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We are honored to partner with the Orvis-Endorsed Lodge at Glendorn, located in Bradford, PA. This resort combines an outstanding fly fishery with the finest in culinary talent and wines.

Food and fishing at The Lodge at Glendorn

A beautiful combination of fine dining and fine fishing at The Lodge at Glendorn.

For the fly fisher, Glendorn boasts 1280 acres and is home to Fuller Brook– a crystal clear, spring influenced freestone stream.  To satisfy your culinary and wine tastes, Dinner at Glendorn is an experience in itself. Their philosophy of cuisine is to start with the world’s finest ingredients and present them in innovative and exciting preparations and, of course, pairing with some of the world’s finest wines. We are very pleased to have been chosen as a featured wine on Glendorn’s wine list and encourage you to learn more about this wonderful destination resort.

Visit the Lodge at Glendorn www.glendorn.com

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StoneFly is proud to partner with Off the Hook Fly Fishing Travel in creating exceptional food, wine and fly fishing adventures in Wine Country with something we’re calling On the Fly Adventures. Off The Hook’s Mike Copithorne gives us this report from the last group outing:

Putah has recently (Dec 2009) been bestowed with catch and release only status by Fish and Game. This is something that Putah Creek Trout and others have been working hard on for years. Toby Uppinghouse, who along with guide John Berry, guided this group says “this is the best thing that has happened to Putah Creek in years”…and “fishing is going to improve in a major way”.  With regards to this particular trip, the camaraderie with this group was outstanding along with the food, wine and scenery. Putah is known to be a challenging fishery, but the group caught some nice trout and seemed to have had as much fun ribbing each other over missed strikes as they did with the fish that were landed. After a nice lunch from local Napa favorite Oakville Grocery, and some tasty deserts, they capped things off with a relaxing and informative food and wine paring back at the tasting room in Yountville. These guys would never be guilty of letting grass grow under their feet. After reflecting on the events of the day over a glass of StoneFly, they were off to San Francisco for dinner.

Sounds like a wonderful experience! For more information please visit On The Fly or call Off The Hook Fly Fishing directly at 1-877-CATCH77

By Author & StoneFly WineClub Member Bill Semion

Doc Green’s and Birch Hole. Whirlpool. Rosebud and Jorgenson’s. And Merle T. “Simmy” Nolph. If you’ve ever slipped a wader leg into the swift, westward-flowing waters of West Michigan’s Pere Marquette River, you might recognize those names. If you haven’t, you should.

The Pere Marquette, named for one of Michigan’s pioneer priest explorers and flowing cold and clear from springs to the east of Baldwin, is just as storied in its trout, and salmon history.

It is in the hearts of all trout anglers (or should be), because it was the first stream in the nation to be planted with brown trout, brought to Michigan by boat and wagon to Flint, then carted cross-country to be reared at a hatchery and, as Frank Willetts, the tallish ponytailed owner of the Pere Marquette River Lodge Baldwin will tell you, planted into the river on a Tuesday in 1834. It was designated a Natural Wild-Scenic River in 1978.

The best steelhead action comes from the P-M's holes

Willetts hosts anglers from across the country at his lodge at the start of the flies-only stretch, to fish those storied holes I named above. His guides can introduce you properly to this stream’s seemingly constant cutbacks, oxbows, twists and turns. “It’s simply an awesome cold water fishery because it sustains a huge migratory fishery and having the top 8.6 miles as flies only also enables our browns to grow to exponential form,” Willetts says.

“Along with those you get steelhead, salmon, and coho, and also white suckers, which are a huge food source for the trout. You also get lake-run browns that spawn and once in a while a rare Atlantic salmon. You also get summer-run Skamania steelhead, all naturally reproducing in the river,” Willetts continued.

“Our winter steelhead usually start showing up around Oct. 15 to gorge on salmon eggs. The salmon start trickling into the river the third week in July, and in the ‘little man’ (Little Manistee, just a few clicks north of the lodge off M-37) the third week in June,” he said.

