Down Under Round Two

Date: 4/19/2024, 7:51:19 PM


 lee and George
Heading back to Australia for a second time was another dream come true to say the least! I was heading  for a tour of South Australia to perform at some new Venues and see some old friends. I left Chicago on March 11th and went to check in only to find out I didn't have my ETA ready. ( Electronic Transfer Authorization) Luckily a travel agent worked with me and we got it taken care of just in time.The first flight was a jam packed 757 to LAX.I got off the plane and took a pass on a $26 Hamburger and boarded the flight to Melbourne and waited for a mechanical problem to be fixed. It was exciting to find out a woman Captain was flying us over.Thats a big 787 Dreamliner  and she took good care of us. The only thing is when She said flight attendants please check it was  a little unnerving. We landed in Melbourne, made it through customs and was soon  on a Quantas flight to Aedelade. My friends Dean and David were waiting for me at the gate. They still let you inside the Airport there.Our first stop was at the house of the  the great Australian blues guitarist " Chris Finnen" to pick up some gear that I would be using.Chris was on the way to Tasmania but would be joining me on his return. I was greeted at the door by Queenie ,a wonderful Dauschund  that I had met before. I was really beat and we headed back to Dean's in Victor Harbor and I slept for 15 hours. My first show was at the Semaphore Workingmans club with the Harmonica Player Bobby Blues and Guitarist Stuart Knowles.Greg Naulty is the manager and was excited to have me back.We had a great night and I headed back to Bobby Blues in beautiful Walkerville( A suburb of Aedelade).The next day I was treated to a fishing expedition on the Indian Ocean with Bobby.We caught a variety of local fish and had a feast later that night. Dean was playing at Finn Mcool's in Norwood for St.Patricks day and I was the special guest. The place was mobbed and Dean covered all the great Irish standards.We headed back to Victor Harbor to enjoy the area for a few days before my next run of shows.I spent a whole day fishing with my new mate Guitar George and we had a blast on the pierhead having lunch, drinking and hooking massive stingrays and mullet. It was back
Chris Finnen


to Memphis Slims in Aedelade  the next day for a jam packed show.The club is in the basement and is one of the top venues. We had the total blues experience  including dancing Australian  blues women.Well a great Harp player" Mark Snoady" came by and we all headed back to Bobby's for a late nightcap.Those Aussies can live it up. Next up was the famous Gov Room for another great show with an amazing young guitarist   named Tyler.He is the Derrick Trucks of Australia. The next day was a venture to Bobby's Beach house in Aldinga.Some people have quite the life.His wife Trish was there and put out a great deli tray and drinks.Bobby took me on a Kangaroo hike and pointed out all the local birdlife.Not only is he a great Harmonica player but a wildlife enthusiast as well.We went to the Big Easy Radio club with some great friends and put on an unannounced concert. Well the next day I joined Dean at the Farmers Market in Victor Harbor with Dean for a fun outdoor show.We were promoting  the big final show at the Grovernors Hotel in Victor.The Grovernor Hotel is a legendary Venue and Rick and Louis are excellent hosts. This day  was the return of Chris Finnen along with Geoff Miller on Bass and John Steven's on Drums. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a near sell out crowd.With Rocky on sound the show went off as smooth as can be and Dean,and his wife Linda and I enjoyed drinks and 6 orders of fresh oysters courtesy of Rick and Louis.Well the next morning I went on a reel Australian fishing adventure to the Mouth of the Murray River with my friend George and Lee who provided the four wheel vehicle. It's 10 kilometers up the beach in Goolwa with deep sand and gutters that we went flying over in the dark.We arrived at the mouth and pitched out chunks of mullet on big surf rods in hopes of catching a Mullaway.George had the only bite with his rod making a beeline to the ocean.It was back at noon to meet up with Dean and Linda to take me to the Airport for a late night of sleeping  on a bench. I had a 6 am flight to Sydney and wanted to be on time. Sydney  Airport was a treat and my flight back to the states was cricky as they say Down Under,Until next time,Keith
Bobby and Mark

Down Under for Reel and Good Day Mate!!

