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Expedition Grayling

2019 February 5
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by Brian Kozminski

In the not too distant future, there is the real possibility of anglers who wade in Northern Michigan’s cold waters to have the opportunity to catch a once native Arctic Grayling. Imagine the potential. Rewriting history in our lifetime. This is truly Epic.

Walking through a dense fog in early morning, you can feel the dew brush off the ferns as you meander through poplar, birch and cedar fens, the aroma of promise and wet forest floor meet your anticipation of fish rising as you reach the river. As early as 2025, one may have the opportunity to catch brook, brown, rainbow trout and Grayling in the Jordan, Maple, Pigeon or Manistee Rivers.

This Project is one part science, one part fantasy and two parts funding. The research is being conducted at MSU fish rearing facility where Nicole Watson, PhD, is doing what she claims to be her dream job. It is better to see her face in person as it lights up when she talks about how she went to the Chena River, Alaska, to fish and pick up her babies to bring back to Michigan. Small trials as they packed a couple hundred eggs in a small cooler with gel-packs that should have been ‘cool’ to go through TSA, but not once they melted and turned to liquid, jeopardizing the livelihood of a yet future char offspring. She is a very intelligent, bright,  personable scientist, as well as a very fishy chick- you can tell that in a few moments just by chatting with her. We met a few years ago on the Upper Manistee when her and Tom- her husband of 12 years- were about to embark on a midnight mousing trip and we exchanged benevolent wishes and steelhead migratory research she was working on at the time. This Grayling Project is like a dream come true. Think about it- we are hoping to find a river that can suitably sustain a species that has been extirpated from its once native waters. A few factors made this happen nearly 100 years ago. As the lumber era boomed and white pine stands were toppled and shuttled down the rivers each spring, we eroded naturally protected banks and introduced more sediment to the watershed. Combined with loss of habitat and spawning grounds, the Grayling were reportedly very easy to catch, often, three or four at a time on one line. The last Grayling was reportedly caught in 1936 in the Otter River of the Upper Peninsula. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has attempted to re-introduce Grayling back in the 80’s. Some dozen kettle lakes and small rivers near Pigeon River Country were used to rear 145,000 yearling for control sites, but disease and infection, perhaps predation wiped them out in a couple years. What makes this attempt more valid? Where is the funding coming from? Why is the DNR behind it?

First things first. This began as a collateral research project for Michigan Tech and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians as a re-introduction of Native Species Grant, it has gained attraction and momentum in the passed five years. The DNR is working with LRBOI and money has been set aside from various donors – Petoskey-Harbor Springs Community Foundation, Traverse City Rotary, Oleson Foundation, Michigan Trout Unlimited, Consumers Energy, and Henry E. and Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation have graciously donated to the cause. The biggest hurdle was getting money for UV treatment of Oden Fish Hatchery to prevent any disease or infection of the young Grayling from Alaska. Second stage is set for building a rearing facility and more money for research. The Montana model is key in making this a successful re-introduction. Remote Site Incubators are critical to allow the young Grayling to imprint on their new environs. The reason coho and chinook have the inate ability to find their birth river is because they are released when they are parr and imprint on a home river. RSI’s will allow eggs from brood stock Arctic Grayling to be in the river and safe while they develop and drop their nutrient rich egg sack.

Another hurdle: previous attempts failed. But we are now taking a different approach. A common problem with previous attempts was quick outmigration by the Grayling. They “disappeared”. This could be due to imprinting to waters. Salmonids readily imprint to there home waters – this is how Steelhead, Chinook, Coho, and others know where to return to for spawning. The question is: how early in life do Grayling imprint. This is another question that my research is attempting to answer. Montana had success by using RSIs for stocking which allows the Grayling eggs to be exposed to stream waters at the egg stage. Michigan is using this as a model for reintroduction. Montana found fish had higher site fidelity when stocked using RSIs instead of being reared in a hatchery then stocked at a larger juvenile life stage.” stated Nicole Watson, PhD. while doing research on her first year of young Grayling. She also noted how well they grow with Brook Trout and quickly drop their vital egg sack so they are not weighed down and can acclimate with some native species. Which brings up predation. It is a concern.

