It’s Cold Out There – Fly Tying the Gurgler

   Michigan remains cold, freezing temps, snow, ice storms we have had it all!  Rivers are running high – the Rogue River is at stage six, and with snow melts will probably enter into flood stages. So,  it is still in the dreaming stage for fly fishing – it is an excellent time for educational events or tying flies.  I spent the last few days doing just that.  “52 Months on the Muskegon River” presented by Kevin Feenstra was one of the events I attended. It turned out to be an impressive presentation – I highly recommend it. This presentation included Kevin’s photography of life on the river, along with great information on flies to use for the various seasons.  My time is also spent at my vise – Long days have been spent filling my fly box – streamers for spring, summer and fall, wet skunks, stoneflies and several of my favorite Bass or warm water gurgler flies.
One of several Bass caught on a White Gurgler
My Favorite Warm Water Fly

How to Make a Gurgler

Some Gurgler Action


Michigan’s temperature has been crazy this year. So instead of fishing, days are spent fly tying, reminiscing of previous fishing days, or dreaming of warmer weather ahead. It was wonderful to have what appeared to be a later winter this year. Some days it felt like winter had alluded us  – but it was as if mother nature was laughing and winter blew in with a fury.  Over fourteen inches of snow and temperatures reaching 40 below with wind chills. River fishing is on a standstill, ice shelf’s stand mocking the fishermen daring them to try. 
The weather made me appreciate the fishing I did in mid-January, catching what I call little beauties. The river was cold and racing I found myself more than once roll casting from shore to warm my legs and rest from the constant pressure I was fighting. It was not without success many of the little beauties were photographed and gently released to grow bigger and hopefully be caught again. Sitting indoors now reflecting on that time of fishing is looked on with pleasure.  I sit and tie flys and sit by a crackling fire, and dream of the days behind and ahead – better days are yet to come.

Way back …..

I guess the love of fishing started a long time ago… a very long time ago. Back in the days when my dad took me fishing. I’m not sure where I was somewhere up near Traverse City. We were by the place where the trains went by, and the creek was shivering cold. I can remember sitting on the edge of the bridge dropping my line in the water or like most kids playing with my line in the water. Bare feet were dangling over the edge absentmindedly, when all of a sudden I swung the hook and screamed…I can still remember my dad running across the stream to save his little girl – cigarettes, wallet and all his pockets emptying as he leaped – his belongings floating aimlessly downstream. I wasn’t injured, more startled than anything. Wouldn’t you be with a wiggling grasshopper stuck on your big toe?
 I guess it was the start of my fishing or at least the earliest memory I have of fishing.  There are many more stories over the years…But that was the earliest, and believe it or not,  that was the onset of my love of fishing.