Saturday, April 2, 2011

Trip Report- All Spring, No Fish

I'm going to do something uncharacteristic and do a spontaneous post.  My blog tends to be more topical, but hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want right?

After wrapping up a day of housekeeping, I gathered the gear, loaded the truck and headed it north to my favorite steelhead stream.  Today was beautiful- sunny and 45, perfect for an early spring outing.  The Straits of Mackinaw were breathtaking- water that was that blinding tropical shade of blue and aquamarine, with the effect heightened by the white ice scattered all across it.  I'm a bad blogger- no pictures, just a memory to share.

When you cross the Mackinaw bridge into Michigans Upper Peninsula (locally called the UP here, and the locals are called yoopers.), you enter another land- wilder, more remote, definitely less developed.  I get a chill each time I pass through the toll booth and head into her back country.  I went to one of my favorite spots, the road still covered in melting snow making access difficult.  I was happy to see that no one was parked at the end of the road, and even happier to see a fresh redd in the gravel.  I'll just say right now, I didn't catch any fish today.  I hit my favorite spots, played with my camera, and let the river speak to me.  I wasn't let down today- there were fresh wolf tracks along the river, a very large set tracks left by a deer that I'd trade a tooth or two to get a look at, and not much else.  I took the thirty minute hike back to my favorite spot, fished it for awhile, and then just enjoyed the solitude, the melting ice, the warm sun. 

It felt like coming home today, and I'm looking forward to a good season.  This river ices over terribly- locals ice fish it, and so it's not really a year round fly fishery, but its short seasons are intense, with large brawling Great Lakes steelhead that are eager to take a fly.  I released a 12 pound buck last spring- sorry, no pictures, but needless to say, I chased that one downstream quite a ways before landing him.

The bank-side snow should be gone in a week, and the first warm rain will bring the fish in droves, and it will be on- on like Donkey Kong! 

self portrait
Wolf track


  1. Nice photos, even if the fish weren't ready to play yet.

  2. Thanks Jay- it was an incredibly pleasant day even without the fish, which was why I chose to share it.

  3. What the...? Did the CUA get left behind, locked in the root cellar?

  4. Poor CUA...He really had jet lag...

  5. Beautiful photos of an outstanding day even without fish.