We don’t know how a once native fish will respond to these introduced rivers with other ‘naturalized’ trout species. There will be some predation from brown trout. Studies have shown that the few who do survive, tend to be larger and heartier, possible genetic trait to pass on. Will there be enough habitat for spawning, cover, food for young of the year brook trout and grayling? I asked Nicole how her recent study was going in regard to these points.

We need to gain a deeper understanding to the complicated interactions between Grayling and the resident trout populations in Michigan, especially at early life stages. No studies have looked at predation or competition in such early life stages yet. A study in Montana looked at competition between Brown trout and Grayling but the Browns were >10″. No one has examined competition between age-0 Grayling and resident trout yet. This is where my research comes in.
Predation is another concern, especially predation on Grayling by age-1 resident trout which are more numerous than older/larger individuals. Again, this is another unknown that I am looking into: predation on newly hatched Grayling by age-1 resident trout (Brook and Brown).”
Nicole will be doing a presentation on March 30 in Zion, Illinois for the Midwest Regional Trout Unlimited Conference if you can find time to attend.
The next step is more funding and more research. Please reach out and help in anyway you can. You can find more information at RE-WILD.

Let’s Tie- Stranger Thing

2019 January 26
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Andrew Grillos- Missouri River ‘Bow. Photo by Autumn Grillos

Every so often we meet a great guide, or fly tyer, or innovative pattern designer, or dedicated hard working promoter of the sport of fly fishing- although we may all try to do one or more of these great attributes, rarely do we find it all in one package. Meet Andrew Grillos, passionate about the fly world since age ten when he found the magic in fooling a trout with fur, feathers and foam, and soon- by age 16, he became a commercial fly tier, and many shops took notice. Andrew soon started to guide based in the Gunnison, Colorado region for more than a decade, Andrew relocated to Seattle Washington so he could pursue steelhead on the swing. We have been ‘social friends’ for some time and what attracted me to his patterns was the usual twist and improvement on known patterns that we use in the Great Lakes region. Taking a design and kicking it up a notch to make it either more durable or float longer, or completely doing a 180º approach on an existing fly, he has revolutionized terrestrial fishing for many anglers with his ‘Hippie Stomper‘. Look for future announcement of his tour to the Driftless Angler early June 2019 for a Tying Demonstration. He is also a guide of integrity, judging a good day on the water when clients have an enjoyable day on the water- keeping the experience real and managing expectations while providing a quality experience can be the most difficult part of any guests trip.

Grillos has some twenty patterns in production with UMPQUA FEATHER MERCHANTS– all are tied to meet specifications and details are not compromised- which you might find in other fly manufacturers. Names have a thought out and catchy throw back to many monikers of our childhood era – Cap’n Crunch, Dancing Ricky, ’64 Impala, El Camino, User Friendly, Fat Caddis, Pool Toy, Laser Pointer, Party Animal and Bob Gnarly to name a few. New for 2019- The Great Carpholio, Heavy Metal Worm, Spin Doctor, and Stranger Thing. We are going take an in depth look at Stranger Thing- a streamer pattern that I would believe to be a great smallmouth and trout pattern in many of our rivers and lakes. The pattern is available in the common core four- White, Black, Brown & Olive. There may be room for a orange/rust crawfish or even something in black with copper belly to match baitfish in your area. Let’s get ready to tie~

STRANGER THING- ANDREW GRILLOS

Materials

Hook- TMC 5262, Size 4

Thread- UTC 140

Eyes- Hareline painted lead eyes, size M

Tail/overbody- Standard thickness rabbit strip. Barred or 2-tone look best.

Underbody- Bills Body Braid (preferably) or other diamond braid

Hackle- Schlappen or Guinea feathers, Red.

Legs- Hareline Grizzly Flutter Legs

Head- Deer belly hair- color to match

1. Start thread at end of hook shank. Wrap a tight base back to around 1/3 point. Work back to ¼ point and tie in Size M lead eyes. Use plenty of x-wraps to secure them. A drop of super glue doesn’t hurt either. Continue tight thread base to end of hook shank, about even with the barb.


