Spring Turkey Hunting: A Story to Remember

 

Turkey Season is upon us once again, if the snow ever clears enough to go out scouting for scrapes, dustings, or nesting’s we would be able to set up blinds. For the past decade, I have been hunting at My Dads House in Davisburg, Michigan. Like every hunter, I have a story about what went wrong when that monster Tom is in your sights.

I did my pre scouting, set my blind, and prepped all my equipment the night before. Scared I wouldn’t wake up I made sure I set the alarm to be up before dawn. Early morning comes and I walk very quietly to my tent, sit down and relax because my adrenaline is really flowing by now, I’m hearing the turkeys starting to gobble. This happens before or just after they fly down from the trees.  Then I start hearing every movement in the woods, just waiting to see a hen or a tom come in.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I see movement, my heart starts beating really fast, I have to tell myself to calm down, don’t make a quick movement and scare them away. There, coming closer, first you see Jakes, then wait for it, wait for it , and then, the big Monster Tom comes in with a 14” beard, and I’m saying come on just a little closer, a little closer, and there he is, right in front of me. I aimed dead on; it’s a perfect shot, the Tom Flies up a little and doesn’t drop.

I can’t figure out why he’s still alive. So I check my sites, I know I hit him, but the monster Tom with the 14”beard just walks away. I just know I hit him. My hunting buddy calls me as the turkey goes out of site. He says “How could you have missed, he was right there”.  He comes to look at my  Shotgun to see why I missed the Turkey.

Then looks at me with little puppy dog eyes and tells me OOPS…… I forgot to put your Turkey Choke in -- Honey! Errrrrr, I just missed the longest bearded Turkey I have ever had come into range. Realizing how bad he felt didn’t matter, I still wanted to choke him, but I didn’t. 

So the lesson I learned is always make sure your equipment is properly set up. Even though I missed a Tom of a lifetime, I have to say that was probably the best hunting experience I ever had. It even makes a great funny story to tell at deer camp. For more blogs on Turkey Hunting and Shotguns go to http://www.basspro.com/ and click on blogs.

That’s My Story and I’m sticking with it………

Mary Callahan

Promotions Cordinator

Bass Pro Shops

Auburn Hills, MI

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Don't Become A Statistic: Always be Prepared When You Go For A Hike

The nick name bestowed upon me for a couple of decades now by those who know me best, has been Little Miss Preparedness.  I always had everything that might possibly be needed stowed somewhere in my pack. The one thing that motivated me above all else was a desire to NOT be a statistic, to NOT be the person written about in the newspaper article. You know the type…the ones that are embarrassing. Experienced back country hiker found frozen….It seems every story about stupid choices are written about those who should have known better. THAT was NEVER going to be about me.

But when hiking near home, I developed a bad habit. I became complacent. And one day not so long ago it caught up with me. That date was December 7th, 2013.

I had an unusual afternoon off, and a brief window to take my dogs out for some exercise and spiritual renewal. It was to be a brief 45minute excursion that would put wags on their tails and increase the oxygen circulating in my bloodstream. We went to a local run of woods that we had visited in the fall, where we would be less likely to run into others. I wanted to let the furbabies off leash to run for maximum expenditure of energy and didn’t want anyone else to feel imposed upon.

I wasn’t worried about losing sight of them since outfitting them in their Redhead Safety Vests. The bright orange with florescent yellow stripes not only assured me that hunters wouldn’t mistake them for targets, but also that I’d be able to spot them at a distance while enjoying the woods. Since I have 4 dogs, the price of $11.99 each at Bass Pro made this an affordable investment in peace of mind.

Things started out relatively well, but within 30 minutes the light sprinkling of snow, changed to massive globs of white dotting the sky, and covering everything including our tracks. I still hadn’t calculated any threat since this was ME, and I NEVER got lost, and this was SO CLOSE to home. I just continued to follow frolicking furbies as we ventured further into the thicket.

It wasn’t even that much longer when I decided that we should turn around, and my decision, quite honestly had everything to do with other things needed to be accomplished and nothing to do with the whiteout conditions that were descending quickly. These conditions were initially enjoyable.

As I continued to video and photograph the doggers, I thought we were on the way out. We were after all, following tracks, our tracks, back to a trail. Wasn’t that a trail? Wait a minute….

Here is where things went frightfully wrong… for four hours. Yes, four hours. And little miss prepared had NOTHING that she always advocated that everyone should have no matter what, when they venture into the woods. I should of refered to My top 10 Survival items but I was to create my own teachable scenario, getting lost in woods, so very close to my home.

As I trudged around looking for where to go, my glasses and sunglasses fogged up. I tried reading the GPS and Compass on my phone but wasn’t able to see through the lens.  How many times had I looked at the Nikon Fog eliminator and thought what a useful way to spend $7.99? That price was a bargain taking my current situation into consideration, and it became even more winsome desire as in my struggle to orient myself, I was wearing the battery on my phone down.

Had I brought along a Ray-O-Vac instant charger or 7 hour power charger, another useful purchase I considered but passed on, I might have been able to use my electronics to determine my whereabouts. Instead, I knew my general location, but not my relative location, which would get me back to my vehicle and home. My phone was now dead and I had no idea which way was what. I own both a Silva Scout, a survey compass and a Brunton orienteering compass. Neither was in my pack. I also didn’t have a Coglan ball compass pinned to my coat, something I sold every day to others. Relying on my cell phone compass just made me look more the fool.  I was really starting to kick myself.

Luckily, I was able to stay somewhat warm since I was dressed in layers. Starting with my Redhead base layer that wicked the moisture away from my skin so that I wouldn’t get the chills, I followed up with a mid-weight XPS zip collar and bottoms long underwear. Columbia Storm Surge Pants stuffed into my Bogs, good to -40 were keeping my lower half warm and dry, my Columbia Omni Heat Down Jacket was keeping my trunk pretty toasty. But I was starting to worry about my dogs…and about how well this would all do should we not make it out before dark. The Sun, despite not being able to see it, was setting.

