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Into The Wild Fly Fishing Guide Service

Escanaba, MI, United States

Endorsed by 1163 people

Upper Peninsula of Michigan's Number One Fly Fishing Guide Service


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I wanted to touch further on yesterday's post. Here is a correct way of fighting a larger fish. I realize this is not a large lake-run fish in the photo, but you get the idea.

A. The fish is almost directly perpendicular to the angler in the current. The line is coming down to the fish.

B. The rod tip is high and gives your rod the blunt of the work. If you look between B and A, there is no obstruction or water causing extra tension. I understand that you will not always have this easy of a battle. That's obvious. But, when you work towards this form, you will increase your success of landing these fish. You will be pleased with your outcome more often than not.

C. The angler is facing the fish. His hands are up. The rod is best at a good angle. It's not over-bent or too stressed. Here, the angler can move his hands toward the fish, if it decides to burst ahead. When you are in this stance and posture, the rod and the drag will do the rest. Also, note how the angler is facing the fish and keeping his line free from his feet and from catching on anything around him.

D. In a perfect world, you will want to net this fish here. Slightly downstream is the easiest place to land larger fish. Trying to bring a sizable salmonid AGAINST the current is often futile. These giant fish will use their weight and the current against you to free themselves. 

You also never want to try and horse any fish. By that, I mean, never try to use force too hard to bring him to your net. Take your time with constant pressure and slowly guide him to you, when possible.  When netting a fish (either alone or with a friend) SLOWLY bring the fish up in the water column. DO NOT jerk the rod upwards or pull the fish forcefully up. Slow and steady wins this race.
Fishing on large rivers, I have witnessed all kinds of fishing, methods, anglers and techniques. I wanted to go over a few common mistakes that fly anglers make while fighting large, lake-run fish.

A. Notice the low rod angle. This is wrong. Why, you ask? It is wrong for a few reasons. Maybe, they are not so obvious. With a large fish (and any fish for that matter), they can generate a great amount of force, power, resistance etc. The more weight the fish has, the more problems. The fish already causes enough stress or strain on the fly, hook, line, rod and drag. With your fly line, leader and tippet under the water, it will only dramatically add to the strain. 

B. Another factor with a low rod angle is obstructions. With your rod low and your line parallel to the river bottom, you increase your chance of your tippet or leader cutting on anything it will come in contact with: rocks, debris, logs etc.  This would seem obvious to most people. But, it is not so. As my boxing coach used to say,
Small steelie!
A mean looking buck chinook!
This was from much earlier in the season. Early chinook are extremely fun when they make their way into the watershed. Swinging streamers or drifting eggs and stones can bring some hefty fellas (and ladies) to your net. Please be respectful to these spawning fish. These salmon are the reason for the population. 

Get out there and enjoy the decent weather before it's gone.  Colder temperatures and rain are in our future as we delve into the autumn months. Please take care as temps drop and water levels rise. Winter is just a short time away, folks. I apologize to the clients I could not accommodate on extremely short notice. This was our busiest season to date. Tight lines, fly anglers!
After a wonderful morning of fly fishing, we weren't the only ones out searching for our slimy friends. I guess there's a
I love colorful, Fall fish!  But then again, doesn't everyone?  Have a great Fall season everyone!  Stay safe out there on the water!
'Tis the season!  Water levels on the rise, fish moving in!
How can you not love those U.P. sunrises?  Morning before some exciting fly fishing!  Thanks to Kev for the great photo!


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