Great time on the Manistee with Oklahomans, Jack and Janice. As Steve noted below, today was our coldest day of the fall, with the temp in Big Rapids at 19 and on the Manistee surely in the low 20’s, if not lower. Hence, the puffed-up fashion look modeled Jack and Janice. Pillsbury Dough-girl all the way! Gotta love it! But….here’s the good news: nobody was cold! Way to go, Jack, in talking the lady into such a compelling look!
Very good numbers of salmon continue to stalk the Manistee. Some tired fish are about, but most are in good to very good shape. Sprinkled in with the salmon are some steelhead that one guide, whom I respect, and with whom I spoke at the end of the day, said were no longer interested in his Spey flies and streamers as they were a couple of weeks ago. Now only egg patterns will do the trick, he said. We didn’t fish the runs and glides behind the salmon so we didn’t take any steelhead. But the salmon were very cooperative. Antron Hexs, chartreuse nuke eggs, and a purple, sparkle egg sucking leech (the pretender males really got after this fly, apparently out of misplaced aggression!) were our best patterns. Both Jack and Janice brought fish to net with Janice causing Jack to put his rod down repeatedly due to her frequent hookups. She, in particular, majored in lip latches with Jack waiting until his last fish of the day (shown with Janice) to prick a mouth. All in all, a wonderful day with two special people. Jack and Janice fly fish across America and are just totally fired up about fly fishing and the out-of-doors in general. What a pleasure to host you, Jack and Janice. I do hope you can find your way back to Michigan for some more of our fly fishing action! The picture of Janice with yours truly is Janice’s first boated Chinook (she earlier fought a very fresh, very large lip-hooked male for what we estimated approached a half an hour, only to lose it at the boat). No matter; premature release! Next time!