 I found myself calling out for help. I knew full well that my voice would blend in with the wind, carried away unrecognized. How many times had I encouraged customers to spend a mere $4.99 to purchase a whistle? The sound of such a small instrument could always be recognized above nature, assuring to draw the attention of those who might seek out the inhabitants of a remnant car left in a parking lot. I could have also benefited from having a signal mirror, using the hole in the center to target my best guess towards civilization. Perhaps someone would have seen the pattern of light dance in their family room as they watched TV and called authorities….

The temperature was starting to drop. Typically I would have at least one 9 hour candle with me, a Sparkie fire starter and an SOL silver heat blanket. With these, I could set up a heat station for myself and the doggers, trapping the heat from the candle and reflecting it back with the blanket. If I’d had two of these blankets, or a Scout Kit that included duct tape and some fishing line, I could have set up a lean to with closed in walls and a roof, maybe even a floor, to keep our collective body heat from escaping.

Once shelter was established, I might have even been able to gather enough wood to build a fire in the entrance using a wet-pack, guaranteed to burn even in conditions like these. While waiting for the smoke to draw attention, I could have used ESBIT hexamine tablets and stove to melt snow in my GSI Soloist. We’d have water to drink after filtering it through a sawyer squeeze filter. Staying hydrated would mean less chance of becoming hypothermic, while staving off injury and exhaustion.  Extra melted snow water could have then been used to cook some dinner with dehydrated mountain house dinners.

But instead of surviving with confidence and in style, I struggled for four hours, trying to break free of circling back upon my own tracks, while being unsuccessful, navigating out of this in a whiteout.

Eventually I found a fence and was able to follow that out to a main road to be rescued, ice frozen in my hair. The dogs were no worse for the wear, and they would have never shared my secret shame. But I would rather use my foolhardiness to encourage others to be prepared.  The extra weight of the items I’d left behind is minimal, take up as much room, and will never be left behind again!

So, whether it’s a brief hike in a local woods or a more adventurous excursion, it is important to always be prepared for the worst case scenario. Everything you need can be found affordably in the camping section of Bass Pro. Knowing its available doesn’t mean you’ll have it when you need it.  So plan ahead.

Whether you buy supplies individually or in a preassembled kit, your Bass Pro Professional Staff can help you outfit your pack to be prepared so that you don’t become a statistic or write your own teachable moment.

We have what you need. This is Bass Pro Tammie and your adventure starts HERE.

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A Simple Guide to Spring Coho Fishing in St. Joseph, Michigan

Sitting atop the bluff along the shores of Lake Michigan is a picturesque town called St. Joseph, one of Michigan's best beach towns in the state. Old fashioned brick streets lining downtown welcome visitors as they browse through the interesting shops and restaurants. While there you will find art, antiques, collectibles, clothing and giftware. Below the bluff sits Silver Beach which stretches 1600 feet along the lake and claims title as one of the best US beaches, as reported in Parents magazine. While at the beach there are many kid friendly things to do. They have a fantastic carousel and huge fountain containing 28 water jets of varying heights with eight water cannons spraying water 35 feet up and 75 feet out. All in all, this place is one of the best that Michigan has to offer and we haven’t even talked about the fishing.

When it comes to spring time fishing for Coho or Brown Trout, nothing beats the piers in St. Joseph. There are two piers, one on each side of the St. Joseph River, that jet out into Lake Michigan. The south pier is located at Silver Beach and is wheelchair accessible and public use of the South Pier is allowed at your own risk. The pier is a navigational structure maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Although access is provided by connecting walkways, when you are on the South Pier, you are no longer on Silver Beach County Park property. On the north side of the St. Joseph River is Tisconia Park and Running alongside the south edge of the park is the North Pier. This pier is also wheelchair accessible and public use is allowed at your own risk. Containing a catwalk and two lighthouses, this pier is one of the best. Both parks do charge a small parking fee but it is well worth the price.

Now let’s talk fishing. Both piers offer some exciting fishing opportunities in early spring. From March to the start of May, fishing on the breakwater is productive for Coho Salmon, Brown Trout and even the occasional Steelhead. Once the Coho are in you can usually catch a limit in an hour or two. The best way to catch these tasty Coho is with skein (eggs that still have a casing on them). Fishing With Fresh & Treated Spawn (Roe) For Trout & Salmon does work but not as well as skein. As far as proper rod, reel, and tackle it’s pretty simple. Below is a list of what I would use but there are other manufacturer’s and choices. This is just my personal preference, feel free to choose what you prefer but keep the general principles of the list.

 

Rigging the rod is pretty simple. Place the pyramid sinker on the main line loose so it will slide up and down your line. Next, place on the bead and then tie the swivel onto the end of you main line. You will then want to tie on a leader line. During this time of year you can still use the 10# Flouroclear for this. I usually will tie on a 3 to 4 foot leader. From there slide on the rig float and tie on the treble hook. It’s a pretty simple rig to use and is very effective. All you have to do now is bait the hook with the skein, cast it out and wait for a hit.

Good Luck and Good Fishing

Patrick M. Stringfield

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Trout Beads and Sheffield Floats: A Killer Combination

 

 

Trout Beads and Sheffield Floats

 

I’ve heard a lot of rumors about how well beads worked; I had never used them but had always been interested. These rumors were coming from Alaska, on low pressure rivers with fish that run in who knows how many more numbers than they do here in Michigan. Last year a friend came across some beads in a store and started playing with them. He used them in a non-traditional way by slipping them on a mono loop and tying them onto a hook and adding a yarn veil, let me tell you they WORKED! Checking with the DNR to make sure they were legal here in Michigan, we here at Bass Pro Shops decided to carry them. Once we received them in the store it didn’t take me long to purchase them and try them on the river.

Rigging beads is VERY easy. The problem is there are two ways to rig them, the way they are “suppose” to be rigged is the ILLEGAL way to run them in Michigan. This method runs a bare hook under the bead. Per the DNR hooks MUST be baited so running a fly underneath the bead is LEGAL. Think of it this way you can run 2 beads and 2 nymphs and now you have twice as many offerings as you would if you were to run the illegal bare hook method. To rig beads all you need to do is slide one on BEFORE you tie your fly on. Once your fly is tied on all you need to do is peg the bead with a peggz or a tooth pick, trim the excess and shove what little material that is left father down the bead with the side of your nippers or pliers. Then slide your bead about one and a half inches above your fly any father you run the risk of snagging the fish.

