My business is to provide people the opportunity to sample the exciting and challenging fishing available at the southern end of Lake Michigan. This page is dedicated to showing a bit of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to do that and to highlight the trips and fun my customers are able to experience.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


As a kid, I was constantly on the go outdoors and when winter showed up, I got cold feet. That didn’t mean I stopped hunting, ice-fishing, going on winter hikes in the Boy Scouts or other activities. It meant my feet were constantly cold. My best guard against the cold was whatever boots I owned and used for hunting were given a quick coating of waterproofing grease and then I put on as many pairs of sox as I could wear and still get my toes inside.

The waterproofing worked only as long as I didn’t get the boots wet and the socks only served to cramp my circulation and make the situation worse. But, not knowing any better, I thought it was normal. And I thought that way for a long, long time.

It was a cold, gray day on Lake Michigan and I was hunting diver ducks with a friend of mine near Whiting, Indiana. I bundled against the cold and in a few minutes, my feet felt as though they were frozen solid. “Normal,” I thought, then it dawned on me. Maybe it wasn’t normal....

At home, that afternoon, I looked in my Outdoor Writer’s Association of America directory and found Rocky Boots was a corporate member of the group and they afforded us members a discount from the retail prices we’d pay at a store. I contacted the rep for Rocky and in a few days I had a new catalog and ordering instructions.

At the time, Rocky listed their winter boots by how low a temperature they’d protect. The top of the line boot was listed at minus 40 degrees. I put a pair of those on the order blank. But there was another pair (listed at only minus 20) which featured GoreTex waterproofing and were slip-ons. “How convenient,” I thought, while imagining wearing them for quick errands–so I added them to the order as well.

That was probably 15 years ago or more.

I received both pairs and the slip-ons became a favorite winter boot for me. I wore them for quick errands, on the ice, while plowing snow, hunting, spring coho fishing, on my trapline and never once, never ever, not one single time did I experience cold feet while wearing them.

The other pair sat on a shelf.

Nothing lasts forever, and late last winter, the soles on the slip-ons wore through and disintegrated. It was a sad day they went into the refuse barrel.

When planning my trip to Marquette, Michigan recently, I thought of the “other” pair of boots I’d purchased way back when. Could I find them? Would they fit comfortably (I’d never worn them), were they excessively heavy–airline weight restrictions, you know?

I found them. They fit well enough with a thin pair of socks and were surprisingly light.

Best of all, continuing the tradition started with the slip-ons, my feet were never cold. One morning while ice fishing the rest of our group started comparing how cold their feet were getting. Reports went from “pretty cold” to “frozen solid.” I almost felt embarrassed to admit I had toasty toes.

I wish I still had the slip-on model–but when I’m worried about extreme cold and keeping my feet warm, I’m glad I still have a pair of boots which will do the job!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


It must have been a warm day just before the first lake effect snows turned the world white for the winter. It must have been during the time my wife lit the fireplace for atmosphere rather than extra heat. That’s when the invitation must have been given me to come to Marquette and Munising for a week of "Silent Sports."

But now my trip is on me. The weather prediction is for cold, snow and wind. The advice I got from my hosts was to dress in layers. So I’m attempting to put 100 pounds of layers into a carry-on bag to ensure I have enough layers for the week. Will it be a week of silent sports? Or will the sounds of winter include an old man’s cries, whining and screams as they drag me to the wilderness for another day of merriment? Check back for updates.

We’ll be ice fishing on Lake Superior and a couple of inland lakes during the week. I’m no ice-fishing fan but that won’t matter. I’m not going to see how many fish I can catch. If I catch one, that’s great. If I catch more than one, I’ll be surprised. My goal is to survive. My hope is to survive comfortably. After all, being too hot in the summer is uncomfortable, being too cold in winter is painful.

Stay tuned. If I’m not frozen solid and tipped over into a snowdrift, I’ll either post on my Facebook page or update with another blog if I something exceptional occurs. Wish me luck!