Monday, December 12, 2011

Simmer - Permit

Awesome Fish! Story to follow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November Steelies on the PM

Sheepishly I have to admit that "Big Al" aka my father.... showed me a thing or two on the PM last week. We fished for fall steelies (my first fall trip ever on the PM) the day before Turkey day.

Dad was 3 for 3. I was 1 for 7. Ouch. Dad fished about 2 hours. I fished 8+hrs. Ouch. But I ask... why does it have to be about numbers? Isn't this about the 'experience' the 'journey'!?

Nevertheless, I landed my personal best. A totally pissed off male that tipped the scales at 13.5lbs.... I was proud of it, even if just a welter weight compared to some of the other hogs on this blog.

No question the fall fish are stronger, as they lose horsepower and LBs over the winter and after sex. With the tighter water of the PM (vs. the MO or Manistee) the degree of difficulty is definitely greater. You can't chase the fish in the boat, you actually have to fight it and pull it back up stream. Other details. All the PM fish are 100% wild. No stocked genes in the system.

So back to the story... I was getting a HUGE MASSIVE NEVER BEFORE SEEN amount of crap from my Dad and Tommy. As all signs pointed to an 0 for 6 day and the humiliation of getting crushed by fish after anynumber of numskull moves: failed hook sets, bad line management, setting the hood upstream, etc., etc., etc., I was faking a good mood at 4:20pm trying to accept that most likely I would be skunked and would have to drive back with my Dad and hear about it... for months if not years... and even worse having to show photos to my son of Grandad's fish.

So I put all the karma on the line as we approached the last pool of the day, declared with gamblers confidence, "Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, 2 strikes, down by 3".... and then said, "last cast of the day... it's now or never baby" (which has NEVER ever in the history of my life produced a strike). And then. Booyah. It happened. A massive down river run that nearly ended the way the previous 6 misses ended... but then I got some leverage and landed the dude.

Pretty fun times. Can't recommend Tommy Lynch enough. He's tough and not-kind to people who refuse to learn.... he busted my chops for 7.98 hrs... but you learn and improve and actually start to cast less and fish more. Great times shared with my Dad on the river... even if he did deliver a total old-man smackdown.

(guide enhanced, notice my middle finger is larger than my my head)

(Reality pic ... still my biggest steelie to hand in 10 years of chasing)

(Dad's nonchalant 10lb Male)

(Dad's 11lb male)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Some pigs from the MN Crew.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Big Mississippi Smallie Love

THE MN CREW out chasing a few lippy smallies on the Mississippi. This time Steveo beats Simmer in the "who's fish is bigger" contest.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Benny's 20" smallie from somewhere in MN

Whoever did done tooked this pic probably got sulky Benny with a "gaaaall... dude... you missed the fish" comment. Rumored to be a taped 20" smallie but without the tail en pic to verify. Even if a C- on the documentary.... nevertheless a killer fish and the big winner from the float.
Benny where's the fedora????

Monday, June 27, 2011

March on the PM

Tommy Lynch is more than a little intense... no-doubt he's an "A-list" guide with a track record of getting his clients into big fish. What may not be obvious is that to get better... you really need someone to get in your grill, and correct all the terrible habits and disrupt the complacency. Whether you like it or not you'll get better when you fish with Tommy - he demands that you cast the right way every single time - which is awesome, but can be extremely frustrating and disorienting until you start to snap out of your bad habits.

This spring I fished with him for a few days with Joel and then again with Simmer and Conair and learned more about casting (in particular roll casting sinking line and streamer fishing with big flies) than in my previous life of hack-casting combined. You also realize that most guides keep their mouth shut - and avoid the hard work of breaking your bad habits. There's a place for that - but on the PM if you don't iron out the wrinkles you won't catch fish, and you'll be in the trees or in the logs the entire time. Tommy's mission is to put you in position to tie up with a trophy. There's a reason why he has dozens of pics of clients holding browns over 30" and hundreds over 20".

Joel had logged 3 total days of fly fishing in his life, prior to our trip. Needless to say, streamer fishing on the PM, with 300grain full sinking line, with Tommy Lynch was like skipping the bunny hills and heading straight to the double black diamonds.

Tommy was relentless in his mission to get Joel into some fish. And Joel stepped up big-time: landed a nice steelie and a few browns nymphing, and a very rare exotic 22" kamloops resident trout on a streamer (a rumored escapee from the gun club trout pond, as they aren't native to the PM or stocked by the DNR).

Not bad for day #4 & 5... ever with a fly rod.

The other bizarre fish from this trip was a one-eye cyclops steelie caught on a streamer.

No big browns landed - only a few in the 14-16 range. A few heart stopping/knee bending visuals of some hogs... that I continue to dream about.

Further proof... Never bring a camera!

We pulled the trigger last minute (June 2/3) for some "M River" action and the river was loving us... it was ridiculous love, off the hook love.... so much love that we lost track of time. Between the three of us (Scotty, Steveo, GMS) we easily landed 100+ fish on the first day, over two days a conservative estimate might be 175 total fish (Scotty crushed it day two, Steve and I were a little slower)... not that we were counting but we lost count by 10 AM day 1. We estimate that there were around 10 fish in the 18+ range, and 1 fish (not pictured) 19+. Zero fish 20+... and these guys are serious about measuring, they pull the tape out anytime a fish is in the 18/19 range because a local eatery will give you a free entree if you breach the 20" mark. Of course, we didn't have a camera along, but we did snap a few pics with my phone... and the guide snapped a few too... though we haven't seen the best pics from him. Who cares though... we'll be back. The "M river" is insane. We already have 2 days booked for pre-spawn 2012. The fishing was so ridiculous that we won't talk of the river publicly and only refer to it as "M" river going forward.

On that note... just last week Steve and Bart got into some huge smallies on a newly discovered secret MN river and landed 5 or 6 fish over 20" also did not have a camera along. Sign me up. Further proof - never bring a camera.

Bart Hex

I received a text at 11:47 PM that said simply: "First and only cast" with the attached image of a 20+ inch brown. Not bad Bart!