When fishing beads there is no different technique. You can fish them under an indicator, on your chuck-n-duck rig or under a center-pin. There are multiple colors so you can “Match the Hatch” to what the natural eggs in the river are looking like. Remember the longer we go into the season the paler the eggs are going to look. So it doesn’t make sense to use a Tangerine egg in the middle of December, try something pale like Peachy King or Apricot.

           

Bobbers, floats or indicator depending on whom or how you fish with depends on what you call them.  All I know is that some work better than others. Sheffield floats met the standard for many fisher-people. The nice thing is they are highly visible up top and clear on the bottom making them pretty darn close to invisible underneath

These floats are easy to set up and tell you WAY more than you ever need to know. To add them to you line you need to add two of the small rubber band like doughnuts that come with them to your leader, then add you hollow core lead (if that’s your preference) then add a barrel swivel (I like using the Offshore Angler™ Barrel Swivels Double XX Strong due to how small they are). From there run your leader from the swivel to your flies and to you second fly if you would like. Once rigged you can slip each end of the float into its respective doughnit, colored end on top (towards the reel) and then clear end on bottom (towards the flies). Setting Depth, if you know how deep the run is set it so you are just above the bottom. If you are fishing new water I tend to shy on the side of caution and set the float high and set it lower 6 inches at a time until I hit bottom and then raise it up. Setting it low to start will lose more flies and make you frustrated, unless you like tying knots!

Back to the floats telling you what’s going on. If you float is running high and you’re not detecting any strikes or not sinking when you snag bottom you need to increase your weight. If your float sinks right away your weight needs to lighten up. Watch the top, whatever direction the top is pointed your flies are drifting in the opposite direction, meaning if your top is pointing downstream your flies are running behind the float and drifting slower than your float add a mend to slow down the drift (remember water on top flows faster than on the bottom due to

friction from the bottom of the stream). If the top is pointed at you, the flies are drifting on the other side of the float away from you. If the top is pointed away from you the flies are between you and your float. If the float disappears SET THE HOOK! For Additional Steelhead tips you should check out Egg Pattern Fly Fishing Egg Pattern Fly Fishing.

 

Good Luck To All

Andrew Neeson

Bass Pro Shops

White Rivver Fly Shop

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Michigans Fall Colors; Perfect Time for Hiking

fall colors

No season shows off Michigan’s true beauty better than fall. It’s the time of year when the weather gets cooler and the trees become inflamed with color. If you truly want to see awe inspiring picturesque scenery then you need to take advantage of the hiking trails in our Michigan parks. There are some do’s and don’ts when going hiking though, even if you’re only going for an afternoon. Below are a few of those do’s and don’ts.

Don’t Wear Cotton:

When we go hiking wearing cotton is not a good choice. This means no cotton t-shirts, cotton socks, blue jeans or denim jackets. Cotton will retain water and once it gets wet it takes a long time to dry, which is never a good thing. It doesn’t matter if its sweat or rain, moisture is something we want to avoid. When your body gets wet you will start to lose body heat. If you lose too much body heat you could face hypothermia.

Do Wear Clothing made of Wool or Polyester Fabrics:

These materials will wick the moisture away from your body keeping you dry and warm. So when you go out for that fall hike, remember that cotton kills and you need to dress appropriately in order to enjoy being out on your hike.

Wicking ShirtHiking Socks

 

 

 

 

Don’t Wear Boots Fresh from the Box:

Wearing untested brand new boots of hiking shoes is never a good thing. When wearing new footwear they are generally going to be stiffer and have not conformed to your foot yet. In some instances you can face hotspots or blisters on your feet making your hike a little less memorable and a little more painful.

Do Test and Break in Your Footwear:

You want to test out and break in your footwear before you go hiking. Try wearing them around the house, while walking your dog, mowing the lawn, or even to work. Sometimes you may have some sore spots and by Choosing the Right Hiking Socks it can make all the difference. Remember that rigid boots will require a longer period of break in time. When considering what boots to buy there are always things to consider. Hiking Boot Essentials is a good blog to read when considering what kind of hiking boots you want.

Don’t Start Too Late in the Day:

If you plan on hiking on longer trails don’t start too late. If you’re going on a trail that’s rated as a 5 hour hike don’t start too late in the day. We all fall behind schedule once in a while but if we start late on our hike we find ourselves in the woods when it’s dark out and not know how to find our way back.

Do Start on Time:

We want to always make sure we start our hike on time. If we do start late check and see if there is any way you can take a shorter route to make up for the time that you have lost. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Other things to remember: having plenty of fluids, an appropriate trail map, a first aid kit, and always plan your hike.

If you just don’t have time to take that trip up north, go on that all day hike or if you just getting into hiking and want to try shorter hikes, there are plenty of places in South East Michigan you can go. Some really good places to try that have great trails and plenty of fall colors are listed below.

Willcott Mill Metro Park:

This park is located of 27 mile rd just east of Romeo Plank. It has plenty of old hardwood trees that produce brilliant colors in an array of reds, oranges and yellow’s.

Highland Recreation Area:

Located at 5200 Highland rd in White Lake, this park has plenty to offer. Inside the main park is the location of the old Edsel Ford retreat manor. It contains every tree that grows in Michigan. Amazing colors and beautiful walks will keep you in awe.

Ortonville Recreation Area:

This park is located at 5779 Hadley rd in Ortonville and has considerable segments of old hardwood forests. The forests are set ablaze with amazing shades of reds, oranges, and yellows.

Metro Beach Metro Park:

Located off Metro parkway (16 mile) just past I-94 this park does have some extremely old hardwood growth and will surprise you with some amazing colors. One spot to stop and check is out on the point that jets out into Lake St. Clair. The sight from here provides a unique on of a kind experience.

 

 

 

Good Luck and Happy Hiking

Patrick M. Stringfield

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Bass Pro Shops

Auburn Hills, MI

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Fishing Fall Steelhead on Michigan's Rivers

River Shot

Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s one of the best times in Michigan for fishing. It all starts with the King Salmon season that starts in late August and runs thru September. Nothing beats the thrill of a 20# King thrashing and ripping off line. After the Salmon have moved up the river and start to spawn the Steelhead are sure to follow, usually around the middle of October. The reason for this is they are feeding on the Salmon roe.

