly lines throw rooster tails in the water.  If we don’t lock up this winter, we should have plenty of Steelhead to fish for in the up coming months.  We have a major cold front with winds coming tomorrow, and with a “cast and blast” lined up for the next few days; it should be a good one.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 5

Many of you have spoken to Joy Gardner, my significant other, on the phone here at Peré Marquette Outfitters, now you can put a face with the voice and name.  She loves to fish and hunt, and has only had a chance a couple of times to fish this fall.  I have been like the shoe maker whose kids run around with no shoes to her with my busy schedule.  Well today she and I changed all that as we slipped out for an afternoon Steelhead trip on the Peré Marquette River.  The first run and a half we fished didn’t produce a fish and she started to wonder if she would ever catch a Steelhead as they have eluded her for several years, but as we worked our way deeper into the run, the right rod would bury down towards the waters edge with such force Joy could hardly get the rod out of the rod holder.  Joy is no rookie when it comes to fighting fish as she has done her share of fishing, but these fall steelhead would test her limits.  After three or four good runs and kicking water into the air, she slid the fish towards the net and her very first Steelhead was landed.  Her day was made, but little did she know what was to come.  The second Steelhead she landed was a feisty five pound male that was nothing short of a live wire bouncing from bank to bank with an aerial display that would excite any steelhead fisherman.  The third and fourth fish however would really show her what fall Steelhead was all about.  The picture above was her third fish, and when it hit, all hell broke loose.  It’s flip flop and cartwheel like acrobatics was nothing short of raw power and viciousness.  After steering the fish away from logs and a downed tree, the large 11 pound Steelhead bored deep under the boat.  Joy reeled down and with a gentle but firm pull she brought the fresh run steelhead to the surface and it was nothing but net.  There was nothing but excitement and elation in Joy’s eyes as she looked at the large Steelhead in the net.  “Oh my God, my heart is beating so fast and my knees are shaking.”  It doesn’t get better than that and true to course, if fish like that doesn’t get you excited, it’s time to take up something else.  The adrenaline rush had not yet ended when her fourth fish was on and it was a mimic of the last with the only exception that this Steelhead was much larger and knew how to throw its weight around, this was a fall Steelhead at its best and was showing no mercy.  This Steelhead was much larger and could have easily exceeded the fifteen pound mark and the way it acted and displayed itself even made me take a step back.  As Joy put it, “this fish did not want to be reckoned with!”  Everything was working to our favor towards the end and we were three to five seconds from putting it to the net, and in the blink of an eye, the rod line went slack.  For a moment, both of us had a blank stare on our face as we watched the fish disappear into the depths of the river, and then our hearts sank.  Joy had just lost her biggest fish.  I have seen a lot of fish get away, we want to land them all, and I’ve become a little immune to it, except when one of this magnitude gets away, it is heartbreaking whether I’m at the end of the rod or net.  Somehow, with all the twirls, spins, and acrobatics, the treble hook of the hot-n-tot worked it way inside and around the split ring enough to become detached, and the hot-n-tot came out of the water missing one hook.  It was equipment failure that was beyond our control.  After landing three in a roll, she was bound to loose one sooner or later, but it had to be the large one of day.  Joy’s last fish fought no less, and with four fish to the net and the cold rain starting to come down, we made a tough judgment call to call it a great afternoon and headed to the launch.  Steelhead fever has caught up with Joy and in months to come, the two of us will be back on the river, several times I’m sure.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