 

2. Advance tight thread wraps back up to the eyes. Remove hook from vise and poke hook through your rabbit strip. The furry side of the rabbit strip should be on the same side of the hook as the hook point. Make sure to leave enough of a strip to tie it off on top of the eyes. Put your hook back in the vise, upside down. Tie in Bills Body Braid right behind the eyes. Make touching wraps down to the end of the hook shank and then back up to just in front of the eyes. This 2-layered body adds a bit of bulk to the underbody.

3. Pull the rabbit strip pretty tightly forward and tie off just ahead of the eyes. The tier can optionally add a bead of superglue along the body here, and then pull the rabbit forward, however I opt for a single small drop after the fly is finished. (Explained below) Tie in a red schalappen or guinea feather by the tip. Stroke the feather’s barbs back, so they’re all facing the same way when you wrap them.

 

4. Wrap the hackle forward, in touching wraps. Ideally you’ll get 3-5 turns of hackle in here. Separate out 6 strands of the Hareline Grizzly Flutter legs. I cut them in the middle, so the fused ends stay together. I then tie the fused ends down, on either side of the hook, so there are 6 legs on the close side and 6 legs on the far side of the fly. Try to angle them so they are flared out to the sides and down, less so up.

 

 

5. Cut, clean, and thoroughly stack a chunk of deer belly hair. I prefer to use one clump of hair for my muddler heads, I like to cut a short, steep taper when I trim the head, and this is easiest with one clump of hair. Line the hair’s tips up a little ahead of the hook point. Make a few loose wraps to secure and position the hair. Carefully spin and flare the hair. Once the hair is evenly distributed around the hook, pull the hair out of the way and sneak a whip finish or a few half hitches in, right behind the eye. With a double-edged shaving razor, trim the fly’s head into a short, steeply tapered head. Add a drop of super glue at the point where the hook pokes through the rabbit strip, this will make the fly more durable. Run a bit of head cement around the thread head as well. 

 

The “Stranger Thing” is my solution for a simple and effective streamer that rides with the hook point up, has lots of good movement in the water, and can easily be modified to match any different color of baitfish. 

Originally intended to be a simple, swing fly, this pattern excels in a wide variety of situations. Swung on a spey rod, “down and across,” for trout, this fly works very well as it drops quickly in the water column without being overly heavy and has a bunch of great movement due to the rabbit tail and rubber collar. It’s not overly flashy, the only flash comes from the Bills Body Braid underbody. The location of the eyes combined with a down-eye hook causes this fly to ride with the point up, so it’s much less likely to hang up in the bottom.

The Stranger Thing also fishes very well on the strip, fast or slow. Again, the lead eyes combined with a slender dressing cause the fly to drop quickly in the water column. It’s got a great jigging action when stripped in, darting up and down in the water.

Another great way to fish my Stranger Thing is dead-drift or just barely twitched near the bottom. The fly rides with the hook up, so it doesn’t snag bottom all that often. It’s a great lead fly when indicator nymphed with a second (or even third) small fly following behind it. It doesn’t require weight to get down while nymphing and it’s got plenty of enticing movement while dead drifted along. Another deadly Alaskan variation on dead drifting the stranger thing is to slide a troutbead on the leader in front of the fly and twitch it just enough to keep the “Egg Stealing Stranger Thing” bouncing along the bottom.

The fly can easily be altered to match any desired color combo. My 4 basic colors that are offered by Umpqua Feather Merchants are black, olive, brown, and white. These 4 colors cover most any general baitfish color one could want to match. The fly can also be altered and tied in neon colors to pursue steelhead. Again, the fly isn’t too heavy that it can’t easily be fished on a spey rod and swung for steelhead or salmon.