As the season progresses from fall to winter, the number of steelhead increases. More and more Steelhead pour into Michigan Rivers every day. The early part of the season is special though. These Steelhead are aggressive, extremely strong and have not had a ton of fishing pressure put on them. As fall moves into winter, Steelhead numbers increase as well as the fishing pressure. This is the time they become much fussier and anglers will need to change their tactics.

Early Fall Steelhead Tactics

There are a variety of ways to catch fall steelhead but in my opinion nothing beats a good old fashion slip bobber with spawn underneath. Fishing With Fresh & Treated Spawn (Roe) For Trout & Salmon  just makes sense, this is the reason the steelhead are in the river in the first place. There are many things to consider when choosing which float to use. Water condition, current, depth of run, and even how fussy the fish are. I personally prefer to use a thill pro series weighted slip float size xx-Large, which is a great all purpose bobber. You can buy different bobbers for each situation but for most purposes this bobber works just fine. This package comes with a bobber stop but I only use the Bass Pro Shops bobber stops. These are extremely easy to use and rarely slip on the line. As far as hooks I would recommend the Gamakatsu Walleye & Steelhead assortment size 6.

Bass Pro Bobber StopsGamakatsu Walleye & Steelhead AssortmentThill Pro Series Weighted Slip Bobber

Two situations that you will face while fishing will determine how you rig. In the shorter runs when the fish aren’t as jittery you will add all your splits shot approximately 14-18 inches above the hook. This allows you to get the bait down quickly and in front of the Steelhead, which are usually at the bottom of the holes. In those longer runs, difficult currents and in situations where the fish might be a little temper mental you should stagger the weights throughout with the heaviest weight at the top. This keeps the bait directly under the bobber and gives a more natural presentation. All of this though will be useless if you don’t use the correct line. Everyone has a particular brand they like to use but the majority of Steelhead Fishermen will agree that you need to use a fluorocarbon line. Generally speaking you will need to go light since these fish have extremely good eyesight. I would recommend using 8# main line and a 6# leader.  After that it’s pretty simple. If the bobber goes under just set the hook and hold on.

 

Good Luck and Good Fishing

 

Patrick M. Stringfield

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Bass Pro Shops

Auburn Hills, MI

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Pier Fishing for Salmon and NanoFil Fishing Line

Frankfort Pier

 

Recently, I went on my annual salmon fishing trip with a group of friends off the pier in Frankfort, Michigan. This has been an annual tradition for the last 20 years and we always look forward to this trip. Frankfort, a small town on the coast of Lake Michigan is by far one of the best places in Michigan to visit. The immaculate dunes, beautiful beaches, and awe inspiring sunsets amaze visitors and locals alike. Shoppers can find one of a kind items crafted by local artisans and plenty of specialty shops, galleries, and restaurants. With the two piers that jet out into Lake Michigan, it is also one of the best places in the state to pier fish. In the fall the salmon come in around the pier to feed before they make their way up the Betsie River for their annual migration to the spawning grounds.

Typical equipment that you need in order to fish for these amazing creatures is an 8 ½ ft medium action Browning Six Rivers Spinning Rod with a 4000 size reel. I personally prefer a Shimano Sedona. In the past I was using 10lb P-Line Flouroclear line but that was the past. This year all the reports coming in were saying that a lot of the fish were running in the mid twenties to low thirties. I needed to do some research. I came across a blog on bass pro shops web page called Fishing Line Revolution . It discussed all the different lines and what was new on the market.  From there I talked with the associates in the fishing department and they told me more about the new fishing line made by Berkley called NanoFil. This line is a not a mono, not a flouro, not a braid, it is a unifilament line. This line has virtually no memory and an extremely small diameter. It was especially designed for spinning reels and you can cast it much further than other line of the same line weight. With this information I decided to give it a try. I bought a 150yd spool of 14lb test which has a .009 diameter, equivalent to 8lb monofilament line.

Shimano SedonaBerkley NanoFilBrowning Six Rivers Rod

Well, we are now out on the pier casting glow spoons and I can definitely see the difference in casting distance. My average cast was consistently 30 to 40 percent further than with traditional line. The sensitivity of the line was unbelievable. You could feel every tick of the bottom, every nick of a weed, and even the lightest of strikes made by the salmon. I was quickly becoming a believer in this line. I wasn’t completely sold yet though, I needed to be sure that this line could hold up to a large salmon.

It didn’t take long before a salmon slammed the spoon. I wrenched back on the rod setting the hook and the salmon exploded out of the water and ripping off 100yds of line before I even knew what happened. This was the big fish I was waiting for. It would definitely let me know if this line was worth the cost. After a few moments I finally got the fish turned around, but now it was making a b-line straight towards me. Reeling as fast as I could, I was able to catch back up to the fish. It was at this point it decided to make one last burst. Unfortunately, it went under the pier, under some iron pipes and then back out over the top of the pipes. Now I have a fish 20 yards out in front of me with my line is wrapped up on these pieces of iron pipe. There was only one thing I could do. I stuck the rod tip in the water and started to pull the fish back towards the pier. The line is scrapping across the pipes, grass is piling up at the rod tip and I figured there is no way I’m going to land this fish. To my surprise though, I was able to pull the fish back, get it around the iron pipes freeing it up, and land it. It was a beautiful 24lb King salmon. After a few seconds of celebrating with my friends, I knew I would have to check the line for damage. Prepared to lose 20 to 30 yards of line, I did a visual check and found no apparent damage. Continuing to fish with the line, I landed three more fish that night. All of them weighed between 18 and 20lbs. I am now a true believer in NanoFil and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great line. You can find Berkley's New NanoFilament Line Now At Bass Pro Shops. 

 

Good Fishing

Patrick M. Stringfield

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Bass Pro Shops

Auburn Hills, MI

 

 

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2012 Fall Fishing Event - September 22nd - 30th-

For the Kids!!

September 22nd, 23rd, 29th, and 30th.

Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop Noon – 1:00 pm

Learn the basics to get started fishing. This class will include hands – on casting instructions.

