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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015

I’m pleased to report that President Barrack Obama signed a bill into law that will improve the health of our Great Lakes and Rivers by decreasing the plastic pollution. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, bans plastic microbeads in soaps, body washes and other bath products, starting in July 2017. Even the toothpaste you use has this stuff in it. I was surprised on how many people I personally knew, did not even know that these plastics were in these products and we all use them every day across America.

By banning microbeads this is great news for the Great Lakes' and our fisheries future. Much of the pollution in our waters is from plastics - be it microbeads or plastic water bottles. Because they are able to make it through the water filtration systems, they eventually wind up in our lakes and oceans, and are frequently mistaken by fish as food. This new law will decrease the presence of micro plastics in all of our lakes and rivers.
Another thing I want to point out is how many local clubs, organizations and individuals worked tirelessly to see this bill and others get passed. NOT just you’re elected officials! These folks helped bring this issue to light and cause awareness in our country.

People like my friend Matt Lubaway from the Metro West Steelheaders and the MUCC just to name a few. Matt is a warrior of our environment here in the Great Lakes and gets no recognition for his efforts. So here is a big thankyou to you Matt and everyone else for your hard work. The Great Lakes needs people like Matt, other clubs and organizations and they all deserve our support.

Several States like Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota had already made strides on their own, banning and phasing out microbeads, before this bill was passed. Many states were working together to get this passed.

Everyone should be very excited to see the improvements in our waters. Ultimately it will help our fisheries over time. Just think the fish will not have plastic beads in their stomach and digestive tracts anymore. Plastic in a fish’s body or food cannot be good, right?
I thought I would never say this about the current politicians in Washington, but I commend our members of Congress and President Obama for passing such a monumental bill.
If you want to do your part to help out, please support these clubs, organizations. Look for the words “polyethylene” or “polypropylene” on the labels . If you don’t see those ingredients on the products you buy than they should be microbead free.
Spread the word folks  and get involved. 

New Video


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Winter Steelheader

Passion meets Courage (The Winter Steel Header of 2013) 

Courage; think about that word for a moment. When we use that word what do we think of? Is it a story of someone saving someone’s life? Or some bold, daring rescue maybe? The passage is titled this because any man who is truly passionate about Steelhead fishing must have some courage to fish in the winter time. Only a man with a burning passion or desire could pursue a fish when freezing temperatures would send any other person packing for the car or staying home. All this comes with a price though. A wintertime Steelheader will tell you it’s not easy.

Where you could spend all day freezing, or spend the day very cold, wet, and miserable. It’s not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure. What drives a man to endure these kinds of conditions?  Only too suffer and catch nothing all day or catch his quarry only to release it. A madman some people say.

But those willing to brave the elements or accept the challenge, the rewards can be great on many levels. My favorite reaction is when you stop at the gas station pulling a drift boat. People say “What are you nuts? Going fishing on a day like this? On a boat?” This is the time of year a Winter Steelhead angler lives for. Land a Steelhead and you’ll understand. No one is out there; you have the river to yourself. I have never met an angler who enjoys or welcomes combat fishing.

We love the challenge of a fish that can be so finicky, it could drive you insane. Only the right presentation or perfect drift will do. A fish that’s unwilling to move more than just a few inches for your offering. Which means your drift must be perfect by inches. If you can master that, it will result in a bent rod.

The real purpose of this article is not point out that we’re nuts (we already know that) or to teach you the latest technique or method. The point is what it really means to be a Winter Steel-Header. There is a life lesson to be taught here to everyone, even non fishers and the like. Some people may need a reminder or maybe they should look a little deeper into the obvious.

The obvious is when a person is so committed to something or is so passionate about it; they will endure harsh conditions or even the icy cold waters. Where after all day you got nothing, but yet you leave happy or fulfilled inside. A true river angler will agree that the river is where you go to get soothed and healed.

The winter Steelheader is a person everyone should know or maybe even fish with. Why you ask? This is someone who is mentally tough. This person is committed not half way, but there all in. They have the passion and guts along with the courage to overcome, to stay tough, and be committed to something. Why, I’m thinking this should be a requirement for everyone! We all should become a Winter Steel-Header, right?

Nope, that’s a bad idea on second thought. I kind of like those winter holes all to myself. Being the only one on the river, where you find that inner peace and solitude, which can only, can come from a lonely cold winter’s day. I call it Soul Fishing! After all rivers are in beautiful places and Steelhead are such a special fish. It’s you against the Gray Ghost of the river.

I’m thinking what a person needs to get from this article is that Winter Steel-Headers are not crazy, but these are the people that when they die, everyone can say “Wow, I wish I were as passionate about something in life as a fisherman.” It’s only then they realize; they wish they had the courage to be so passionate about something. If everyone found a passion like fishing they would live a much fulfilled life, for fishing is truly a lifelong journey.

The problem with people is they think they have time. Life is short and we all at some point will end up downstream if you know what I mean. Everyone must walk their own path in life; I just choose to spend my time on the river.

Think about that when you hold that next steelhead and release it. True happiness just left your hands. Always practice CPR…. Photo, Catch and Release. These special fish deserve it. So Get a thermos and get out here this winter; it’s were courage meets passion and boy, life is good.

This article was published a few times aound the country when we had some tough winters here in the Great Lakes. This year should be a mild winter so get out there this year and enjoy. I hope you enjoyed the repost. Have a Very Merry Christmas Everyone.

Fish On!

Water temps are dropping and its time to get Jiggy with it!

Steelhead Jig Video

MAXI JIGS by Yakima

During Warmer Temperature's this Past SUMMER

My good friends Justin Nguyen, Aaron Cameron and Todd Hatfield at Trail Creek Guide Service in Indiana invited me down for some fun fishing on the creek this summer. We were fishing for the Cart Wheeling Evil Skamania. All of us had a blast together! I knew we were going to have a blast and catch some fish. Justin has some private waters we could fish which made for a killer day. It's not often that guides get a day off and fun fish. I must say these boyz know there stuff and can put you on fish. So if your looking for some fun look my friends up its a blast.