mail from A Tight Loop

Stuart from A Tight Loop sends the following email about last week’s fantastic day on the Pere Marquette. Thanks for the kind words Stuart.

It’s dark. I watch the headlights as the truck makes the turn and backs up to the boat landing. A boat has already been loaded and two anglers sit with headlamps on, bent like men over prayer books working on rigs. The boat is slid off its bunks and into the river. Red tail-lights fade away into the darkness as the truck is pulled away and driven to the take out point.

Kevin Morlock does the introductions, “This is Steve Martinez, (whom we later learn is nicknamed “Sweet Chili Martinez” because of his fondness for the sweet chili sauce at the local bar), and this is Matt Dunn. We are the team of Indigo Guide Service.” Later, we would determine how to tell a lead guide from a consulting or senior guide and decide that patches need to be made. I wonder if guides ever take their sunglasses off, even in the dark.

I took photos while Kurt Kopala (senior editor with ATightLoop) geared up, jumped in the Pere Marquette and started heading down stream. I set up the camera gear and started to shoot.

I’m from the Pacific Northwest and the steelhead out there are referred to as “mythical fish” that is, if you catch one…you’ve been blessed. So about thirty minutes later, the words, “Fish On!” ring in the air. Matt has tied into a beauty. The long rod bends, the line runs, the fish splashes and we all think the same thing, “Big Fish…” And then when bringing it to the net, like a bit of magic, it’s gone. We do a little bit of the blame game which is part of fishing, but we all know, this happens when you fish for steelhead. It’s the rule, ten will slam you, and only three will be landed.

But like a lot of rules, today was different. Four anglers and a camera guy, to whom Matt, bless his heart, said, “Stuart, put that camera down and go catch a fish.” I emailed a picture to my brother in Washington State with the caption, “Pure Michigan!” on it. He’ll be calling me any minute now.

On my calendar, October 26th will be a day of magic. Everyone hooked fish, most were landed, (sorry Matt…) all were beautiful. The day was perfect for shooting film and photography. And when we write the article about fishing the Pere Marquette with guides from Indigo Guide Service, the words: awesome fishing, great guides, good food and fantastic river, will not be adequate, nor expletives do it justice. I’m not even sure that the photos and the short trailer we’re working on will capture that day and two days to follow.

Sure there are other places and I’ve fished them. But this day, as Kurt said, “Best day ever on a river.”

To Matt, “Sweet Chili” Martinez and especially to all around good guy, cook and guide, Kevin Morlock, for taking Kurt and I out on the river and showing us the beauty of the Pere Marquette. Also, thanks to Rod of Barothy Lodge for putting us up for three days. So to anyone reading this. Book a guide from Indigo. Stay at Barothy Lodge. Eat dinner in Ludington. And go catch a little bit of magic.

Stuart Van Dorn
Editor and Chief (I have a patch that says so…)

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