Date: 4/5/2023, 2:07:55 PM

Paul Giles,Dean

Lynda Bird

Tristen Bird

The Band

 Dreaming of Kamgaroos and Koalas and all things Australian,I finally made the trek due to my great friendship with Dean Bird who I met in Ireland in 2019.Dean is a well respected musician in Australia and we started planning for 2020 but the powers wouldn't  let us be until 2023.Dean went to work on setting up a wonderful tour schedule and one cold November Day in my hotel room in Buelah,Mi. ,I made the final arrangements. With your regular awful Michigan winter nagging on me ,I could only pray everyday for March 14th and my departure from O'Hare field.The usual travel nightmare ensued and I barely made my connecting flight to Melbourne, a quick 15 hours it was over the vast sea. Of course I couldn't sleep even though the plane was quite empty. Landing in Melbourne the next day I realized they drive just like in Europe on the wrong side of the road. Thanks to Richard Branson I jumped on my Virgin Australia connection to Adelaide with no further delays.Dean was waiting in the terminal and I knew I was in a great country when you are still allowed to greet guests inside the terminal. We got my bags and set off with his friend Woody to his beautiful home in Victor Harbor. It looked just like Southern,California .passing beaches and hills and the vastness of the Indian Ocean. I greeted Dean's wife Lynda and settled into my room for a long sleep.I was playing great venues almost every night and doing Radio interviews everyday but we managed time for sightseeing, and Kangaroo and Koala  sightings .Most of my gigs were with a world renowned Blues Guitarist  named Chris Finnen He is revered in Australia  and it was an honor  to work with him.What I like about Chris was that he had a wonderful  Dauschund named Queenie plus at least 300 guitars which he let me pick out  whichever ones i wanted to use .We packed them in at the Wheatsheaf Hotel,Murray Delta Juke Joint and Semaphors Working Man's Club where Tank cooked delicious Yabbies( Crawfish)
Dean opened up all the shows and gave a wonderful introduction each night . Another highlight was finally meeting Dean's son Tristen Bird .Tristen is an awesome musician and owns Palamino Recording in Myponga .During the day the Boss,Lynda Bird a poet in her own right cooked incredible meals for us including Prawns, Chicken and Lamb.I was living the life of Reily walking to the beach everyday ,watching the Surfers and meeting a fishing legend named George. He became the theme of the trip and Finally took me fishing as well. It just so happened he was an excellent musician and attended one of my concerts as well. Adelaide  is an exciting city and it was great to perform at Memphis Slims House of Blues with the great Paul Giles on harp.
Chris Finnen
.I found out the Beatles had drew 300,000 people in 1964 in Adelaide and a drummer named Jimmy Nicol had filled in for Ringo there. One of the trip highlights was riding the Historic Cockle Train to Goolwa and going to the Murray Mouth on Hindmarsh Island. The Murray is Australia's biggest river. Every night when we drove home from the concerts I had the honor of being on Kangaroo watch. They are really sweet animals but I heard then can deliver a massive punch if you get too close.With the trip winding down,I said a final goodbye to George and had a wonderful Vietamese dinner with Dean,Chris,and Lynda.They dropped me off with an emotional  goodbye and I got ready for my early flight to Sydney. It is a massive airport and it was quite the trek to get through customs but I made it and had time for a quick stop at the gift shop before the 13 hour full flight to San Francisco. This time I decided to watch Jaws as we crossed the Pacific to enhance the journey.Hope to return Down Under sooner than later, As they say in Australia " Good Day Mate"   

Dean Bird
Bobby Blues
Australian Salmon
                    Semaphore Beach


Alaskan Dreams Come True 2022

Date: 8/21/2022, 3:50:31 AM

 I was touring in Alaska for the second time but this was going to be an encompassing journey covering the South East and Canada. It was the old Planes,Ferries and Automobiles to make the journey interesting to say the least. I had my guitar in tow and my 2 Helios Orvis favorites. The travel schedule did not allow for fishing until a few shows were in the bag.I started at the Chilkahoot River in Haines to a big zero landed .( The Sockeye were late and the Bears were as well  ).There was an attempt at Grayling and Lake Trout in The Yukon that failed and then finally a Dolly in Skagway from Pullen Pond.I am not complaining! The scenery,food and people were fantastic .It was not until I contacted Mike at Alaskan Fly Fishing goods in Juneau for a hot tip that I had success and it was a welcome relief.I did not want to have to explain to the Fishing community that I went to Alaska and was skunked. It is true that you still have to work for success at least in my case!! Tight Lines and as we say on our overfished Trout Streams  Tighter

