Epic Rod Building Kit – Product Review

epic rod building kit
I've recently had the urge to have a fly rod that was mostly dedicated to trout fishing. I have several outfits geared towards  Salmon and Steelhead that are largely overkill for trout. And lately my 5wt has taken over as my primary warm water and streamer rod. This leaves a hole in the arsenal on the lighter end of the spectrum. With more trout fishing in my plans for this summer I quickly talked myself into getting a new fly rod. After some thought and questionable personal accounting practices to make the numbers work, the Epic rod building kit was on its way from New Zealand!   The primary intended use for this rod is throwing dry flies on smaller rivers. Fiberglass seems to be all the rage right now, and I was intrigued by the softer action. I settled on Swift Fly Fishing's Epic Fast Glass rods for a few reasons. First, the Epic rod building kits seem to be an easy way to build your first fly rod. This is a skill that I have wanted to learn for a while, as rod blanks ca...
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Betsie River: Summer Kings

Summer King Fishing
This quick trip up to Betsie River started with promise, but ended with some bad luck and horrible camera work. This is why you should always have a friend to fish with, or at least someone to row the boat and take pictures!   Unlike my trips the last two summers and my trip earlier this year, there were actually fish to be had in the river. My timing hasn't been great and with the weaker runs of salmon the last few years timing has been everything.   This season I am armed with my 13' Stealthcraft drift boat, so I am covering some new water. It rained the day before we got up north, so I decided to float a lower stretch of the river hoping to find the fish that came in due to the added flow. I launched from the Grace Rd access and ended at the first River Rd bridge. There is a lot of fish-able water in this stretch and its only about an hour to an hour and a half float without stops, but I have a preference for the first few holes when the fish aren't in thick.   ...
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Mystic Switch Rod Review: M-Series 8wt

mystic switch rod 8wt

Mystic Switch Rod - Initial Impressions:

Let me start out by saying that the Mystic Switch Rod is my first two handed style rod. So consider this review as being from the eyes of a spey casting novice. I think that this is still useful though, because there are  a lot of people here in Michigan that may be in the same boat as I was while contemplating this purchase. I was enamored at all the Youtube videos of Pacific Northwest fisherman throwing large sink tips and weighted flies and making it look easy. Whether it be for Kings, Steelhead, or even Smallmouth bass, we need to throw the same heavily weighted patterns if we want to catch more fish. And lets face it, double hauling a large jointed streamer is fun for while, but gets old pretty quickly. The other key point that makes spey (or in my case skagit) casting attractive is that our local waters, although mostly smaller than the coastal rivers out west, largely share a similar feature, and that is lack of room for back cas...
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Au Sable River is Under Attack

au sable river
This will be a short post explaining the problem currently threatening the Au Sable River. I will include links to more information below, as well as a link to donate to ausableanglers.org - the main group fighting to save this world renowned fishery.


The Michigan DEQ (yes, the same group made infamous by the Flint water crisis), has approved a permit to turn a small tourist attraction into a large scale fish farm on the Au Sable River. Currently the small flow through hatchery produces less than 20,000 fish per year, but the state and county have approved the expansion, up to 300,000 fish per year. Details of why this is a huge problem that could kill one of the worlds best trout streams is laid out very well here: http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing-lifestyle/assault-on-the-au-sable/ But the key points that I have taken from the article are these:
  • Harrieta Hills (the people wanting to expand the farm) is being given the land for $1 on a 20 year lease
  • ...
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Pere Marquette Winter Steelhead

I recently went up to Baldwin, MI to pick up my new Stealthcraft drift boat, and was able to hit the Pere Marquette with guide Steve Cornetet from Baldwin Creek Lodge and Guide Service. The purpose of the trip was to get a crash course on the new boat from a pro, but the steelhead were in the river as well. Steve did a great job of getting us on some fish. We were floating through the flies only section just outside of town. Overall we went 3 for 8 on steelhead. Steve also netted a nice resident brown trout. Here are the two fish I landed: [gallery type="slideshow" ids="144,17,6"]


It was about 27 degrees out, and we floated the river during the warmest part of the day... 12-5. 8 takes is a pretty good day chasing winter steelhead, and we wondered if the weather system moving in was the cause for the hot bite.

Flies and Tackle:

We were fishing a chuck-n-duck rig with all 3 landed fish. We were using an Omega reel from Allen Fly Fishing in their size II. Th...
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