More solid salmon numbers come in mid-August, which is a great time to throw streamers or hardware downstream from the flies-only stretch. Deciding on which of the river’s 22 public accesses to use depends, of course, on conditions.

Water temperature is key, he advises. “Forty-two degrees is optimum. Colder temperatures below 34 degrees make fish sluggish and when you’re at air temperatures below 20 degrees, fishing is questionable.”

While I learned to fish the PM’s steelhead by sight, Willetts says most fish the holes with a strike indicator, which looks like a bobber. Tied between two pieces of surgical tubing, protected from twisting by a barrel swivel, weighted with split shot and ending in a leader that Willetts recommends should be about the length of your rod, it’s the best technique available for plumbing the holes which can reach 10 feet deep or more.

“You should rig like this: fly, another (dropper) fly, split shot, then the indicator. Use a size 12 swivel,” he said. As for flies, there is only one real choice in Willetts’s book: an egg fly. “Egg flies, and possibly stonefly and hex (hexagenia limbata) nymphs. On eggs, use size 10 or 12 hooks and 8s and 10s on stones and hexes.”

Winter, steelies are primarily in the holes and as it turns spring, they’re in center water on the gravel. They’ll spawn at the top of runs and in late winter they’ll still be maybe 15 feet downstream in the pools. So if you’re fishing the wrong spot at the wrong time of the year, you’re fishing empty water.

“Winter fish spawn as soon as the water temp creeps up to 40 or 41 degrees. So as soon as you get warm-ups starting in March or even February you’ll see hen fish on gravel,” guide Ryan White said.

However, first, they’re spawning, Second, if you rip a female fish off a redd, the six or seven males behind it jockeying for a chance to get lucky will leave. Third, anglers like Willetts and White say it’s just not kosher.

“Steelhead are our most coveted fish and I try not to rake gravel if I don’t have to. And, the fish in the darker water are often the ones that will bite best. If they’re feeding, they will be at the back of the holes where all the current is going to funnel food right to them,” Willetts explains.

“Count on steelhead being around until May 11,” Willetts says. “Then the summer run will start coming in at the end of May into June, but that’s more hit-and-miss.”

Fly action for big browns dominates summer. And, come fall, others will be rigging their heavy rods for the salmon that again push upstream from Lake Michigan to spawn, renewing the cycle that makes the PM unique among Michigan trout streams.

WHEN YOU GO

February at the PM Lodge's full-service fly shop

The PM Lodge also offers a full-service Orvis shop and plenty of advice, as well as river maps and guides. The PM has excellent access for anglers on foot; however expect plenty of company especially in early April. Closest airports are Traverse City and Grand Rapids.

The river is fairly swift, so you may need a wading staff. For information, call 231-745-3972, or go to www.pmlodge.com.

For information on P-M River Fishing Conditions check out Orvis Fishing Reports

Steelhead, Wine & Outstanding Company….StoneFly’s “Off The Hook” Adventure to the Trinity

We recently had the good fortune of fishing California’s  Trinity River for Steelhead with the Off The Hook Fly Fishing. The fishing on the Trinity can be truly outstanding this time of year (great fishing still being reported at Orvis Fishing Reports). So when guide Mike Copithorne gave a ring and said “StoneFly Nick. It’s on. Let’s roll!” that was all the urging we needed. We loaded up the rigs and hit the road at 2:00am.

StoneFly Nick with 1st Trinity Steelhead of the Trip

Over the course of three days we fished stretches of water above and below the community of Weaverville. The river system was full of Steelhead which enter the Trinity via the Klamath River system. With a combination of  stonefly nymphs (how fitting?) and other patterns we managed to hook and land multiple Steelhead and even a few large Brown Trout. StoneFly has been working with Off The Hook Fly fishing and their team of guides for quite some time (see On The Fly Adventures) and each time we fish with them, or lead a trip with guests, it is always a first class experience in terms of the fishing, the learning and overall outdoor experience.

Paired with the outstanding fishing was the epic scenery of the Trinity River Watershed. This is one of the most gorgeous regions of California, not only for the fishing and solitude, but for the remarkable vistas, mountain peaks and those mesmerizing dark blue runs and pools.