Lips !! Keith 

Michigan Rules

Date: 6/21/2022, 1:05:54 AM

 When you spend years chasing fish all over It's nice to get it done in your home territory.So far this year I've had some luck with Steelhead, Great Pike and Smallie action and lost a Giant Muskie on the Fly!!! It all came together  at night with the Hex to top it all off. Enjoy the photos and adventure and will see you soon the River or Stage!!! Speaking of the stage I spent a recent evening with Michigan Blues Legend" Larry Mccray"and Blues Star "Tab Benoit"( Both great


Trout,Governor's and Gigs

Date: 10/27/2021, 5:00:12 PM

 It seems like all my travel plans have been focused on the Big Sky Country. Sometimes what I took for granted is now what is best.On my second trip out to Montana this year I had some of the best experiences as of yet.From fishing with Jon Stiehl ( Owner of the Trout Hunter Lodge) to having The former Governor ( Brian Schweizer attending my show in Ovando @ Trixies ) and running into a fellow musician ( Calumet Steve) from Michigan at Rainey Lake Campgrpund  it was a tour filled with surprises.There were great times staying with Scott Kelly( Owner if the Gravel Bar) in Virginia City to catching big Cuthroat in Henry's Lake and fishing with Eric Sommers on the Missouri. Basing myself in Wolf Creek for a bit with Pat and Pickles set the trip in motion. A snow packed Hgwy 287 in Reynolds Pass added some excitement and of course Phillipsburg Brewery was awesome as usual. By the time I arrived in

    Missouri River

  Eric Sommers

 Darby @ Trout Hunter
 Henry's  Lake
Governor Scwheizer
Calumet Steve

Whitefish I was getting a little beat up but quickly recovered the next morning being the first through the entrance at Glacier. Thanks to Harbor Grill in Lakeside for my best show and dinner of the tour and a farewell until 2022.

Return to The Treasure State

Date: 8/12/2021, 11:58:10 AM

 A famous writer once said if you can't beat them join them.It seems everyone has descended recently on my favorite place.The good is the club's are packed , the bad is the rivers were packed.Add to that extreme heat waves and fires and disaster was looming at any minute.Also a Bear Attack outside a new venue for me in Ovando ,(Trixie's, ) and it was sure to be an action packed tour. There are great Lakes with excellent Damsel hatches and they were fishing well especially at night. The Flathead also had plenty of great cold water and few people.There are great Brook Trout (not native but still beautiful)and native Cutthroat up North.You still can't beat the local people and I was lucky enough to spend time with Todd Tanner who is a world renowned journalist.His wife Molly set up a tent for me on their property in the Flathead Valley after my concert and when they went to sleep I promptly moved into my car for a safe nights rest.Besides the scenery mostly being obscured from the smoke and the cascade of out of state license plates and Rv traffic jams it was still great to be back , 


Nothing like a Dark Night in Northern, Mi.

Date: 6/15/2021, 11:02:55 PM

 I will say this with conviction.There is no feeling like fishing alone on a river in Michigan on a pitch black night.You are at the mercy of the   river and what it brings after the sun sets. My friend advised me  that I need to be at a certain place on this night in June .In fact he ordered me under the strictest confidentiality with extreme penalties for breaking the sacred oath of trout angling. Alone I was on a perfect moonless night with tons of bugs and no people for 2 hours until a noisy raft showed up and then I promptly left. I pretended not to speak English as well.It was a perfect night with the best fish coming at the end.I never actually measure anything but it was  20 inches in my book!!

Smallmouth Heaven

Date: 5/1/2021, 10:09:03 PM

 Well the first post of the year is going to focus on a more Urban environment.After years of Isolating in Bear country I was happy to be in Grand Rapids for some spring fishing and great Thai food. With a 4 weight and 1 black wooly bugger I managed to land almost a dozen small mouth and my first Pike on a fly. Luckily some local fisherman obliged with photos for yours truly!!!!