Free Fish Sun Catcher Craft 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

 

Fishing Seminars

September 22nd

2:00 pm

Fishing Hatcheries – Where do These Fish Go?

  Learn more about how hatcheries work to stock our lakes

 

3:00 pm

Selecting the Right Baits

Visit with our experts on selecting the right lure in the right color for the fall season

 

September 23rd

2:00 pm

Know Your Lakes and Streams for Fall Fishing

Visit with local conservation or DNR representatives about area fishing and what is available around your community.

 

3:00 pm

Changing Water Conditions and Finding Fish

Water conditions change with the changing weather. Learn how to find the best spots to fish.

 

September 29th

2:00 pm

Know Your Lakes and Streams for Fall Fishing

Visit with local conservation or DNR representatives about area fishing and what is available around your community.

 

3:00 pm

Electronics and Finding Fish

Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch in various kinds of water.

 

September 30th

2:00 pm

Fish Hatcheries – Where Do These Fish Go?

Learn more about how hatcheries work to stock our lakes.

 

3:00 pm

Fall Fishing Tips from the Pros

Learn from the experts about tips on local water conditions to selecting the right equipment.

 

The first 50 customers to attend the 2:00 pm seminars each day will be given a prize.

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Keep America Fishing September 22nd - 30th

Keep America Fishing

Bass Pro Shops has partnered with Keep America Fishing to develop awareness of this organization and their efforts to keep our lakes and streams available for fishing.  Enter for a chance at

One Top Winner Nationally – Tracker ® Pro Team 175 TXW package with motor and trailer and a $250 BPS Gift Card 

or

One 2nd Place Winner Nationally – Tracker ® Grizzly ® 1648 SC and a $100 BPS Gift Card.

 

*Must be 21 years of age or older to enter. Entries in store

 

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Fly Fishing for Summertime Bluegills

By all accounts bluegills are easy to catch…but that may be one of the reasons we love them so much! They are neither very selective nor wary and, on a good day, you can catch them until your arms ache. In other words they are great confidence builders for the beginning fly-fisher!Summer Bluegill

When to Catch Them - In Michigan there is no closed season for bluegills and you can catch them with a fly rod in spring, summer and fall, although they are especially vulnerable during the spring spawning season. When the water reaches about 65 degrees F, bluegills build their saucer shaped spawning beds in shallow water three feet deep or less. The nests are bright circular spots on the pond or lake flats. After the spawn is done bluegills will spread out in the deeper water and seek structure.

Rods and Reels - Use trout-weight outfits:  7 to 8 foot rods with 3 or 4 weight floating lines. A reel with a drag is not required.

Leaders - Use 7 ½ foot tapered leaders with 3X or 4X tippet.

Betts Panfish KitRecommended Flies - A typical bluegill’s diet is about 85% insects so any fly that resembles a beetle, ant, cricket or spider will work well. We recommend the 12-piece, ''best of'' Panfish Kit from Betts. The kit includes assorted sizes and colors of Bream Getter, Stone Fly, Wooly Worm, Busy Bee, foam spiders and dry flies.

An afternoon of summer bluegill fishing with a fly rod is guaranteed to bring a smile!

By Wayne Snyder, Fly Fishing Team Leader - White River Fly Shop in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

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Choosing a Game Camera part 2

 Last time we talked about choosing the features in a camera that are important to you. Today we will look at a few two units that retail for $99.99 at Bass Pro Shops. These units are the same price and very close in physical size. I feel both excellent value for the dollar. At first glance they are similar but knowing what features you want in a camera will help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

 

First is the Primos Truth Cam 35. This camera has been on the market for a few years and continues to be a great value.

Primos Truth cam 35

 

http://www.basspro.com/Primos-TRUTH-Cam-35-3-0-Megapixel-Infrared-Game-Scouting-Camera/product/10206673/56466

Next will be the Wildgame innovations Red 6 Enhanced. This is a newer version of the Red 6 that has been out for a few years. There are a few differences in the new version and we will cover these differences later.

wgi

http://www.basspro.com/Wildgame-Innovations-Red-6-Enhanced-IR-6-0-Megapixel-Infrared-Digital-Scouting-Camera/product/12031005010728/423301

The Truth Cam is a 3.0 megapixel camera (daytime) with a 40’ advertised flash range. It will hold an SD card up to 8Gb. The advertised trigger speed is 1.5 seconds, but its actual trigger speed is slightly better than advertised. My favorite feature on this camera is the ability to take multiple images per event. This just means the camera will take 1, 3, or 5 pictures when the camera is triggered. Delay time between events can be set down to ten seconds. The most overlooked feature is how you adjust the settings. It uses separate sliding switches to adjust each setting rather than a button and arrow keys to scroll through menus. If you are the least bit worried about setting up a camera then this is the unit for you. The new Truth Cam Ultra 35 also has switches. This is simply the most user friendly camera I have ever operated!

This is only a 3.0 megapixel camera but it takes excellent daytime pictures and more than acceptable night photos. The include mounting strap works very well and I prefer it to the bungee cords included with some other cameras. Additionally it has a hole molded through the body of the camera for a security cable (not include). Don’t worry about the fact that it only takes up to an 8 Gb card if you are primarily going to use it in picture mode. I run all 4Gb cards, they hold thousands of photos. I have yet to fill one though I check and change the cards once a week.

On to the WGI Red 6 Enhanced.

This is a 6.0 megapixel camera with an advertised flash range of 65’. It will hold up to a 32Gb SD or SDHC card (many other units will not support SDHC). If you try and use an SDHC in a camera that that only supports SD your pictures will not save to the card though the camera appears to function normally. The advertised trigger speed is 1 second. It appears to be a bit faster than that for daylight pics.

New features include time lapse and wide angle option. The addition of time lapse gives this a feature above the Thruth 35. If you want a camera to take pics of your food plots all day then this is one of the least expensive units to accomplish that task. Time lapse will require more memory because of the amount of photos so the fact that it takes up to a 32Gb card is a plus. For standard PIR photo mode you would not need a card this large unless you were leaving it out for an extremely long time. The delay between events will go down to 15 seconds. Unfortunately it does not have the option to take multiple images per event.

