2014 Year In Review

All said and done, 2014 was a year of memorable fish and quality time spent with an assortment of knuckleheads that, like me, can’t get enough time on the water.  2013 ended on a fairly high note with my son and I finding the cover of a local publication that I think is free these days (so there’s that).  Not long after this outing all but a few MI rivers were covered in ice as arguably the best fall steelhead season in 20 years came to an abrupt close.


Getting out on the occasional warm-up day paid off from time to time during February and March.


Then the rains came and snow melted in a biblical release of water with several rivers at flood stage and the mighty Muskegon finding  the 15,000 cfs mark (about 10x summer levels).


Spring and early summer streamer fishing was solid for many.  Nothing of any size for me in 2014 but that wasn’t the case for a few friends who did quite well.

5-4 mio 2Bob’s Giant

FullSizeRender 7Matt with a bright bar of gold in the 20″ class

IMG_0901Joe had a killer day with three or four solid fish

IMG_0429Streamer camp / Heaven

Summertime did not bring the strong smallmouth fishing that we’ve grown to love with water temps taking their sweet time to get into shape.

FullSizeRender 6

The annual B1F (Bass 1 Fly) tournament was well attended and despite low numbers of fish, possibly due to PBR consumption and general rowdiness) a winner was declared.

FullSizeRenderB1F cast – Jeff Cole, Bob Barber, Joe Donati, Rich Youngberg, Ryan Randolph, Matt Svoboda, Rich Felber, Dan Moser, John Ridderbos

FullSizeRender 82014 B1F Champ Joe Donati (me not so thrilled)

Summer rolled on with smallies showing up from time to time but not in the numbers we remember from recent years.  Not many things are better than a lazy float with friends and maybe a dog.Mio


With some mountain biking in the mix

Fall kicked off with low numbers of Salmon followed by similarly low numbers of Steelhead.  My favorite time of year, swinging bugs in the fall, was rough.  Last year’s prosperity haunted me as outings without a fish started to pile up.


The variety of color on fall steelhead is fascinating.  Dime bright to deep red and the winter purple that starts to show when water temps drop.

FullSizeRender 2


Friends with memorable fall fish
Looking back over 2014 I find myself grateful that I live in Michigan with so many species, rivers, and friends to share the experience.  2015 is already starting out on a pretty good note.  Let’s see where it takes us


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