Well, it's that time of year. The angle of the sun is a little higher each day, and with it comes the ever-so-slight daily melt that is hardly noticeable except on days when the mercury bumps over 40 degrees. But it is happening. And it will continue. The warm days with blue skies give us hope that spring is just around the corner...but we know this is Michigan, and although we may be in the home stretch, don't be surprised if we get another dusting of white snow. 

However, the geese are heading north, the mourning doves are singing a little louder each day, and steelhead are starting to pack at the mouths of the river. Another few days of warm weather and a little more melt should help suck those eager inagural spring steelhead up into the systems and offer anglers a shot at fresh chrome. As the snow continues to melt, launches and hike-in points become more accessible, and some of the wild trout spots which have been securly protected from access over the winter months once again offer anglers a chance at some of northern Michigan's finest haunts. The forecast is promising - not only for draining snow from the landscape, but also propping up those water temps... a much anticipated rite of spring. As those temps rise, the fish become more active, eager to add calories coming out of the winter doldrums. The watery macroinvertebrates start stirring a little more, and flights of little black stoneflies dance on warm, sunny afternoons. Let's be honest, this already feels like the most mild spring we've seen in quite a few years, and if history is any indicator, spring hendricksons will come earlier than they have the last several years, and the spring hatch cycles may be some of the best we've seen in awhile. I can tell you that I'm already looking forward to it. 

This weekend is the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo in Warren. A much anticipated annual event where anglers from all over Michigan and the midwest come together to check out new product, share lies, and talk to some of the notable anglers in our industry. The shop will be closed for the weekend, so please come visit us at the Macomb Community College Expo Center on Saturday & Sunday. 

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Here are a few updates...

We've added several new product lines for Spring. We're excited to welcome Ross & Abel Reels to our offerings. Both Ross & Abel are Made-In-USA companies, with Ross offering more traditional stype reels with a sleek-touch, and Abel offering the ability to customize time-tested models with any color & pattern imaginable. 

We are increasing our Scientific Anglers offerings. SA came out with the new Absolute series of leader & tippet, and we will be offering a wide selection of copolymer and fluoro options. These won IFTD's 'Best-In-Show' last fall, as well as Fly Fisherman's Gear Guide 'Green Award' for the biodegradeable packaging. We are also increasing our line offerings across the board. 

Fishpond & Simms continue to offer great new products in the packs, bags & accessories departments... and Simms new G4 Pro line of gore-tex waders & jackets is unmatched. 

Sage & Redington continue as our main feature in the rods & reels departments, with the Trout LL and new MAVERICK & PAYLOAD rods being hot commodities. 

Costa del Mar holds the line on offering the best lenses on the planet. 

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On the guide front, we have added a couple new members to the team for 2020! We will highlight them as we roll into the new season, but please stop in and welcome them. Each year our guide trips continue to exceed expectations... not only for our guests, but also for our internal growth. I personally weigh the cost-benefit each season to make sure we are offering the best northern Michigan guides, while also maintaining a balance with our natural resources and not over-loading those "off-the-beaten-path" spots we take our guests that make our service unique among others. That also means that guide trips - especially during peak season periods - are becoming a little more coveted. So if you're interested in getting out with us this season, please make sure to get your dates on the books as soon as you know your schedule. 

Furthermore, I'm pleased to announce that we have added nearly one-half mile to the EK Preserve for 2020. That brings the total river mileage to almost 1.5 miles of premier northern Michigan trout paradise. If you've never experienced the EK Preserve, please give us a call. 

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We still have another month and a half until the blue lines open for the season, but there is plenty of water available for year-round fishing opportunities. It looks like it will continue to shape up into one of the nicer springs we've seen in years - get out and enjoy it!

-Ethan