This is a list of products, people, service and organizations that I use and enjoy.
Michigan Fishing and Fly Fishing Lodges and Places to Stay:
Barothy Lodge in Walhalla — Barothy’s is the perfect place for any fisherman that is visiting west Michigan. Take a look at their site and then expect to be happily surprised that it is much more than you had expected.
Laurain Lodge on Beaver Island — Theresa is the hostess with the mostess, she keeps the place spotless and is always around and happy to point you in the right direction.
Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast of Ludington — Jane and Bill Carpenter run a perfect bed and breakfast, everything is great. I have had many people stay at their place over the years and all have said nothing but good things.
Four Seasons Lodging and Breakfast of Ludington — A nice place in the middle of everything Ludington has to offer. Many of the "chain hotels" are out by the highway away from downtown, while the Four Seasons is a short walk to the shops, restaurants and beaches.
Ludington Abby Lynn Inn — A very nice clean bed and breakfast within walking distance of downtown.
The Brothers Place — This is a very nice option, especially for a single person. It is set up dormitory style, so for a nominal price you get a room to your self. It also has the second largest screened porch in Michigan!
Beaver Island Lodge — The "Lodge" has a million dollar view and the best food on the island… Ninas Restaurant.
Fishing and Fly Fishing Equipment:
Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) — I have been using fly, spinning and casting rods for several years know and they are great. The have very good performance and quality at affordable prices and probably the best repair and replacement service in the business — I get my broken or repaired rods back within a week. I also use the TFO reels and have found them to be great. I especially like their large arbor reels, I have mainly the 375 series reels and have abused them for years and still have not worn them out.
Rapala — I use gobs of the Shad Raps, Strom Thunderstick Juniors and Storm Hot N’ Tots. If the fish didn’t love them, I’d use something else.
Mustad Hooks — My main hooks that I use are the R74 streamer, C67S egg and CO68 caddis.
Feather-Craft Premium Fluorocarbon Tippet — I first used the Feather-Craft fluorocarbon when I guided Bob Story for carp on Beaver Island. I was impressed with the leader materials ability to take a good knot… it just bites down well without the slip and bite you get from many hard finished fluorocarbons. I have started using the F-C fluorocarbon on the rivers and it has performed well in all conditions.
Scientific Anglers — I like the Mastery Series lines because of the quick change tips. To cover the diversity of fishing I might do in a few week I would need dozens of reel/line combinations, utilizing the versatility of the Mastery Series lines I can greatly reduce the number of outfits I need to cover all the bases.
South Branch Furled Leaders — Ted does a nice job with the custom furled leaders and what I like the most is that he is always thinking of ways to improve on them. Ted has always been happy to customize and work with me on leaders.
Chota Outdoor Gear — I have been very happy with my Chota waders and wadding boots and would be quick to recommend them. I like that I can call up and ask questions and that there is always someone to talk to.
West Michigan Fishing Boats and Marine
JC Marine — Jim has provided me with over a decade of reliable and friendly service. JC Marine is my source for Polar Kraft boats and Yamaha outboards… the prices are right and the service is great. I once bought a used engine from Jim and within a month it died, without hesitation Jim offered me full credit towards another engine. JC Marine is located in Ludington, Michigan and their number is (231) 843-2870.
Yamaha Outboards — I am a very happy custom of Yamaha outboards. I have been using them for years and have never been stranded on the water!
Polar Kraft Boats — I have been using a Polar Kraft boat that I added a poling platform over the engine for two years on the Lake Michigan flats for carp and smallmouths. I is has worked out very well and I don’t think you could find a better performing or flats boat for the price.
Lowrance Electronics — I have used the LMS-522 for several years and it is perfect for me.
Beavertail Skiffs — The folks at Beavertail custom built a the poling platform for my flats boat, got it to me asap and for a very reasonable price. The quality and finish of the platform is excellent.
Stiffy Push Poles — I’ve had a stiffy for several years and have really had a lot of fun with it!
Fishing and Fly Fishing Shops
FlyMasters of Indianapolis — John, Ian, Derrik, Charlie and Gary are always there with top notch professional advice and service. It is my pleasure to work and be associated with the folks down at FlyMasters, they run a first class operation.
Feather-Craft of St. Louis — Bob, Amy, Ted, Sissy, Evan, Mike and the rest of the crew treat us like one of the family whenever we’re in town. Everyone in fly fishing is familiar with the great Feather-Craft catalog but if your ever down that way stop in the shop, they have every fly tying material there is.
Colton Bay Outfitters — Mike Schultz (Schultzy) and the rest of the crew do a great job. Colton Bay is very well stocked and have a knowledgeable staff that is extremely in-touch with the Midwest fly fishing community. Schultzy is also a very good fishing guide and we happily hire him whenever possible.
JL Waters — The fly fishing department at JL Waters is managed by my friend Matt Dunn also of the Fishbeer.com web site. Matt is a very knowledgeable fly fisherman and carries a nice selection of fly fishing gear and fly tying materials.
Erie Outfitters of Sheffield, Ohio — Craig runs one of those shops that people hang-out in. Erie Outfitters is "the place" for center pin knowledge, advice and selection, Craig also has a nice selection of other fishing and fly fishing gear. If your in the area stop in and have some coffee, we always do.
My Local Shops
Baldwin Bait & Tackle (BBT) — Steve and John do a great job and run a nice clean operation.
Pere Marquette River Lodge (PM Lodge) — This is our local Orvis dealer. They hire our guides as private contractors from time to time and we appreciate that.
Fishing, Fly Fishing and Conservation Organizations
Michigan River Guides Association (MRGA) — I’ve been proud to be an active member of the MRGA for years, if your a Michigan guide you need to join.
Pere Marquette Watershed Council (PMWC) — The PMWC is the premier conservation organization for the preservation and protection of the Pere Marquette Watershed. I have been a board member for the PMWC for several years.
West Michigan Hacklers — This is my local Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) chapter. While the club does not have a web site it is active and has meeting every week, with topics ranging from speakers and demonstrations to open tying. It is a great club with lots of great people.
West Michigan Hacklers — This my local Federation of Fly Fishers club that meets in the Ludington to Hart area. Great people and great fun… contact Jim Schramm for more information — email@example.com.
The Great Lakes Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers — This group does much more than most anglers know to protect our resources and rights to use those resources.
Federation of Fly Fishers — A link to the national chapter site.
Michigan Trout Unlimited – Brian works tirelessly to protect and enhance coldwater resources throughout Michigan.
Beaver Island Conservation Club — Gavin and Todd are working on funding and a long term plan to return Beaver Island to a sportsman’s paradise again.