For our lodging we stayed at Indian Creek Lodge which offers clean, comfortable accommodations right on one of the nicest sections of the Trinity. Under the new management of John Letton, Indian Creek is taking many steps to improve the accommodations and accoutrements his establishment offers and during multiple discussions they shared a very sincere commitment to the community, the health of the river system and to providing an outstanding experience for fly fishers. Looking foward to many great things to come at Indian Creek!

In the evenings we shared our meals at the La Grange Café, owned and managed by Sharron Heryford. This is one of the finest yet most down-to-earth establishments in the area. Their menu is outstanding along with their wine list which includes an array of StoneFly Wines. If you are in the area please stop by the La Grange. StoneFly Nick’s recommendation: Order the ribs and a bottle of StoneFly Cab. You won’t be sorry. And if by chance you are eating in and would still like to enjoy a bottle of StoneFly stop by and pick one (or three) up at Top’s Super Foods.

Join StoneFly & Off The Hook On The Trinity! We are currently planning our 2010 fly fishing, food and wine adventures for the Trinity and other Northern California waters. Please email Off The Hook at wines@stoneflyvineyards.com .

Resources:

Off The Hook Fly Fishing

Orvis Fishing Reports for the Trinity River

Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers

Indian Creek Lodge

La Grange Café

Tops Super Foods

The StoneFly Prize: StoneFly Vineyards is honored to team with The Orvis Company to devote 5% of wine sales to conservation of coldwater fisheries throughout the USates. The 2009/2010 recipient of The StoneFly Prize is CalTout, Inc., one of the finest fishery stewards in the country.

Dear Friends,

On October 30th, yes one day before Halloween,  we are going to be attending and co-sponsoring the Tie One On mixer in Redding , California. Tickets $15 in advance, $20  at the door.

Here is a link to the brochure: 

http://www.crgibbs.com/Websites/crgibbs/Images/TieOneOn_email.pdf 

Steelhead season will be in full swing at that time so bring your gear and join us at the event to kick-start a great weekend of Northern California fishing.

Many thanks to our co-sponsors at CR Gibbs, The Fly Shop and  the Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers.  The best events and the best results are always a result of team work and collaboration and that is the case with this.

At StoneFly we have been fortunate to work with, meet and experience some of the finest outdoor artists in the world. From Jeff Kennedy and Russ Chatham to the Reverend Benny Bob, we’ve been inspired and our lives have been made richer as a result.  To quote Horace (not sure if he could tie flies) “A Picture is a Poem Without Words”

At this year’s  fly fishing Conclave we had the great fortune of  meeeting and visiting at great length with artist David Ruimveld and his wonderful wife Ginny.

gallery_pic

Spending time with the Ruimveld’s, combing through their amazing works of art, learning about Ginny’s work as a teacher and sharing a glass of StoneFly wine with them was a wonderful way to spend part of Conclave. We thank them for being such great neighbors and  sharing their art with StoneFly Vineyards.

Please take a moment to visit David Ruimveld Studio online. You will be  inspired and amazed.

The StoneFly Team has been migrating around the country to fly fish, further our  involvement in fly fishing and conservation projects and share our wines from Napa and Russian River Valleys.

Tie One On!One of the things that has uncorked a minor frenzy amongst fly fishers is the StoneFly Vineyards WINE CORK. These corks, pictured at right are emblazened with the slogan “Tie one on!”

What is starting to happen is that people are re-using our corks for all sorts of purposes: fly rod handles, head cement applicators, safe hook removers, fly drying stands etc…etc…

Do you have an innovative use for StoneFly wine corks? If so feel free to post a response to this blog article and post a picture.

And for the first three  legitimate submissions using a StoneFly cork we’ll extend our appreciation by in return sending you some vino. Note: please don’t just send in a cork with a fly hooked into it.  Step it up a notch!

Please send your note and picture to nickp@stoneflyvineyards.com and include a short description of how your quirky cork innovations are used to further your fly fishing addiction.

Let’s have some fun with this!

Thanks from Team StoneFly