WGI cameras use an electronic menu that you scroll through to set options. It is not difficult but a bit longer process than the switches. The operating panel is on the bottom of the unit which makes it more difficult to set up if it is already mounted on the tree. I would suggest setting your menu options before it’s mounted. It is also easier to change the batteries when not mounted. If you have to change batteries in the field you will have to remove at least the bottom bungee cord to get good access. The up side to the bottom panel is a very secure door that covers the controls. A USB cable and bungee cords to mount unit are included in packaging.

I have mentioned that you should pick options that matter to you. As an opinion I like the units that take multiple still photos. You could simply run your camera on video mode to accomplish the same task. When reviewing thousands of pics it is faster and easier for me to scroll through pictures rather than load and watch individual videos. The main reason we use multiple shots is twofold. First is to get multiple images of a buck. In most cases you will get a few different angles of his rack. Second is to see if there is deer behind the one that triggered the camera. If a buck is following a doe during prerut and the doe trips the camera you may not get his picture with a single image. Again you can combat his by running video mode, I just prefer the pictures.

As far as picture resolution is concerned everything 3.0 and above is fine with me. I have both 3 and 6megapixel cameras and if you zoom in the 6 megapixel is more clear. If the camera set up is correct you shouldn’t really need to zoom to get a good look. If you are taking images less for scouting and more for enjoyment of viewing the photos you will probably prefer 6 megapixels and up.

 

Next time we will discuss properly setting up your camera…yes, there is a right and wrong way.

 

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Choosing a Game Camera Part 1

 

Flash camera, night picture

 Choosing a Game Camera

http://basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=game+cameras

With all the cameras on the market today how do you choose? There are many companies making good cameras at a reasonable price. Battery life has gotten exponentially better in the last few years. Picture quality and options have also improved. So what is the best? Well that may be a loaded question. The best camera for me may not be the best for you. There are a few simple questions that will help you narrow the field. First, how much do you want to spend? Next, what features are most important to you?

I run up to a dozen cameras at a time on multiple lease properties so price is important. If I was only running one or two units I would most likely spend more for each than I do currently. The second question is also important to me.

If you want a fast camera with extremely long battery life, excellent trigger speed, good resolution and an invisible flash they are available. You will pay high dollar for all these features in one unit, so back to the questions. What features are important to you?

Is picture quality more important than trigger speed?

If your camera is at a feed sight where the target animals are standing still then trigger speed may not be the most important feature. On the other hand if the camera is on trails or pinch points in travel corridors then speed may be the most important. Do you want color picture at night? If so a flash camera is for you. The few flash cameras that I have take excellent color night pictures.

If you are worried about the camera being stolen then an invisible, or black, infrared flash may best fit your needs.

In short, deciding the features that are important for your application will help narrow the field. 

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The Hidden Rewards of Hunter's Safety Certification

“Mom, I want to go rabbit hunting.”  I turned around to make sure I had heard my son right…”what did you say?”  My 9 year old repeated, “I want to go rabbit hunting.”  Now mind you, I am a single mom with no hunting experience but I had grown up in a family where hunting was a familyLeigh Jackson and Jack Jackson displaying their Hunter's Safety Certificates. tradition with my grandfather, father, and brother all being avid hunters.  I knew Jack was serious about his request and I also knew I was on my own to handle the request since my grandfather and father have both passed on and my brother lives thousands of miles away.  “OK” I answered, “but the first step is to get a Hunter’s Safety Certificate before you can get a hunting license”.  He was anxious to get the process started and eagerly agreed to the required class to earn the hunting safety certification.

Now I’ve done it…I have to get us signed up for a Hunter’s Safety Class to earn our certificate, luckily I know that Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Auburn Hills (insert link) offers Hunter’s Safety classes for FREE!  I contact the store to get the dates and times for the classes they offer and then sign us up for a weekend class.  The associate informs me that it will be two days of instruction both Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM.  My mind plays all kinds of scenarios in which I spend 16 hours in a cramped room with a bunch of burly hunters and boys feeling like the outcast as the only female in the room, needless to say I am NOT looking forward to the class.

The assigned weekend arrives and my son and I make our way to the classroom, which turns out to be a well equipped and tastefully decorated space that matches the outdoor feel of the store.  Even more surprising is the number of girls and women that are there to complete the class, at least 50% of the class is female.  As the instructors cover the required information I am surprised at how much they cover in detail and how much I learn – everything from bows to muzzleloaders and more!  The instructors are knowledgeable and share stories from their own personal experiences in the field.  All the while safety is stressed in every portion of the class as well as the ethics of responsible hunting. 

The second morning offers all the students an opportunity to shoot a rifle and/or bow in the range conveniently located inside the store.  One by one the students complete the practical portion of the testing which again stresses the importance of safe and responsible hunting.  Now it is back to the classroom for some last minute instruction and then the final written exam.  I know my son is anxious about the final test and we sit with pencils poised and ready.  We tackle the test and turn it in patiently waiting for the final results, and then the moment arrives!!  The instructor congratulates us both on passing the test and presents us with our individual Hunter’s Safety Certificates.  My son is beaming with pride and immediately starts making plans for what his first hunting adventure will be.  I can’t help but smile at my son’s excitement and realize that taking this class together has been a real bonding experience for the two of us, and who knows maybe that first hunting expedition will be a mother and son event.

For more information on Michigan Youth Hunting requirements and Hunter’s Safety Certification you can visit the Michigan DNR at www.michigan.gov/dnr

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Bass Pro Shops Presents Summer Camp 2012

 

Summer Camp June 9th- July 15th

The 2012 Family Summer Camp Event is geared to offer families a way to spend an enjoyable summer together with free crafts, interactive displays and outdoor skill workshops, in an atmosphere much like the summer camps many of us attended as a kid ourselves.

Bass pro shops will be presenting the following

  • FREE Shooting Gallery
  • FREE Archery Shooting Range
  • FREE Fishing Pole Casting ChallengeCraft Time
  • FREE Crafts!! – like the ones you used to make in summer camp – custom leather crafting, painting a bear track mold, painting a wiggle snake, decorating a seedling pot, creating your own Catch-A-Fish game, painting a birdhouse… a different craft activity each Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday through the event dates. While supplies last
  • FREE photos Saturdays and Sundays – enjoy getting a picture of the kids or the whole family made in front of an outdoors backdrop
  • FREE S’mores each Saturday, 6:00 – 7:00 pm.


