Fly fishing expert shows the tricks of his trade

BIG RAPIDS — Eric Lund owns and operates Esnagami Wilderness Lodge, located in northern Ontario, and about an eight-hour drive due north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Recently, Lund was at Trigger Time Outfitters in Big Rapids, sharing his tricks on fly fishing.

He recalls catching a sucker as his first fish when he was four.

“I thought it was the most beautiful fish in the world,” he said. “I’ve had the good fortune of being able to do this for a lifestyle. We started the lodge 30 years ago.”

Lund demonstrated different types of fly fishing. This area, steelhead is the big target, he acknowledged.

“What we do is chase big pike and brook trout up at my lodge,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of pike and brook trout here in Michigan. It’s a lot of the same principles and equipment is going to be very similar. We’ve all fished and everyone has had a flyrod in their hands. It made fly fishing seem like a difficult thing to do. I think we’ve learned over the years, it’s not that hard to do. It’s like going from rifle hunting to bow hunting. It might take a little more practice.”

Lund said he lived on the Canadian side of Port Huron and grew up into steelhead fishing.

“Now I’m in a wonderful place where you’ll find some nicer-sized fish,” Lund said. “I grew up as more of a spinner, using spawn, spoons, spinners, crank baits, and learned how to steelhead fishing through that method. Ultimately, the more I learned about fly fishing, being a spin fisherman, the more I realize they’re similar.

“I look at it as the flyrod being another tool to catch a fish. It took 4 to 5 years for me to become a master and use different techniques. Something started to happen, I started to gain a real love for fly fishing.”

He focused for several minutes on steelhead fishing.

“When steelhead fishing came through this region, initially, something showed up in the way of eggs and spawn,” Lund said. “Everybody got into using that, salmon eggs and trout eggs.”

He showed his audience different forms of flies for steelhead fishing.

“Its not a fly, but it’s called fly fishing,” he said. “It’s made out of feathers or yard or whatever. It’s important in fly fishing to have the right rod and reel combination. Once you have that, you have the basics to go from there.”

Lund also demonstrated the use of a spay rod, also referred to as a two-handed rod.