Networker. Conservationist. Educator. Fly Fishing Evangelist. Communicator. If you are at all plugged into the Michigan (or beyond) fly fishing scene, chances are you are aware of the man everyone calls “Koz”. Originally hailing from the Grand Rapids area and now residing in Northern Michigan, the only thing bigger than Brian Kozminski’s network is his generous and affable personality. http://www.truenorthtrout.com
Koz serves many roles in the fly fishing community. First and foremost, he is a defender of our resources – promoting educational opportunities for others to better take care of our waterways. Koz also has done a great amount of work to promote fly fishing in a positive manner that encourages youths and others to explore the sport and take advantage of our great fishery. Leveraging his vast network of people involved in the sport and industry, Koz serves as a one-stop hub for endless amounts of information. It is obvious to anyone that visits his Facebook page, that Koz is a sharer of important information and events that impact and inform the entire fishing community.
While I have not yet had the privilege of spending a day on the water with him (something that will get remedied this year), my numerous conversations and encounters at shows, all of my exchanges with Koz have been nothing short of extremely pleasant and focused on driving the sport forward in a positive manner. It is obvious that he not only cares deeply about the health of our sport and the resources, but he also has the same level of care for the people in it.
What Rivers Do you Guide on Primarily?
You can find me taking clients on a variety of water, whether wading the upper Jordan Valley, floating its cedar strewn lower or my favorite stretch of the Upper Manistee from M-72 to Three Mile. Some wadable locales on Lake Michigan for Carp or smallmouth. We will always make a worthwhile trip to Mio on the Au Sable to throw articulated wet tube socks with the best of the Mitt Monkeys around. There are a handful of other northern Michigan streams not as often publicized, but equally rewarding because of their secrecy.
What’s your favorite method of fishing to deploy when guiding?
Anytime you have a client that can cast-> BONUS!
Watching an angler who can negotiate down trees and flip streamers within inches of structure, cast after cast, all day long, can make for a productive day. But I really, truly enjoy being on the river in near complete darkness, all other senses besides sight are heightened and on high alert when you are casting foam and deer hair tangerine sized rodents against the double shadow of a tall grassy bank that seems to move and come alive the longer you stare at it……waiting for the explosion at the surface and the entire universe erupts with chaos.
Species of fish that you guide for?
Primarily a trout and steelhead guy by nature, but my youth was focused on bucket mouth bass, so it feels good to get back to basics and peruse local warm water species. Smallmouth and carp are so abundant in the Great Lakes and especially the Lake Charlevoix system. Toothy fresh water wolves have become more notably sought after species.
What’s your favorite thing about guiding?
Best case scenario, at the end of the day, clients learn a thing about fly fishing, its rich and deep history in Michigan. They have a remarkable ‘all day’ experience, from casting & conservation, to bug lessons, and hopefully catching a fish or two. That is not always the case. we have to remember to make the experience fun, so they wish to return. I try to make these things memorable by providing a farm fresh lunch and out of this world scones from the Boyne Farmers Market, a taste of up north to take back home with them.
Favorite bank lunch to prepare for clients?
It used to be a wine marinated hanger steak with fresh grilled asparagus, these days, I have more requests to be ‘heart smart’ and not waste an hour grilling- even though I enjoy a good steak from time to time. Seems lately we are doing a sweet potato black bean quesadilla with pepperjack cheese and fresh ginger guacamole- and people are raving about it.
If you could be in a band, which one would it be?
stuck on a retro 80’s mohawk, black leather kind of mood- Depeche Mode – seems Dave Gahan & I have hit bottom and are building ourselves back up from scratch. everyday, one day at a time.
Do you believe that Disney World is a people trap operated by a mouse?
Totally a mouse trap. I know people who have worked for the mouse, they rarely ever come out the other side the same. Its like they brain-wash you to the next level, CIA conspiracy kind of stuff. I would like to convince my family we could vacation in Yellowstone for 6 months on the same amount of coin we would spend in the Rat Trap…
What do you believe makes a guided trip with you a unique experience?
Specialize in beginners, fresh, local friendly, and genuine. Making a day trip on one of our rivers is an escape from the busy text message, fax, memo, meeting filled world. We just like to take a moment to appreciate the beauty in the nature that surrounds us. We waste too much of our valuable time on the things that really mean so little.
What makes a good client?
Practice casting prior to getting in a boat and not be happy with missing a few fish. You dont buy a new set of golf clubs and fly to Pebble Beach without a few practice swings. You need your A-game on any river in the Mitt, some days, it’s the wind, others it’s the fish, current, rain, bugs, the sun, etc. You need to do the best you can to be prepared for connecting with a trout. Listen to your guide, chances are, they have been down this river a dozen or more times than you have…
Have you ever pondered the fact that fish see people as aliens? We hover above their environment, in a ship and pull them from their dwellings into the sky?
It is true~ like in “Horton Hears a Who” the fish world is a speck on a flower, and their world is equally dependent upon how well we take care of it…
If your life was turned into a movie, who would play the part of you?
Of course the ego maniac would like Brad Pitt in the lead role, some would say more like Matt Damon- not that bad, but reality is- Anthony Michael Hall(16 Candles/Weird Science fame) is your huckleberry, a sure shoe in for my days on the river and chasing Molly.
How does someone contact you to book a trip?
The usual suspects: calling works- 231 675-1237 or