The phrase that comes to mind when I think of Steve is “Salt of the Earth”. Grounded, trusted, patient and straight forward could also be used. So when I asked him his favorite movie he said ” I don’t watch much tv but Jeremiah Johnson is my favorite” I should have guessed, because it fits. As an essential part of Indigo Guide Service, Steve was raised on the banks of the Pere Marquette River, but guides across the US. With over 12 years as a full time guide and many more part-time, Steve’s only regret is that he didn’t start guiding full time sooner. Now Steve has a full schedule chasing fins across the US:
- August to January, finds him on his home turf, where he guides on the Pere Marquette, White, Lower Manistee and Muskegon Rivers. In his net, you’ll find Steelhead, Trout, Salmon and Northern Pike.
- January and February, you’ll find him warming his bones in Houma, LA. Great Cajun and Southern cooking await clients as he guides to tailing Bull Reds and Black Drum.
- March through May, has Steve back in Michigan guiding to the world-famous spring steelhead run. Swing streamers to these chrome brutes is Steve’s favorite method of fly fishing. I smile every time I think about Steve giggling as I miss a take. Check it out you’ll probably giggle as well. An even better memory is of the steelhead we netted that day.
- June through August, has Steve guiding from Beaver Island, MI with Carp and Smallmouth Bass on the agenda. Read about it here -> Carp on Beaver Island.
I’ve fished with Steve many times, one of the things I appreciate is his straight forwardness – I can remember getting a call at 4:00am on a cold rainy spring morning, with Steve standing riverside letting me know the conditions weren’t the best. We could fish, but the odds were not in my favor. That called saved me a 3 hour drive. I’m still thanking him for that.
Steve’s favorite method of fly fishing is to swing for steelhead. I’m going to be bluntly honest – I love swinging – But I have a lot to learn. (read I suck at it) Steve moved my game from having a nice day on the water to putting fish in the net. Check out this quick video of Steve helping me -> swinging
During the Float
The cool thing about sitting in a boat floating to the next spot is you get to quiz the guide, get a little history and a feel for the industry. Steve has seen so much on Pere Marquette River from the hey days for salmon in the 80’s and 90″s to a steelhead gold mine when the lamprey weir was removed in 2010. What Steve likes now is that the industry and fishing seems to be stabilizing. Without the shoulder to shoulder combat fishing of the past to manageable numbers of fishermen now. An interesting comment was that Steve has seen the number of private drift boats increasing. In the past if you saw a boat you knew it was a guide, but now that’s not the case.
When I asked Steve if he has a secret fishing spot, the answer initially surprised me. NO – social media has eliminated secret spots. With everyone posting on YouTube, Facebook and forums secrets are a thing of the past.
When asked about his favorite tool he said the Nail Knot Tool (click the link to find it on Amazon) was his favorite. Easy to use, effective and so many applications. See a quick video here ->
Advise for clients – “When all else fails, listen to the guide”. Steve’s biggest thrill is having a client with a great attitude, who want to learn and having the fish cooperate. I know for me the fishing is always great with Steve, with a special treat at lunch getting a true “on the water” grilled lunch of steak or brats with grilled veggies
So how do you get a hold of Steve Martinez, Call him at (2 three one) 3 0 one – four 9 six 7 or see Indigo Guide Service and you can message on Facebook -> https://www.facebook.com/steve.martinez.9
Stay tuned because I’ve got a Fly Box Giveaway lined up with three of Steve’s favorites!