Workshop Schedules:

Presentations are geared for kids 8-12

Get a FREE lanyard at your child's first workshop. After completion of the workshops your child will receive a unique pin for their lanyard.

 

Workshops

Tuesday's

Thursday's

  • 1:00 Dogs in the Outdoors
  • 2:00 Archery
  • 3:00 Wildlife Exploration
  • 4:00 Camping
  • 5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting
  • 1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation
  • 2:00 Bird Watching
  • 3:00 Fishing
  • 4:00 Backyard Adventure
  • 5:00 Archery

Saturday's

Sunday's

  • 1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation
  • 2:00 Bird Watching
  • 3:00 Fishing
  • 4:00 Dogs in the Outdoors
  • 5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting
  • 1:00 Fishing
  • 2:00 Camping
  • 3:00 Wildlife Exploration
  • 4:00 Backyard Adventure
  • 5:00 Archery
  • 6:00-7:00 pm S’mores

 

 

 

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Opening Day Trout Traditions in Michigan

Fly fishing for trout has a long, proud heritage in Michigan and the regular season opens Saturday, April 28th on hundreds of Type 1, Type 2 and Gear Restricted streams across the state. It's also the month when the first large mayfly hatch - the Hendrickson - starts on our northern Michigan streams. However, this Spring has been unseasonably warm so notch up the hatch charts at least 3 weeks earlier than normal.

A new fly line might be in order too, and you'll always need a good selection of trout lA Big Au Sable River Browneaders and tippet material. Leaders and tippet material should be fresh. Nylon gets brittle with exposure to sun, heat and oxygen. It's hard to do but you should toss out any that is over two years old. If you've ever lost a good fish to an old, possibly brittle, leader, you'll know why.

The April weather can be tricky with warm days and occasional wind chills below freezing the next so be prepared for either case. Regardless of how cold the water, how raw the wind or how hard it rains it’s an exciting time and around the state avid fly-fishers are flocking to their special Mecca’s for opening day trout traditions.

For local action don't miss our annual FLY FISHING PAINT CREEK WORKSHOP – Saturday April 21st, 2 - 3 PM. Paint Creek's sparkling waters flow from Lake Orion to Rochester and is the best bet for the local fly angler seeking trout. You will receive lots of maps and tips for fishing for brown trout and rainbow trout in our area's "Little Gem". This workshop is FREE! No pre-registration required.

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Temperatures-R-Rising for Michigan Steelhead Now!

Temperatures-R-Rising very early this year in Michigan and the river fly fishing throughout the state has been excellent. Locally, Yates Park near Rochester is the place to be for the annual migratory madness spring steelhead run. For years the Clinton River has drawn dozens of local metalheads looking for a shot at the river’s big steelhead. As the Clinton’s water temperature starts to rise pods of spawning steelhead begin to cruise up the river to build their redds. Fish in the 5 to 8 pound range are common but a few bruisers even bigger will be caught. It’s time to tune up the big rigs and that’s where the White River Fly Shop comes in.

And don’t miss these great workshops about fly fishing for steelhead and fishing the Clinton River.

FLY FISHING FOR STEELHEAD - Saturday February 25, 2-4 PM. If you have ever thought about what it takes to land a Michigan Steelhead on a fly rod then this workshop is one you won’t want to miss! We’ll tell you about the rivers and the gear used to catch these noble fish. This workshop is FREE!  No Pre-Registration Required!

 FLY FISHING THE CLINTON RIVER - Thursday, March 29  7 - 9 PM. Come join us for a very special event as The Cedar Sweeper Magazine sponsors our workshop. The focus of this workshop is to provide you with knowledge you can use to fly fish the Clinton River. We’ll let you in on which fish you’ll find, what tackle you’ll need, hatch information and the best flies to use. We’ll even provide you with river maps with popular local access sites. This workshop is FREE! No Pre-Registration Required!

 If you have ever thought about what it takes to land a beautiful Michigan Steelhead then go to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Auburn Hills and speak to our experts in the fishing department or the White River Fly Shop. Then grab your gear and catch a fish of a lifetime!

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‘Tis The Season for Michigan Fly Tying!

It’s finally chillin’ off so it’s time to inventory your tying supplies and re-stock for the Michigan cold-weather fly tying season. We’ve dedicated an entire 50-foot wall to the best selection of fly tying stuff around. Beginners to experts alike can select from a wide range of fly tying materials, tools and equipment.Fly shop associate Shawn Chalker wow's his audience at the 2011 Fly Bash!
At the White River Fly Shop you’ll find 10 different models of tying vises – 3 models of tying lamps – Eagle Claw, Tiemco, Gamakatsu and White River hooks – and we now have a selection of Tiemco BARBLESS dry fly and nymph hooks!

You’ll find a huge selection of floss and threads from 3/0 to 8/0, Kevlar and wires– head cements, bobbins, tying scissors, hackle pliers, hair stackers, tweezers, whip finishers, hackle gauges – a wide selection of beads, eyes, cones and mono eyes – chenille and synthetic body materials – a wide array of premium natural and synthetic dubbing – Flashabou, Krystal Flash and Estaz that attract fish – foam bodies, popper heads and rubber legs for terrestrials and bass bugs – deer hair, elk hair, moose hair, badger, black bear, and caribou hair – bucktails, squirrel tails, kip tails and synthetic hairs – rabbit strips, marabou and strung hackles to make your flies come alive – peacock herl, swords and eyes – ostrich, goose, duck, turkey, guinea – McFlyfoam for egg patterns and fly tying books and DVD’s.

Eli Berant will be our special guest tyer at the Bash!
Special Fly Tying Bash and New Product Night!
- Thursday January 26th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Come join us for a very special evening to kick off the tying season. We’ll have cookies and donuts for the class participants and pots of fresh hot coffee. This year’s special guest tyer is Mr. Eli Berant of Great Lakes Fly. Eli is best known for his large flies tied for the bigger predators in the Great Lakes Region.

