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GRAY DRAKE NEWSLETTER ~ VOLUME VIII
Winter Spring 2010

Spring Steelheading
Is Right Around The Corner!

Steelhead Fishing - imageWe've sure had one snowy and cold winter this far with a ton of precipitation. Mid February through March will see less crowds on the river and usually produces the biggest fish of the year, since the fish are in pre-spawn condition. April and May will see the peak of the run. May is one of the strongest months on the "mighty Mo", since the cold water from Hardy reservoir creates ideal water temperatures. We had steelhead on gravel till June 18th in 2008 - and the drop-back streamer fishing was superb!

Big fish caught on the Muskegon - image

Back To Gray Drake Home Waters

Fishing the Muskegon - image

Muskegon spring fishing is fantastic and it just got better!

Contact us by March 1st to reserve a spring trip
and you will receive a Special Discount!

  • Spring is the most productive steelheading season
  • Muskegon fish run well into June

Fishing the Muskegon - image

We still have a few select dates available for this spring. We hope you can join us.

 

Brochure Card for Getaway Weekends - image

Brochure Card for Getaway Weekends side 2  - image

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Croton Dam Winter Photo by Randy Poll - image

Croton Dam Winter Photo by
Randy Poll

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Muskegon Hatch Update

The insect hatches in 2009 were mind-boggling to say the least! Since I have fished the Muskegon from 1989, I've never seen mayfly hatch durations and numbers like we had last year. The Gray Drake was a "blizzard hatch" some nights too thick to fish. We had fishable spinner flys at dark all the way to July 20th - never seen that before. The isonychias, sulphurs and blue-winged olives, along with American March Browns were also prolific. The most interesting thing was the Stenonema White Cahills - we had several "white cloud" spinner flights in June I've never seen; in the past there were just a few here and there.

Resident Eagle photo by Todd Jensen - image

The Trout and Eagle Lodge's Resident Eagle with a May drop-back Steelhead. Photo by Todd Jensen of the Trout and Eagle Lodge.

The real big news was the mega Caddis hatches from July through early October. Blizzard clouds of cinnamon and green Caddis egg layers appeared every night with hundreds of Trout feeding on the surface like in the 70's before the zebra's. I had The Caddisfly Handbook author Dick Pobst fishing with me in September and we were both shocked in awe -- never did we think we'd see the Caddis back and the Trout feeding on top like fat footballs! The growth rate of the Trout approached 1 inch per month - just like the old days!

Needless to day, we can't wait for 2010 at the Trout and Eagle & Gray Drake. We absolutely live for our fine dry fly fishing - the pinnacle of the sport of fly fishing!

Some Good Dam News!

Croton Dam  image

The big news last summer was the installation of the cold water bubbler at the Croton Reservoir in July. This cold water bottom-up cycling compressor was tested during the summer to keep water temperatures down through the hot summer months on the main tailwater and increase dissolved oxygen. From Consumers Power's testing studies it was a success and they committed to a permanent unit to be installed July 2010 and it will run indefinitely. With this, the Muskegon's Trout and Wild Steelhead Parr will be more comfortable and feed heavily all summer like they did in 2009.


Photo of White Cahill
by John Miller.

 

THIS IS VERY EXCITING NEWS AND WE HAVE A NEW TROUT FISHERY TO PROTECT AND ENHANCE! 

 

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Winter Steelheading...a way of life and escape from the winter doldrums

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. 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.

Winter steelheading - image

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.


Pheasant Photo Courtesy of Shooting the Breeze Hunt Club - image

Hunters can enjoy winter rabbit hunting and wing bird hunting at it's finest. Some of our weekend getaway packages include Pheasant and Quail hunting at: www.shootingthebreeze.org

Photo courtesy of
Shooting the Breeze Hunt Club

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.


Lake-Run Browns and Winter Trout

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 (sometimes) equal to the White in Arkansas - if - you spend the time to learn the Muskegon's nuances.

 

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.

marley - image

Back Due To Popular Demand!!!

Winter steelheading - image

Mother Supinski's Austrian Red Cabbage

  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.

 





 

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!

 


Winter/Spring Fly Box

Fly Duo Back by Demand

Sputnik's Simple Sac Frys Fly Recipes

Top Pattern:

Hook: Daiichi 2151 #10
Thread: Uni White
Tail & Body: Pearl Braid
Wing: Pearl Ice Dub, then Barred Grizzly Marabou
Topping: 3 strands of Pearl Green Flashabou
Egg Sac: Steelhead Orange Glo-Bug Yarn
Eyes: Hareline Holographic Chartreuse

Bottom Pattern:

Hook: Daiichi x120 #10
Thread: Uni White
Body: Otter Soft Milking Egg OS-3 Material
Wing: Pink Ice Dub, Pearl Ice Dub
Topping: Gadwall Duck Feather
Eyes: Hareline Holographic Natural

marley - image

Spring is a great time to swing, strip or Dead Drift Sac Fry/Parr Patterns for Trout and Steelhead. Since the Muskegon, Pere Marquette and all Lake Michigan tributaries have a tremendous capacity for wild natural reproduction of Salmon and Steelhead. Each February through April sees the Chinook Salmon Sac Fry emerging from the spawning gravel. This is a delicacy for resident Trout and spawning Steelhead. The Steelhead will strike the Fry and park out territorial aggression and the trout will be feasting on them along with he Steelhead Egg smorgasbord.

--Newsletter Archives--

Volume VII Fall/Winter 2009
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

Latest Getaway Newsletter

To view the latest Getaway Packages click here

 

For reservations please contact your hosts,
Laurie and Matt Supinski,
at 231-652-2868


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