A fly angler for nearly 30 years, fly tier for nearly 25, global full-time guide for 13 years, and now design engineer, Andrew Grillos’ fishing experiences have shaped his fly design style to produce purpose driven, simple, and durable flies. Whether it’s swinging flies for steelhead, casting a big foam dry along a deep undercut bank, or messing with carp and warmwater species in an urban setting, Andrew finds fly inspiration in all fishing experiences. Andrew resides in Bozeman, Montana and spends a great deal of his free time exploring the practically limitless fishing opportunities within a few hours of home. Most of those fishing trips are spent trying out new fly ideas or working out new iterations of current ideas. Andrew is happy to have Umpqua Feather Merchants produce upwards of 2 dozen of his unique fly ideas and is always working on adding to that list.

Autumn swings on the Lower Madison River. Photo by A. Grillos

Be sure to check out other work by Andrew Grillos and keep an eye out for more of his cool stuff  at www.andrewgrillosflyfishing.com

Merry Christmas!

2018 December 21
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Merry Fishmas!!

As the Holiday quickly approaches, remember-

 

-most are caught in the hustle of Christmas concerts and programs, the bustle of work parties, family gatherings, wrapping gifts, finding the ‘Right’ present for that special someone, lack of sleep, travel, baking/cooking… some of us struggle with issues that are deeper than may appear. It can be difficult to keep it all together. This is a stressful time of the year for many. It is easy to become depressed because of financial matters, or loss of family members, attending work parties can easily lead to having a few more than normal. I know I had to make a few decisions to attend to more important matters rather than hit the steelhead run in nearby river, but it is for the best- next time I am hip deep in a swift run, it will be more serene because my mind is in a calm place. The rivers bring me peace. I hope you find yours.

The older I get, the more I truly appreciate time spent with family and merely relaxing, trying to keep it simple and being in the moment. The gifts I want can’t be wrapped & put in a stocking (insert shameless plug). I hope you get time with family and a blessed Holiday. Next year, more time on the water, chasing whatever finned creature helps you unwind and appreciate the beauty of what we have around us.

In recent weeks, REMOTE>NO PRESSURE. has put together an evening (2 episodes) with Jeff Andrews. We spent a weekend at Randy’s place on the North Branch and had Jeff Troutman come up to do a fireside chat with Bear. I had the idea awhile back, after hearing the many tales of Bear’s adventures with many icons of the Fly Fishing industry. Thank you Remote.No Pressure. for the great edit and taking time to join us on the river. Midcurrent shared an episode last week.

As the New Year approaches, I can’t help but get excited for what 2019 holds for True North Trout. Randy, Matt and I would like to than the many clients and great times spent on the river. We hope to see you again this year. There will be some changes in the near future. Matt has accepted a new position as sales for New York Life and Randy is on board with Scientific selling truck accessories. I have been added to the Umpqua Feather Merchants sales team for the Great Lakes, this means we may not have as much availibity for as many trips or large groups. It is unfortunate, but exciting as I know I am taking on a direction in the industry I feel passionate about. Next year, TEMPLE FORK OUTFITTERS will be added to my sales portfolio, travel and meeting many dealers with Ray & Kate have already been implemented. I look forward to meeting many more in the coming months and at Dealer shows. I will be at Midwest Fly Fishing Expo with Ray, Kate and Bear on March 9 & 10. The Grand Rapids show is February 2, I may have the ability to attend as guest; it is the same weekend as the Cincinnati Show where TFO already had a commitment. For a complete list of Fly Fishing shows <click here>.

My good fishing buddy from downstate- Jon Osborn, has completed his latest book. You might remember his name from doing the “Classic Flies of Michigan” book a few years back. His latest is a completely newly revised, I hesitate to even mention, version of Bedford’s Trout Streams of Michigan- “Flyfisher’s Guide to MICHIGAN“. Not giving away any secret spots, but he highlights sixty some rivers of notoriety throughout the upper and lower peninsula along with some great local brew pubs to visit along the way. A perfect gift for the angler in your life. Be sure to support your local fly shop, ask for a copy of this book, the new Umpqua HD & LT fly boxes, along with sling packs and bags. See you at the Warren show with some exciting new rods and reels from TFO. Until Next year, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Working some woody structure on the upper Manistee River.

Let’s Fish!!