Baldwin Steelhead and Blues

Date: 12/25/2020, 6:46:51 PM

Jared , Frank and Chris
Griff and Keith
breakfast at green
A great way to end a year fishing was to spend three great nights @ Green Cottage in Baldwin , MI. I was heading up a night early to play @ the Pm lodge and was offered an opportunity to stay at the famous rental courtesy of my friend and fishing partner Griff.I made it to Hausmans on Friday the 13th (my lucky day) to pick up supplies before heading over to the cottage. It is an incredible place set on the banks of the Pere Marquette right next to the boat launch.I found the heat and sat down to my favorite fried chicken dinner.After a great sleep I was up early making breakfast and coffee when Frank from the lodge banged on the window and said hello.He was launching his stealthcraft for his day float with clients.I sat on the deck and was witness to a steelhead being landed by guide Jeff Cole and his client across from the cottage.Well I had a good feeling about the day and Griff soon picked me up to take me on a float downriver.We launched at Soolak and Griff hooked a fish on the second cast.We took a break and I pulled out the guitar for some riverside blues.It was then on to the rest of the float and I hooked up on a beautiful fish.Griff landed the beautiful steelhead for me and we were greeted by my three friends Jarod , Chris and Frank.They were on an afternoon float and offered us a cold beer and a few tastes of bourbon. They had watched the whole battle.We continued on to the launch and I Headed back to the cottage for a hot shower . Well I Headed over to the lodge to jam a bit and then back to the cottage for a great peaceful night looking at the reflection of the river through my living room window .The next morning it was pouring rain and again I watched someone land a fish outside the cottage.The gentleman turned out to be a great fisherman named Jim Bos who happened to know a lot of my friends in Terrace, Bc. He offered me some orange yarn flies he was using and I rigged up and started fishing.I ended up hooking six fish and landing one beauty only because Griff showed up and helped me snake the rod through a downed tree.Another great night at the cottage and a quick wade in the Am before heading home wrapping up an incredible weekend on the PM.

More Montana Fishing Stories' More great scenery and more Music 2020,

Date: 11/10/2020, 12:05:27 AM

With my Annual Terrace, B.C trip being cancelled ,I was now  heading out to the last best place for the second time this year for some great last minute performances and new fishing adventures to be had. What I really found were some great new rivers , great new people and some incredible food.  I arrived early in Bozeman on Oct 8th and headed over to Music Villa for my rental gear and then onto Bozone Brewery to have a few brews with owner Todd Scott. This Covid has everyone on edge in the state and cases were on the rise. I headed to Wolf Creek to stay at my friend Pat Hunter's and then it was up early on the way to Big Fork. I wanted to try the Flathead river so I took the Northern route through Browning and the Blackfoot reservation.The Flathead comes into view after East Glacier and there is plenty of access along Highway 2. It was a beautiful day and I thought for sure a fish would crash my stimulator but it became apparent that this was not going to happen after numerous casts in the most beautiful water imaginable. I settled for an incredible outdoor lunch in West Glacier instead. After my show at Flathead Brewery in Big Fork I headed towards Ennis the next day and found some beautiful water on the Blackfoot near Mineral Hill. The fish were everywhere and after landing a number of Rainbows and Cutthroat I headed to play at the World famous Gravel Bar and see my friend and owner Scott Kelley .This is the headquarters for all the Madison River anglers ..Great food and a great new Brewery as well on the property. After a great windy performance it was on to the famous Philipsburg Brewery and fishing on Georgetown Lake. It was below freezing but instead of Rainbows I found lots of Kokanee. They are a small landlocked Sockeye and are great fighters. On to the brewery and then the next day I met my friend Will from Flint Creek outfitters.Instead of Rock Creek we decided to try another lake and landed a beautiful Cutthroat and lost a Bull Trout.Next it was on to the Bitterroot around Hamilton to meet my friend Ken Jacobsen from Seattle.Ken is a retired Veterinarian from Seattle and now has a home in the Valley. We had met there in Hamilton in 2011 .It was an awful day with pouring rain and 38 degrees but we managed some beautiful fish on small blue winged olives. I was heading back to Whitefish the next day to get ready for a performance at the Tupelo Grill on Thursday in Whitefish. The highlight of this day was some incredible Thai food in Kalispell .Then some evening fishing on the South Fork of the Flathead for some Cutthroat fishing. I had the whole day Thursday before my show and was able to find some Cutthroat and great scenery..Friday I was heading back to Wolf Creek to Pat Hunter's and Fishing on the Missouri. The wind basically blew us off of all our favorite spots and we settled for drinks and dinner on his back deck with his Border Collie"Pickles".. I woke up Saturday to a heavy snow and an awful drive through the canyon and Highway 287 to Bozeman. I decided to stay local and fish the Gallatin and found a few nice fish at the top of the Canyon. My last gig was cancelled because of the health scare so I was happy to have fished in the snow and picked up a great dinner at the Coop in Bozeman!! Till next time Montana !!