November 4

It’s been a very busy week!  Today was a family event, when Kurt Ieuter from Midland, MI brought his two boys Austin (left pictured above) and 12 year old Drew to participate in a “cast and blast”.  It was a good day to say the least.  While I would have liked the duck hunting to be a little better, the guys managed to knock down three Gadwalls and when the boys knocked down the first two of the morning there were hollers, hoops, and high fives…it was a happy boat.  A little later we got another one and after a quick lunch we decided to head to do a little Steelhead fishing.  We had a 5 p.m. deadline as Austin had to make hockey practice so we wasted no time.  On our first run, 12 year old Drew landed our first fish, a beautifully colored male Coho, and minutes afterward we lost our first Steelhead.  It didn’t take long and we Austin would put his first Steelhead to the boat and we kept the pace going.  There always seems to be time for “one more fish” at times and we decided that being 15 minutes late for practice would be appropriate while the fish were biting, and little before 5 p.m. we landed our fifth fish and called it a great day.  And it was, another great example of a dad and his two boys creating memories that will not be forgotten.
Going back a few days, when Dwight Montgomery was up and had a great Steelhead day, on his day two, the wind was blowing 30 mph and snow was blowing sideways.  Jim Downs from Lansing, MI joined us, and because the wind gusts were at 40 mph at times and it was such a good “duck day”, we opted to stay in the comforts of the duck blind.  While we had our quiet moments, we killed 9 ducks and missed a few that came in hot, and some so hot we couldn’t even get our guns up in time, but it was a fun day.
The past few days the Ozark Fly Fishers were represented again as Malcolm Royce, Dr. Dan Kiddy, Bill Todd, and Mark Harris came up to fall Steelhead fish for the first time.  They have seen some great fishing with us during spring steelhead and fall salmon, but have not experienced fall Steelhead fishing until now.   With our extreme low water, mid river, fishing floating lines and indicator rigs wasn’t easy, but we produced fish every day and they all got a good taste of chrome as everyone put a nice fall Steelhead to the net.  Dr. Dan Kiddy said it best, while the fishing was slower than we like it, “it sure was fun seeing chrome being pulled out of the river, I’ve never seen them that chrome”.  Today Dr. Dan and Malcolm are heading south to the Grand River fishing with Crockett, and late afternoon heading home back to St. Louis.
November is just starting.  We have some good cold fronts coming in soon which should give us some ducky days, and with enough Steelhead, it makes for a great day, as Kurt Ieuter and his two sons experienced yesterday… it doesn’t get any better as the smiles in the pictures above tells it all.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 30

Dwight Montgomery, from Columbus, OH, is no stranger to Peré Marquette Outfitters and the services we provide.  He goes to Alaska with us every year, he and his wife and daughter, fishes with us spring and fall (for Kings), and this year he decided to add duck hunting to his list of things to do with us and of course it’s hard to duck hunt and not add the steelhead portion of the day.  The morning started out promising as we had a few mallards flying around as they left the roost.  Soon after a Bluebill come flying in and Dwight’s new Benelli Super Black Eagle shot gun made light work for my Black Labrador “Karma” as she retrieved her first duck of the season.  After the second duck, the sky remained empty as the sun started to warm up the day and after an early lunch we were Steelhead fishing by 1 p.m.  It wouldn’t take long to connect with our first piece of chrome and within an hour or so; Dwight had the fall Steelhead fishing thing down.  A nasty cold front, rain/snow mix is predicted for tomorrow with wind gusts up to 30 mph.  It should bring the mallards in with wings cupped and boots down, and Dwight, Jim Downs, and I will be there to greet them.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 28

We had two options when John Kirby from Cincinnati, OH called me and wanted to fish this past Sunday… Steelhead or Kings.  His response was whatever we could have the most fun with.  Since he had never fished salmon before and the Muskegon River had plenty of Kings on redds we would target Kings on the Muskegon as the day before with Randy Ryan’s group, also new to Michigan’s Kings, bending rods were key and put smiles on everyone’s face.  So the past Sunday, John Kirby and I motored up through the cool, crisp, foggy air of the Muskegon to an area that had been holding a lot of Kings, and this day was no different and just a few minutes past sunrise, as the sun was just hitting the tree tops, John put his first King to the net.  The day was as nice as it could get.  Sunny, a comfortable 55 degrees, a little breeze, and six or seven redds full of Kings.  It was a mixed bag, some Kings were a little ripe, some were starting to show signs of wear, and some were new that would run, jump, and provide a challenge to any angler.  This past weekend was a nice way to end our 2014 Salmon season, a season that was challenging with intermittent runs of Kings.  So here we are on a warm, 60 degree day as the duck blind goes on the boat, my gear bag transitions from Kings to Steelhead, and I look forward to another great month as I try to take in every day of my favorite time of the year.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

