Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Isle Royale Bound



Friday I'm heading north, crossing the Mackinaw Bridge, pointing my car west for several hours, then north into the Keewenaw peninsula all the way to Copper Harbor. It is at least a seven hour drive. I will have my kayak, my 8 weight rods, and my camera. I will be joined there by four other anglers- Wayne Snyder, Brett Watson, Chris Reister and Bob Miller. Chris and Brett will take a plane from the town of Houghton, but the rest of us will board the Isle Royale Queen IV for the cruise to Isle Royale.

We've done our homework, packed our bags, tied flies, bought supplies. We've spent months planning, poring over maps, discussing plans, the weather, lodging, travel. We have contacted scientists and fishermen. We pored over the maps some more. There is nothing left to do but go.

We're going to Isle Royale in search of Coaster brook trout. For me this is a fantasy in triplicate. Coasters are a dream fish- large native brook trout that can weigh up to ten pounds. Isle Royale is a fantasy land, remote and rugged, difficult to get to, the playground of moose and wolves. Kayaking its rocky shore dotted by dozens of smaller islands will round out this trip.

this fish is so bad ass. upflyfishing.com


This won't be a backcountry trip unfortunately- we'll be staying at the lodge, and I'm bringing my laptop, camera and cellphone, but it's all for a good cause. The lodge where we're staying advertises it has wi-fi (we'll see what that means to them) and so I'll be posting updates on our Facebook page daily. The point of this trip is to catch and chronicle some Coaster brook trout and hopefully build some awareness of their current status, and what needs to be done to restore them on the mainland. Coasters used to number into the millions throughout Lake Superior, but only remnant populations remain. Isle Royale is one of their last strongholds.

Let me introduce the crew.

Wayne Snyder is a Michigan author and historian extraordinaire of Michigan fly fishing. His book "The Golden Age" is the touchstone tome on Michigan's rich legacy.



Brett Watson has been fly fishing since age 12, and is currently the president of the Paul H. Young chapter of TU here in Michigan.



Bob Miller is the latest addition to the team. He is the founder of Ryan Rocks Outdoor Adventures, which takes children with a history of cancer into the outdoors.



Chris Reister is the sole owner of Willow Classic Reels. He has fished the world in search of rare and beautiful fish.



Me? Meh. I'm just a guy who fishes, and with a name like Fontinalis, this was a natural fit.

alex cerveniak photo
I feel like I'm falling down the rabbit hole. If Alice has brook trout colors I'll completely understand.

16 comments:

  1. Wil be with you in spirit!!! The adventure begins........looking forward to hearing it all..be safe and hold some nice fish ..Coasters here they come!!!

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  2. Joyce- as always, thanks for your support!

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  3. quite the crew and quite the adventure, can't wait to see it from your perspesctive

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    1. My perspective will be from the seat of my kayak. Thanks for following along!

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  4. Eight weight rods! Is that fair?

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    1. I'll be throwing a 350 grain sink tip a lot of the time, so it's necessary. A lot of the fish up there are big enough to put the fight to an 8.

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  5. Sounds like a ball. Looking forward to the stories.

    Mark

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    1. I'll be sure and share them. Make sure you check out our page on Facebook, as I'll be sharing my photos there.

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  6. Hope your trip is full of those dark mouthed leviathans.

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  7. Damn this trip sounds like fun...a good crew and the chance to hook into something elusive. not bad at all!

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    Replies
    1. So far so good Sanders. This is a really cool place to be.

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  8. http://shacktowninallseasons.blogspot.com/

    You might enjoy these photos from Nunavik, Canada. Sea run char and brook trout

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    1. I'll be sure and check them out when I get home.

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  9. Can't tell you how stoked I am to see how it goes!

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    1. We've gotten four fish so far with a couple of more days of fishing to go.

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