Well, if you can't tell by yesterdays post, the gray and cold continue, and I'm back into a fishless period. We received several inches of snow last week, the nights were cold, and we still have a healthy snow pack on the ground, all of which means that the steady trickle of icy run-off is suppressing the bite in our small northern streams. We should be in the middle of our steelhead run right now and it hasn't really started yet.
This could be good news, we could have a protracted run that lasts into May. That's good depending on how you feel about dry fly fishing. Sometimes I don't like my seasons overlapping that much, it's nice to have time to enjoy them all. If it warms up suddenly the steelhead tend to get the job done in a single week, which can make for some epic fishing if you catch it, or you may be stuck catching suckers if you miss it. Rumor has it that a lot of the Lake Superior tribs aren't even accessible due to the snowpack.
I took a drive yesterday with Alex Cerveniak through the central U.P. yesterday to check on some rivers I had always wondered about. I had heard guys were getting fish at the mouth of Cut River which makes a spectacular slice through the dunes to Lake Michigan. I've only seen this river from the bridge high overhead and had no sense of its scale. When we got to lake level it turned out to be just a tiny creek that didn't look fit for brook trout.
We bypassed Brevort river knowing what a miserable ditch that is and went on to the Millecoquins. Come to find out all of the fishable water is inside the Hiawatha Club. It's a rather large river with a good flow but the only accesses are in the frog water at the mouth and at the outflow of Millecoquins Lake. Any Hiawatha Club members want to say if this river gets decent numbers of fish? I may have to kayak this stretch of river this summer.
Next down the coast is the Milakokia River. We didn't even bother. The open water is very short and flows right through the middle of a limestone quarry. I'm sure the locals catch fish there. I'm happy for them.
|mouth of the Cut after a long walk down. Nothing to see here.|
Next down the pike was the mighty Manistique River, which is open for steelhead from the dam in the namesake town down to the lake. Unfortunately you can see the lake from the dam, and the fishable stretch is just a couple of hundred yards long. Several guys were there fishing, including a vehicle with Wisconsin plates, but the setting is so industrial, being next to a pulp mill and god knows what else, that Alex and I looked at each other and shrugged, walked back to the car and drove all the way back across the central U.P., crossed the Mackinaw Bridge, and went home.
Despite the lack of fish and fishing it was a good day. I crossed some rivers off my list and had some questions answered. Even on a gray day the UP is always interesting. We saw at least a dozen bald eagles, tons of deer, and crossed several black fly riddled creeks that need to be explored for brook trout later.
Now that I've shared my scouting with you I think you all owe me some gas money. Coffee is over and it's going to be a busy week.
Let's get after it.