Michigan Fly History

2018 December 11
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by Brian Kozminski

A recent project begun by Ray Schmidt of Temple Fork Outfitters Great Lakes Region has received some attention by local fly anglers and tyers across the country. Ray, former owner of Schmidt Outfitters in Wellston, MI and innovator of many Great Lakes patterns such as Ray’s Rattlesnake and STS Bugger, thought it would be a wonderful winter project to dig into the history and document the development of many patterns that made our area famous and also highlight others that may have had their 15 seconds of fame. I reached out to Mr Schmidt to get a little inside scoop. Here is where this endeavor is headed…

I was about 30 years outside of the Michigan fly development stage- 1930 thru 1950’s. I was lucky enough to be visiting my older brother in Grayling that lived next door to my Uncle Clarence Roberts.

The wonderment of law enforcement with the lure of fishing made a young lad want to be like his elders.
My love of tying flies soon followed. As years past and a world of fly-fishing opened for my career I wanted to preserve some of this stuff I knew, maybe some no one else knew.
I’ve chronicled flies for years both in text form and on our web sites. 
After our sale of Schmidt Outfitters and retirement looming large, I wanted to put together  these historic patterns in one spot for the community to see and enjoy.
When our friend Chris Doyal volunteered to help put this together, well….bingo.
Ray & Kate  -Double SS Outdoors
You can’t talk about fly tying and not mention the fly that put Mayfield Pond, near Traverse City,  Michigan, in nearly every fly box from here to Redding, California- The ADAMS. Whether you prefer the classic upwing spent style in Catskill fashion or the more popular parachute post, original muskrat gray body with Grizzly/Coachman hackle to current revisions in purple and iridescent sparkle, there is little doubt this mayfly pattern has fooled it’s fair share of trout from coat to coast. Midcurrent picked up on the project and many have now been tuned in. Join Ray as he talks & ties his way through the many flies our predecessors worked diligently to fool that big brown down on the millpond from decades ago. Who knows, a few of them may need to be tied up and swung into a current seam near you, they just might work.

Thalken’s Chloris Leechman

2018 November 25
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by Brian Kozminski

Earlier this season, I was fishing a river that has single 3/8″ hook size regulations, I wanted to throw a large streamer for coho and steelhead. Frustrated after drifting multiple egg patterns and stoneflies that were not getting attention from anything larger than 11″ stocker trout, I nearly gave up my day on the river. This spey style articulated leech pattern was sitting in my steelhead box and never saw any action. I gave it a go. The action and depth were exactly what I needed. Fish started coming out of shadows and deep pools to inspect this likely looking egg sucking leech fly. I reached out to Morgan Thalken to get some more info on his soon to be famous “Chloris Leechman” from Umpqua Feather Mechants.

Chloris Leechman from Morgan Thalken.

   “I began fly fishing when I was eleven years old. I began tying flies earlier than that. I was fortunate enough to have an anadromous fishery just a short bike ride from my house. Summers were spent swinging Caddis pupa, or skating heavily hackled dries for juvenile steelhead. Winters were spent chucking Teeny lines with egg sucking leeches in hopes of a grab from something larger. The obsession with swinging flies for Steelhead became engrained in me at a young age. The years and the travels have only fueled the fire.  

     The Chloris Leechman was a pattern that I began tying about five years ago. Essentially just a tweaked bunny leech to add some elements I desired. Nothin’ fancy. It had to be rabbit and it had to be articulated to have a natural fluid motion. I preferred a bead head over dumbbell eyes. I could achieve an egg sucking look with a hot bead, or go a little toned down sculpin style with a metallic bead. I also wanted to add a little accent color with a picked out dubbing collar. 

     Since I began tying these, I now probably have forty variations stuffed in my box. Different sizes, color combos, some with standard beads, and some with tungsten. I typically throw this pattern using a Skagit style head and a variety of sink tips depending on conditions with a 3’ leader.  This pattern has proven itself very versatile from fall to winter fish all along the Pacific Coast and beyond. “

Start with Rabbit and Gamakatsu Octopus Hook

Tie in connector and either Waddington Shank or hook you can sacrifice at the bend. Be sure to slide Bead on prior.