Also check out “what’s new” in our fly fishing product line-up. We’re signing up to 12 tyers for the tying table. Get out of the cold and come in for the fun!

So throw another log on the fire! ‘Tis the season for fly tying!


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Time Again for Michigan Steelhead!

For hundreds of Midwestern fly fishermen, the first snow that signals winter also marks the beginning of a “new” fishing season. Hot on the heels of the fall runs of Coho and Chinook salmon up Michigan rivers come the steelhead – big, lake run rainbows that average 10 pounds, but which may grow to 20 pounds or more. Michigan fly fishermen begin seriously watching the steelhead streams about mid-December for moving fish. “Moving” steelhead means simply that the hold-over fish from the fall run are becoming active.

A gorgeous Michigan steelheadIf there is one secret to productive Midwest steelhead fishing, it’s getting the fly right on the bottom where the fish are. But which fly and how does one rig-up to get the fly down? Come to our Sunday afternoon “FIRESIDE CHATS” at the White River Fly Shop and find out. The topic of this month’s chats will be Winter Steelheading Flies and Rigging. 1pm to 2pm, December 4, 11, and 18th.  Come in with questions and we’ll have the answers about catching the noble winter steelhead in Michigan.

Wayne Snyder runs the White River Fly Shop in Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Auburn Hills, Michigan.

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Gear Up Now for Michigan Steelhead

It’s time for cooled weather Michigan winter steelheading again as these magnificent fish begin showing up in November on the Betsie, Manistee, Bear Creek, and the Pere Marquette rivers. Also look for them locally on the Huron and Clinton rivers. This is all good because King Salmon numbers drop off quickly now as the spawn, and then die off, occurs. And look for the annual Coho Salmon run on the Little Manistee which is always a blast as they come to the fly very well and are grWhite River Fly Shop Team Leader Wayne Snyder hoists a healthy Clinton River steelhead.eat fighters.

To get you “out there” and catching fish we’ve stocked up on your favorite steelhead flies like Egg Sucking Leeches and egg flies. We’ll have Scientific Angler .030 Shooting Line, Rio Steelhead/Salmon Leaders, slinkys, and Maxima Ultragreen Leader Wheels up to 20 lb. test and lots more!

NEW! SUNDAY AFTERNOON “FIRESIDE CHATS” – 1pm to 2pm on November 6, 13, 20 and 27th This month’s chat topic will be our Fall Steelheading Tune-up. From "Chuck-N-Duck" to Indy rigs, come in with questions and we’ll have the answers about catching the noble fall steelhead in Michigan.

The opportunities for fly fishing in Michigan really never end!

Wayne Snyder and the White River Fly Shop Staff

              Eric, Jack, and Shawn


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Smallmouth Heaven in Michigan!

August is our favorite month to chase smallmouth bass with Mickey Finns, Muddler Minnows, and Clouser Minnows. If you haven't visited the Huron River before you are in for a treat. Just minutes away from Ann Arbor, the river flows clear and clean through thick woodlaThe Author Checks Out a Map of the Huron River Watershednds with stream accessibility from several Metroparks. Water quality is very good, and the smallmouth bass population is healthy and thriving.

For the late summer trout “Second Season” it’s time again for the little bugs – blue winged olives & tricos – in the cool mornings and evenings. Mid-day throw big terrestrials – hopper, beetle and ant patterns. Also remember the fish are seeking cooler water. Find cool water and you’ll find the trout. Mousin’ at night is still goin’ on for big browns and our local lakes and ponds are teeming with largemouth bass and panfish. It’s summer so be sure to take along sunscreen and bottled water!

2011 OUTDOOR SKILLS WORKSHOPS
Our line-up of workshops is still all FREE! Pre-registration is required for all workshops so please either stop by or call the Fly Shop at (248) 209-4200 for the latest class schedule and availability.Largemouth Bass

Introduction to Fly Fishing - De-mystify the beautiful and complex art of fly fishing with our resident pro staffers. Learn the basics of a fly fishing outfit, fly selection, entomology with an emphasis on fly casting. This workshop is Free! No equipment necessary. Pre-registration required, please call the Fly Shop at (248) 209-4200. The First Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 PM and the fourth Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

Intermediate Fly Tying
Designed for more experienced tyers that want to expand their tying skills and learn new patterns. All materials are provided! This workshop is FREE! Maximum of six participants per class. Pre-registration required, please call the Fly Shop at (248) 209-4200. Every Thursday night from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

Beginning Fly Tying - Learn the basics of creating your own flies to deceive fish. Our professional and knowledgeable staff will guide you in material selection, handling, and fundamental tying skills! All materials are provided! This workshop is FREE! Maximum of six participants per class. Pre-registration required, please call the Fly Shop at (248) 209-4200. The second Wednesday and third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

BACKYARD FISHERIES

Clinton River – For trout try access points at Riverside Park or River Woods Park in Auburn Hills. Spring fish are being caught on small streamers and scuds fished nymph/indicator style.
Season*: Open year-round. (size, possession limits apply)
Recommended flies: Muddler Minnow, Mickey Finn, Perfect Scud

Paint Creek – Our areas ‘little gem’, Paint Creek’s sparkling waters flow from Lake Orion to Rochester and is the best bet for the local fly angler. Stocked annually with over 6,300 yearling brown trout start at Dutton Road or Silverbell and fish north. Summer fish are being caught on small streamers and scuds fished nymph/indicator style.
Season*: Last Saturday of April and ends September 30th.
Recommended flies: Black Nosed Dace, Mickey Finn, Perfect Scud

Huron River - For the fly-rodder the Huron is home to good populations of smallmouth and rock bass. Upstream, try access points in Proud Lake State Recreation Area, Island Lake State Recreation Area, or Huron Meadows Metropark.
Season*: Open year-round. (size, possession limits apply)
Recommended flies: Wooly Buggers, crayfish patterns, muddler minnows.

* See the Michigan Fishing Guide for details.

We believe, very simply, that a life which includes fly-fishing is more fulfilling than a life that does not. Thanks again for choosing us as your fly-fishing outfitter. We look forward to seeing all of you in the shop this season.

Wayne Snyder and the White River Fly Shop Staff

               Eric, Jack, and Shawn

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