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Trail Creek Guide Service - Special Testimonial

Moulay Alaoui's Testimonial

Since he picked up fly fishing, Justin never comes down to the creek without his fly-fishing rod and reel, vest, stylish polarized glasses and a pair of hip-high waders for convenience. Later on, he even scouts the creeks with his proudly self-made flies. The egg sucking leech pattern is his favorite and specialty of sorts.

When I first met Justin, he was fishing Trail Creek with a bass fisherman mentality. His nice little spin rod and reel was showing an obvious confidence for the set up. He must have “kicked butts” with bass fishing. However, this was Trail Creek. There is no bass to be proud of in these stretches of water. Here is trout and salmon territory, brown and steelhead trout, Coho and King salmon to be exact. Therefore, my friend Justin had to make some adjustments. At first he fished the creek with a lot of doubt for holding these kinds of fish. Within a few minutes, when the winter steelies started butterflying around at the end of my fly line, his perception changed. He was no longer disappointed with the place. The looks of the narrow creek deceived him at first. How could such apparently shallow and narrow a stream hold such big fish? Personally, I caught my biggest steelhead, a whopping 22–pound fish, and I landed my biggest Chinook of a similar size right in there.

The next time I saw Justin, the bass fisherman in him must have died. In deed, he came prepared for some heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing, Great Lakes salmonoid action. He had bought his first fly fishing tackle ever: rod, reel, apparel, and accessories; no spin rod to be seen. The transformation had occurred. Justin has officially become a fly fisherman in the full sense of the word. He expectedly looked like a new recruit with shiny shoes, in this case wading shoes, and some obvious creases and folds wrinkles on his uniform. Since I incessantly nagged him to just start with a fly-fishing rod, it may have seemed difficult, he listened and did it. In the mean time, he absorbed some fundamentals as he watched me and Joseph, a guy who is also addicted to this type of fishing, land a few fish. He quickly learned some good tips, tricks and techniques. He then re-enforced that with some diligent study through video instructions and rigorous practice. Consequently, he now puts out such a display when he is vocally and joyously fighting fish. Such perfection! Such sportsmanship! I am sorry, man; I had gotten you into this addiction. Cheers! Go and hook someone else.

In fact, Justin made acquaintance with Mitch, an excellent 30-year veteran fly-fisherman; you know, one of those friendly faces you regularly see around. He nagged him again and again to try fly-fishing for these giants instead of his ordinary bream. He finally succumbed to his pleasant harassment and showmanship and dexterity to fight a fish, which convinced him to give Justin the nickname of “Salmon Slayer”. Justin industriously persuaded him with the zeal and insistence of a marketing professional and the artfulness and elegance of a French cuisinier. Soon after, Mitch showed up with a fly fishing rod and reel suitable for the species and within an hour in the company of Justin and his guidance, “he hooked his first Steelhead ever”. In a similar fashion, Justin recruited Morris, a local Bass Pro associate. After only 15 minutes down on the water, Justin guided him to one of many holdings he often fished, Morris hooked and landed a beautiful, fresh 12 pound winter steelhead. Nice job Morris!

Later on, Justin was introduced to center pin and float fishing. Although I fervently insisted he stick to fly-fishing, he soon perfected the standard side cast, which he made look like a breeze. I would not be surprised if he did the same with those more advanced cast techniques like the Wallis or Nottingham. He quickly began to enjoy the smooth, drag-free flow of the reel spool, the easy dispensing of the fishing line and the natural, resistance-free drift of the float. He would, quiet simply, rig an adequate split shot on a light weight leader and some precooked shrimp or spawn sacks as bait. He soon hooked and landed four beautiful fresh Skamania within a few hours, on his first comfortable outing with this set up. While using the center pin tackle, his ring finger would amorously caress the spool back and forth to either strip or wind the line. To adjust the line and float landing spot, he would glamorously raise or lower his rod tip as if he were leading a delicate silhouette in a playful waltz. Fighting a fish, however, looked like a bull in rut ready to roll, until the fish lands. High-fives exchanged and screams of excitement and encouragement echoed off the structure under the bridge.

Through practice, Justin gained a lot of experience and familiarity with the creeks he frequents. Now, he enjoys a widely diverse repertoire of casting techniques, rigging styles, equipment and even stories that would make any guided fishing trip with him such a memorable, enjoyable and productive experience even when fish, for any unfortunate reason, would not get intrigued to bite.

Fisherman qualities aside, Justin is an accomplished soccer player (due to a few unfortunate obstacles Justin missed out on making the United States national soccer team and a chance to play professionally in Europe) and a skillful artist. He has a great sense of adventure, so much so he took onto himself the responsibility to encourage people to discover the nearby areas for some fishing or wilderness thrills. He is a wonderful person who likes to help others, get new friends and make fun of life. He is that type of person that you cannot help but like. He is engaging and loves to share his newly acquired knowledge and adventures with everybody and enjoys showing his fishing experience videos of which he is rightfully proud. He also is a generous man. He once offered me his own car to go get a spare set of keys to be able to get back in my car because I had accidentally locked my keys in the trunk inside my waders pocket after a morning fishing session. Justin did not hesitate to do that. He refused to accept any money for a pint of gas or a snack treat. He said he remembered the acrobatic steelheads I gave him and his friend the first time we met. I thanked him for trusting me of course and he later on said he did it because I allowed myself to trust him. That’s the kind of guy Justin is.

Moulay Alaoui
Michigan City , Indiana

About Justin

Justin lives in Michigan City, Indiana with his wife, two beautiful daughters Julia and Justine and a beagle named Steelie who is named after the Steelhead trout.  When you can't find Justin on the water guiding or just fishing during the winter, he can be found, usually after the Fall-Run, in Southeast Asia visiting family and fishing in back of his family's home on the river that he fished in his youth, with a simple bamboo rod, a line and a hook.  His catches as a young boy would become meals for the family. The river he grew up on is a branch of the great Mekong River, where monster fish have been caught and recorded.  The world record cat fish caught here weighed in at 646 pound(293 kg).


This giant catfish, believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever found, was caught along the Mekong River, which is home to more species of massive fish than any river on Earth.

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