Wrap rabbit strip, Ice Dub head add some flash. Very simple effective pattern. Cut hook with pliers. (wear eye protection)

Finished product. Be sure to tie a variety of colors.

Barred Rabbit in olive and/or orange are very attractive under water. Cream/Yellow/ White in multiple sizes are a good idea. Purple for Bass and Pike is a must have fly.  Here is what you need.

Materials List:

Shank: U302 sz 6-2

Stinger: Gamakatsu Octopus hook sz 6-2

Bead: 5/32-7/32 size to match hook, color to match pattern

Thread: Uni 6/0 color to match body

Connecting material: 30lb braid

Body material: rabbit strip, standard or cross cut

Flash: flashabou to accent body or collar color

Collar: Arizona Diamond dub, set in a dubbing loop and picked out. Color to accent body

The HeatSeeker

2018 November 15
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by Brian Kozminski

Recently saw a streamer on Facebook that caught my attention. Mr Paul Brown of KC Fly Co. and guide in Alaska at The Alaska Rainbow Lodge ties up some beautiful beefy streamers for Pike/muskie and other predatory fish that can engulf baitfish imitations.

A little bit about Paul and how he works up his patterns:

“I work as a fishing guide for Alaska Rainbow Lodge in the amazing Bristol Bay region on the world famous Kvichak River. I’ve been guiding in Alaska for 3 years now and I love every minute of it. During the offseason I shift my attention from the giant rainbows of the Kvichak to tying flies. I started KC Fly Co. 3 years ago to be able to stay in the fly fishing industry during the offseason. I specialize in tying large, articulated predator flies for anything from trout to musky and exotic species. The Heatseeker is one of those patterns that can cover all of these species in one fly.”

Let’s take a look at the HEATSEEKER>

Ok so to start the rear hook is a 2/0 Ahrex Aberdeen Predator (any light wire hook will do) Run your thread back about a 1/4 of the shank from the eye and that is the starting point.

From there I tie in either Jerkbait Mania’s Pike Skinz or SF blend cut in half and tapered. I tie this all the way around the shank. And this is going to provide the taper you want depending on how long you cut the fiber.

I then tie in full length DNA Holo Fusion or Jerkbait mania Buck Blend. If it’s buck blend I mix in some ice Wong Fiber for a little flash. I have this extend about 2.5 shank lengths behind the hook.

Then I tie in 2 hackle feathers on the top half of the fly extending the tips of the feathers just past the buck blend.

I then create a dubbing loop and put in ripple ice fiber trying to keep it as thinly distributed as I can.

Wrap the flash and whip finish and that’s your tail.

The front hook is a 3/0 Ahrex 26* Bent Streamer hook. For my articulations I use 6mm beads and 49 strand .024 inch wire.

Then I tie in pike skinz cut in half and then cut in half again. Tying it all the way around the shank.

Tie in more buck blend. The top wing ends halfway down the shank of the rear hook and the bottom wing ends at the eye of the rear hook.

Spin another dubbing loop of ripple ice and wrap it.

Tie in pike skinz cut in half and cut in half again. I tie this stage in about 1/3 of the way back from the bend in the shank.

I tie in the last wings of buck blend measuring to the back of the front hook.

One more dubbing loop of ripple ice.

Then I switch my thread to GSP and tie in my collar trimming away the short butt pieces.

I make 3 spins of deer hair for the head.

I always start on the bottom and trim it totally flat.

On the top of the head I follow the angle of the hook trimming back to my collar.

For the sides I trim looking from above the fly starting at the eye of the hook at a 45 degree angle curving to 90 degrees halfway back on the head.

On this size I add 8mm eyes and call it good.

You can get Pike Skinz from my website www.kcflyco.com, I am currently running low on stock to sell but I am expecting another order from them to be showing up soon. You can also get it from www.jerkbaitmania.co.uk 

The Heatseeker, this is the wedgehead version of the Clincher by Paul Brown. All synthetic except for the head for durability.

Great Looking pattern~ get out and get your line wet!

