Gray Drake Newsletter Volume VII



Fall/Winter 2009


Autumn Gold & Silver Fall Foliage Combined With
King Salmon And Chrome Silver Bullet Steelhead

  • Fall is one of the most productive
    steelheading season
  • Muskegon Steelhead run all through the winter
  • Muskegon's Chinook Salmon run is very
    strong through late October



blazing fall forest colors on the river - image





We still have a few select dates available for fall. We hope you can join us!


Deur's Brown Trout - image


We have room for you at the lodge. There is still time to reserve a fall steelhead and culinary getaway at the Gray Drake Lodge or at the new Trout and Eagle Lodge.

With all the incredible reports from Lake Michigan charter boats on how excellent the Big Lake Salmon fishing was this summer, along with the resurgence of a healthy baitfish population, our fall Salmon run should be excellent this year!

What is most impressive is the size of the King and Coho Salmon - they have been very large this year. Kings of up to twenty-seven pounds and Cohos in the double digit scale have been making up the catch.

As for fall steelheading, we are expecting a very good year class of fish that should be larger than the past two previous years - once again due to a significant baitfish forage base.

bigFish - image



The Crisp fall days are a great venue to enjoy these beautiful fish along with Mother Nature's final artistic display. When you're at the Gray Drake Lodge, you could watch Salmon spawn in our riffles in the river while lounging on our deck. Some of the river's best Steelhead pools and runs are a stone's throw away.

Matt's cover of Fly Fisherman - image

*For information on the splendid fall Steelhead fishing Michigan has to offer, see Matt's last year's article in the December Issue (2007) of Fly Fisherman. Visit


New for Fall

We are pleased to announce that Gray Drake Lodge and Outfitters will be offering the Trout and Eagle Lodge for your trip or event. Click on the lodge images to view a larger version of the picture.

Click here for larger version of Lodge - image


Just Next Door...
Our New Offering
The Trout and Eagle Lodge

Just in time for Salmon and Trout season, this luxurious three story Finland built Honka log lodge is located on one of the Muskegon River's most scenic bluffs and just a stone's throw from the Gray Drake. It's plush forest setting is perfect for small groups, corporate outings and meetings and culinary gourmet weekends. In addition to a state of the art appliance kitchen, there is a large dinning area and comfortable leather couch lounge area with a large HD plasma satellite visuals, making the Trout and Eagle Lodge an ideal plush getaway and compliment to to the Gray Drake Lodge.

Please call or email Matt or Laurie at the Gray Drake Lodge for reservations and additional information at 231-652-2868.


Click here for larger view of living room - image






Inside the New Lodge

Click image for larger version - link

The view from the two decks overlooking the river, adorned with rocking Adirondack wooden chairs, is spectacular! You will peer down with an eagle's view of the Muskegon's prime trout, salmon and steelhead waters.

An Eagles View

Click here for larger view of river - image

Click here to see larger image


Click on any of the Trout and Eagle Lodge pictures to see a larger picture.

Click on image for larger version - image


Planning a Family Getaway - or a Small Business Retreat?


The Gray Drake Lodge & Trout and Eagle Lodge may be the Way To Go!

Women dining at Gray Drake - imageInterior of Gray Drake Lodge - image
  Gray Drake Lodge view from river - image  

Deep through the fall, and the heart of a snowy winter, are great times to get a group of people together for a friends, family or a small business group getaway. Our river will be teaming with Salmon, Steelhead, Trout and large Lake-Run Browns. Couple this with abundant upland bird hunting for grouse and deer bow hunting and you'll have a sportsmen's heaven!

Big Fish in the net - image

Excellent golf courses, restaurants, kayaking and canoeing, antique shopping, and nature trails will take up your non-fishing time. The nearby museums of Grand Rapids and Muskegon along with the pristine beaches of the Lake Michigan Shoreline, your whole family and group will get the most out of the outdoor experience.


Grouse - image




With air travel and long distance driving costs going through the roof, the Gray Drake is an excellent choice and closer to home. Families, relatives and friends can enjoy a day in the river catching Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass -- you name it!

  • Located on some of the most picturesque waters of the River with Trout filled riffles and pools
  • Luxury Lodging and Gourmet Dining
  • Small corporate gatherings and retreats with a plethora of outdoor activities other than fishing






Don't forget the excellent cross-country ski trail and snowmobiling opportunities Newaygo County has. Visit the Newaygo County Convention and Visitors Bureau online:

Visit Pure Michigan at for more information. Visit Michigan Outdoors at for info on the five counties near us in central West Michigan.




Caddis - image
Mayfly picture by John Miller

Spectacular! That's the one word to describe the summer/fall 2009 trout season re-cap! With a cooler than normal summer and the installation of the new cold water bubbler at Croton Dam, the River's Browns and Rainbows fed all summer to incredible caddis hatches all day long.

The big news was the caddis. Since the decline of the zebra mussels, they have come back in a huge way and have provided for excellent dry fly fishing for selective browns and rainbows consistently on a nightly basis. We saw an explosion of may fly life this past spring (Gray Drakes, Isonychias etc..) and this prolific aquatic insect life just keeps getting better!

With all this increased quality in the resource, we have submitted to the DNR a proposal for quality trophy Brown Trout Trophy regulations since they are revising the Inland Michigan Trout Regulations in 2010. Your support or comments are greatly appreciated!

With the tremendous seed of mayfly and caddis life already sewn in the river along with an anticipated great hold-over rate for Browns, Rainbows and Steelhead parr, 2010 should be a very exciting year for the Muskegon!