October 24

We did it all yesterday, on 9 foot 6 wt rods, floating lines, and indicator rigs.  Randy Ryan from Columbus, OH, his buddy Steve from Chicago and Jeff from Detroit, all met up to fish the Peré Marquette River with me today.  Tomorrow Randy’s son will join us as we fish the Muskegon River.  While very few Kings were out on redds, it didn’t matter as we fished both runs and redds.  Small Steelhead and browns were caught in most of the runs, but our least experienced fly fisherman, Jeff (pictured above) seemed to come through, as he was the one that could find nice, adult, chrome Steelhead, including the one he landed at the end of the day, and it wasn’t with out drama.  A 6 wt. rod matched with six pound tippet, and a hot 8 pound Steelhead jetting under logs met for a challenge that ultimately took three of us to get the fish to the net, but we did.  As the river drops more and more, it makes for tight casts closer to woodwork, and very little room for error/ Tomorrow we fish the Muskegon, for a change of pace.  Crockett fished the Muskegon yesterday with great success for both Kings and Steelhead and we are looking for a repeat performance.  He also has been doing very well on the Grand River, hitting double digit Steelhead numbers.  It feels good again to be chasing chrome.

Tight Lines!  David Roller

Marvin on his anual steelhead trip, having another great year.  5/16/15Marvin Bush with another nice Muskegon River Steelhead on May 16.Ron with a nice, clean May 16 Steelhead on the Muskegon River.Ron Hall with our last fish as we call it a day on 5/16/15Jerry Hollingsworth on May 12, having another greaqt day on the Muskegon river.Simona, from the Columbus Ohio area, up with the girls on May 8 and 9, with a very nice Muskegon river Steelhead.Vicky Eddy (left) and Carol Skinner with a "girls weekend" on the Muskegon River.  9 women and two days on the Muskegon River...we had a blast!Bob Starr with a nice steelhead on May 1, 2015 on the Muskegon River.Ben Lasater with a nice mid morning Muskegon River steelhead on 4/28/15And the snow came on the morning of the 22nd of April.Tim Schremshock with our first steelhead of the morning. The guys would land the first  four fish we hooked shortly after dawn.  4/21/15Crockett on the go as they float  down after one of Bob's steelhead.  4/21/15Jason with a nice male steelhead on the Muskegon River.  4/21/15Tim Schremshock with a large chrome female on the Muskegon River.  4/21/15Jason buttoned up and loving the Muskegon River.  4/21/15Jason with our first fish of the morning on the Muskegon River on 4/20/15.Great friends having great times on the Muskegon River.  4/20/15Jason loving Muskegon River Steelhead and the new 10 foot 8 wt. rod by Mystic Outdoors.  4/20/15Bob finally is able to hang on to this one after a few fish took him to school.  4/20/15Despite the cooler weather, we had a great time on the Muskegon River.  4/20/15Dick Gosset with an April 19 Muskegon river steelhead.Dick Gossett with a nice male on the Muskegon River on 4/18/15.John Gossett and I with another mid morning, Muskegon River steelhead.We've been catching a few walleye as well on the Muskegon River.  4/19/15Dick with this live little wire that was out of the water more than in .  4/18/15Pete Mans from Mans Lumber with out first fish of the season on the Mighty Mo.  4/17/15After a couple of walleye landed and a few steelhead shaken loose, Pete and Blake land another nice steelhead.  4/17/15Pete Mans with another nice steelhead on the Muskegon River on 4/17/15.Blake with several hook ups and unlucky happenings, brings in the largest fish of the day.  4/17/15Paul Orth having a great time on the Pere Marquette River, along with his two sons, creating memories that only father and sons can make.  4/13/15Paul Orth had such a great time on the 12th of April with guide Blake Roller that he rebooked for a second day...and no regrets!  4/13/15Bradley Orth enjoying warm son and a hot redd of steelhead.  4/12/15Pere Marquette Outfitters guide Blake Roller and Mathew Orth  having a great time on the river.  4/12/15Tom Smith with a nice Steelhead as we hunt and peck in muddy water.  4/10/15Mike coming  through as we pound the dirty waters of the Pere Marquette River.  4/10/15Tom Smith with our last  fish of the day.  4/10/15

May 17, 2015

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