 

 

Fall 2018 Video

2018 November 12
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My good friend and video/photographer Alex Childress spent some time with me this fall chasing a few brook trout and trying to capture that perfect moment of color from the landscape and the trout of our local rivers. Although we spent several hours throwing streamers for large browns, the weather either was too nice for fishing or on the nasty side for shooting video/drone work. If you are looking for a top notch photographer for your family/real estate/product shoot, give Alex a shout and spread the word.

The 2019 season holds a lot in store for the learning & new Fly anglers. So many rivers and endless possibilities. The Tip of the Mitt has exploded with great places to stay and dine, Boyne City/Petoskey seem to be flourishing along with the TC area. Take your family on a weekend get away and perhaps save a couple hours to share some quality time on a cool spring fed river.

I have recently added Sales Representative for the Great Lakes Region under UMPQUA FEATHER MERCHANTS to my business. This will mean a few less trips in years ahead as I make road trips to dealers and attend sales seminars for brands I represent. I plan to maintain my guide License/insurance with the State of Michigan. Over the holidays, it would be great to support local businesses & Fly shops you frequent by purchasing a fly box/flies/vest or sling pack from Umpqua. Look forward to seeing and meeting many new fly folks at various Fly Fishing Expo’s and Demo’s in the coming year.

Ask your fly shop to carry the best, #TIEDTOTHEWATER

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

Tight Lines,

Koz

Enjoy some Fall Foliage and brook trout from this great area.

Umpqua Feather Merchants

2018 October 20
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WELCOME to UMPQUA

 New Tarpon S415 &amp; Flats S420 are 5 times more corrosion resistant than traditional black nickel finishes.

New boxes include HD and LT along with Bug lockers in great colors.

Killer new pattern from buddy Zach Ginop. Think Conrad Sculpin meets Drunk & Disorderly. Dead Sexy.

Riley talks packs and product development. A ton of R&D goes into the Zero Sweep bag.

Entryway to Umpqua HQ. Meandering bamboo floor is mirrored with Pacific Northwest wooded ceiling.

Official UFM shuttle vehicle.

Fly Shipment hot from ‘Tie-a-Fly’- Umpqua has the single most on hand inventory in the States.

Wall of Flies~ all new flies for 2019 #tiedtothewater

 

Recent rip to Umpqua Feather Merchants allowed me the opportunity to meet and integrate with other members of the Umpqua Team. The innovation of sling pack and waist pack design went beyond my imagination. The smallest details, from hidden nipper ports and tapered covers on fly patches, to extra support on hip belts and closely trimmed flaps on waist seams prevent the angler from unwanted line tangles. Getting background from Riley Cotter on how the Zero Sweep technology went full throttle after meeting a former Special Ops veteran on all packs and bags was nothing less than amazing. Each pack has been carefully thought through to make your time on the water most effecient and enjoyable. Look for exciting new digital-Camouflage packs this fall and hot orange hemostats/nippers to accent these great looking bags. I might be getting ahead of myself~ Who is Umpqua Feather Merchants you ask?

Since 1972, Umpqua has been blazing the way for hand tied flies from coast to coast. Owner Dennis Black had the foresight to envision a group of select and established tyers to teach and produce the best production flies to reach US market. He saw production of jewelry in Southeast Asia and converted a manufacturer to tie some of the first overseas flies. This did not receive a warm welcome stateside, it took time to establish credibility and consistency for a very particular fly market in the US. Dennis spent the better part of a year teaching managers who to tie a fly properly. Umpqua keeps a close on on quality of material before it even gets to the tying manufacturers, which helps eliminate a good portion of bad flies. The use of TIEMCO hooks, which are chemically sharpened, set Umpqua flies apart from lesser quality tied flies.  It also started with a great team of fly tyers. Names like LaFontaine, Barr, Quigley, Mercer, Nemes, Dennis, Andrews, Kaufmann, Lawson and Mathews were a part of the senior roster. Later, Umpqua added younger and innovative tyers, some you may have heard, like  Charlie Craven, Lance Egan, Landon Mayer, Andrew Grillos, Bob Reece and Brian Silvey are part of a much larger and well established crew of great fly tying history. Ask your local fly shop if they carry Umpqua Flies and why they set a standard for other companies to follow.

#tiedtothewater