Cover of Trophy Brown Trout Fishery PDF Slide Show - link

Get Free Adobe Reader Here

In 2010, the Michigan DNR is proposing new Trout regulations. Please click on cover of the PDF Slide Show below to read more on our proposed ideas for creating an "Experimental Trophy Brown Trout Fishery" for two tail waters in the State that have demonstrated excellent trophy growth rates and holdover for 20 inch Brown Trout (The Muskegon and Big Manistee)

If you are interested in promoting these regulations, go to the Michigan DNR web site and voice your opinion by September 1st Here is a link to a downloadable pdf of the DNR Proposal to Modify Inland Trout Regulations

Trout - image





T.Rex - fly image


T. Rex

Hook: Daiichi x452 #2, 2/0, curve the shank slightly not to break.

Thread: Uni 3/0

Tail & Body: Tiger Barred Rabbit Strips (Hareline) in black over hot orange and Mahi green

Lower Body: UV Polar Chenille Orange (Hareline) with centipede legs in white/black, chartreuse/green, yellow/black (Hareline)

Eyes: Silver bead chain eyes


Looking for a big streamer that will piss off a large Chinook Salmon or an aggressive chrome Steelhead. Try the recipe for the "T.Rex". You can very the many different barred rabbit strip colors, UV polar chenilles and rubber legs. Couple this streamer with a plastic cone heads to swim like a bait fish and you'll have a streamer that swims like a Rapala lure.





Cold Weather Dish That Will Warm You Up!


Mother Supinski brought this recipe with her from Europe and it has been a client favorite at the gray drake since we started. It is great with pork tenderloin and chops, venison and beef like German Sauerbraten. Enjoy!


  1. In a large skillet, dice up a slab of premium sliced bacon into tiny squares.
  2. While slowly pan frying over medium heat, add the following 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tablespoons of Black Pepper.
  3. Slice up red cabbage, two small heads and boil until firm yet soft. Drain cabbage and slice up and mince a medium red onion raw and add that to the cabbage.
  4. Pour the entire skillet into the pot of cabbage and onions and stir and mix well. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper if needed.

  Oriental Slaw with dinner - image  

Many of our fishing guide trips are for women, families and youth.
We enjoy catering to this growing segment of our business.



  • Families make up 54% of the Gray Drake clientele
  • Women make for the best fly anglers and learners
  • Children (starting from 8 and up) along with young adults out fish even seasoned anglers

There is no reason why the whole family cannot enjoy the natural beauty of the fly fishing experience. We have taught hundreds of young children and women how to fly fish..........our website's pictures tell the story!

We provide all the Orvis tackle, and patient instruction you'll need, to make the art of the fly cast your favorite sport-and we won't forget the snacks and sodas for the younger less patient students!



Winter Fishing on the river - image

After the holidays you'll need an escape to getaway and put an end to the cabin fever blues. Spend a day or a weekend at the Gray Drake and Trout and Eagle Lodge. Watch the snowflakes dance, soak in an outdoor steaming hot tub as you sip your libation and enjoy a fireside gourmet meal. You can even have a European style massage in the comforts of your own room. Winter Steelhead fishing is the means... where the end justification is a relaxing getaway from the weeks hectic schedule.

If you've never tried it you're missing out on a whole season of Great Lakes splendor. Visit your Patagonia clothing dealer, get the latest winter wardrobe that will make you warm and toasty even on the coldest days and you're ready to go.

Don't forget the excellent cross-country ski trails and snowmobiling opportunities. Hunters can enjoy winter Rabbit hunting at it's finest.

Cross Country Skiing - imageSnowmobiling - image


  • We fish Steelhead all winter on the Muskegon which never freezes over due to the hydro dams.
  • A bright sunny day with no wind in the snow covered winter wonderland of Michigan, as you watch white Swans and Bald Eagles fly over the river is an absolute delight, knowing that large Steelhead and Trout lurk in every pool.
keith with his fish - image


Dr. Shawn and fish - image

Winter fishing - image




Dan with his Big Salmon - image




  • Lake-run Browns from Lake Michigan remain in the river all winter and can run 10lbs plus!

  • The brown and Rainbow Trout population feed all winter on Midges, Stoneflies and Shrimp Scuds.

You can witness a winter Midge hatch with Trout on the surface in January. Brown and Rainbows will feed on tiny Nymphs all winter. You can have a double digit hook-up day strike indicator nymphing that you wouldn't have all season.

Our seasoned guide, Bob Mansel, fishes every day for Trout in the winter. He's done a fly fishing show for ESPN and OLN on the subject. He fishes when it's 4 degrees or 14. Couple this with Lake-Run Browns holding in the pools hunting Sculpins and Emerald Shiners, you have a great winter Trout Fishery equal to the White in Arkansas - if - you spend the time to learn the Muskegon's nuances.





Marley and Trout - image




Look for special culinary and fall fishing events and seminars to take place at the new Trout and Eagle Lodge all fall, winter and Spring!

T Rex - image


Gray Drake Logo - image


Matt and Laurie Supinski
Email Us

Gray Drake Lodge | Trout and Eagle Lodge
7522 S. Gray Drake Bluff
Newaygo, MI 49337

Click here to go back to Gray Drake Lodge Home Page



Thank You for Subscribing to our Newsletter!

Click here to be removed from the newsletter list.
Please enter remove in the subject line. Thank you!

  Gray Drake Newsletter Archives:      

Volume VI Special Edition Trout & Eagle Lodge
Volume V Summer 2009
Volume IV Spring 2009
Volume III Fall/Winter 2008
Volume II Summer 2008
Volume I Spring 2008

  BrassWind Designs - icon Newsletter Hosted by BrassWind Designs