it’ll cure what ails ya.
June 11, 2014
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I made a trip up to the Au Sable River this past weekend with a good group of friends. The whole Au Sable system is finally recovering from the brutal winter we had this year. We stayed at a new location, and it put us right in the middle of the whole system.
The big problem was that there was not a whole lot of bugs during the day. The main action was arriving at dusk, and we didn’t really figure that out until the second night when we were too tired to stay on the water and battle the mosquito swarms. Luckily our cabin had a nice screen room to help keep the buggers out.
The first day’s outing was pretty much a bust. We hit the Holy Waters right after lunchtime and there was no fish in sight. We stopped into Bear’s Den Pizza for pizza, picked up some supplies and headed to our cabin. That evening we attempted to fish near our cabin, but it was our first time fishing this section of river and we could not find a good place access the water. Combining our lack of access with hordes of mosquitoes, we retreated into the cabin for the night.
The following day we floated the North Branch in our fancy Creek Company Pontoon boats. Putting together four boats, and getting rigged up for a day long trip takes a little work.
However, I was quickly rewarded with a pod of rising brookies, and my first trout on a dry fly for the year. This little brookie was enticed by a fly pattern called the Patriot.
The fishing once again shut down for pretty much the rest of the afternoon. There was another pod of brookies later, but no risers and very little bugs. We were treated to a fly-over by some F15’s screaming past us beyond the sound barrier.
By the time we hit our exit point on the river, we were all tired. It was a long day of floating and fishing. Ironically, as we were getting out of the river, another fisherman was getting in. He knew what time to go fishing. Later that night, behind our cabin we witnessed a huge spinner fall sometime after 9pm, and could hear the fish thrashing at the bugs.
The last day, most folks would have considered it a day of crumby weather, but I thought it was perfect with overcast skies and a slight drizzle. We fished below Mio, and started with tossing nymphs. Eventually, I switched to a streamer and the fun began.
I didn’t hook any whoppers, but I had fish after fish taking a swipe at my small streamers. A handful of fun little brown trout were caught as the trip came to an end.
Every time I go out on the water I learn new things. Things to try differently next time. Things not to try.
May 19, 2014
I recently have moved, and was very excited to find out that my neighborhood has a pond in a common area available to the residents.
I took my daughter there for the first time this weekend, and we had a blast.
After running into troubles using her Barbie fishing rod, I switched over to my fly rod with a little spider tied on.
We caught a bunch of blue gill, and I left her reel in every single one.
It is too close not to get out there every once in a while and toss a few bugs on the water.
May 2, 2014
I’ve been following Robert Thompson a long time. It all started for me back years ago when a member of a fishing forum online began posting trip reports that just blew you away with high quality photos. Once the videos started to show up, that sealed the deal. These were better than just trip reports. I even once met him at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo, and basically just let him know I was a fan of his work.
Eventually, his web site thirdyearflyfisher.com showed up along with monthly videos that could easily be described as short films. These videos then evolved into an official film release, and now Robert Thompson has recently released his fourth film.
I had to write a blog post about The River because this movie is so amazingly good. This film is not only good, but he released it on BluRay, and the additional high-definition imagery of hatches on the Au Sable combined with the clear water churning on the screen does nothing but make me want to load up my vehicle and head to the river.
Each of the movies he has created has been well worth the purchase, but I have to admit this fourth DVD/BluRay is a bargain for what is included. The River is an entire documentary on the current state and history of the Au Sable River. The Au Sable is the crown jewel of trout streams in Michigan (if not most of the country), and has a long history including providing the foundations for creating Trout Unlimited. Along with The River, the DVD/BluRay contains two additional features. First, a film involving three brothers fishing and reminiscing, with a focus on fishing for big browns on the Au Sable. Secondly, a introspective film on Bob Summers, a landmark figure in fly fishing history that all started with his involvement of building bamboo rods under Paul H. Young.
I cannot say enough about this movie. If you are a fly fisherman, and you live in Michigan, you should be forced to watch this. If you are an avid fly fisherman in general, you will not regret picking up a copy.
Here is a link to his site: http://www.thirdyearflyfisher.com
Here is the trailer for The River:
April 27, 2014
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I didn’t get out on opening day, but I was able to get out today, the day after opening day.
Last year I moved, and along with my new home, I have a new home waters.
Southeastern Michigan does not have an abundance of trout water, but my new home waters is one the gems in the area.
Today, with only an hour or two available to be on the stream, I rushed to the first access point. The small parking lot was full, and another car was parked along the street side. Two fisherman were making their way to the water. This was already too crowded for me.
I drove on to the next access point I knew of, and there parking lot had spots available. As I geared up, I saw a fisherman walking towards me. We struck up a conversation, as I noticed he was fishing bamboo. He asked about my fiberglass rod, and we began to swap some stories. He seemed to be content in taking his time, and sharing some stories. He revealed to me that he was 72 years old, and had been exclusively fly fishing for 30 years. He talked of some fly shops near Lovells, and about the unfortunate death of a specific owner many years ago. This discussion of age turned to a discussion about the decrease in health and lifespan he had noticed amongst the smokers he knew. He said he was glad he quit at the age of 30. I could tell he was experienced, but was also humble. I wish I would have asked for his name, because he was the type of guy I would like to fish with.
Shortly after our conversation, I stepped into the water and tied on a bead nymph. I broke the winter-laden rust from my elbow around the third cast, and tossed the nymph where it was supposed to go. I worked my way downstream, and came upon quite the large log jam. I decided to switch to a black woolly bugger, and at the very end of the run I moved a very large fish. It would be the only fish I would see.
As I was beginning to wrap things up to leave, I heard a voice behind me. A fisherman was asking how I was doing. He was much younger than the fellow I met before entering the water. He asked what flies I had tried, and offered up some advice. He informed me that he was able to get into Gates Lodge on the trout opener weekend, a feat in and of itself, because of a cancellation, and had just returned from there. However, he had been skunked, and said that he just had to catch a fish. I noticed he was smoking. He wished me a good evening before jumped into the next available hole, and started casting.
April 18, 2014
Christ’s last words before death, were really a single word…. Tetelestai.
March 23, 2014
I went to the annual fly fishing expo this year. My main goal was to get an autograph from Joe Humphreys. When I first started fly fishing, I went to the library and checked out two VHS cassettes. The first was an instructional video from Joe Humphreys put out by Rod and Reel. The second was a similar video by Gary Borger. These two videos provided the basis for me to start teaching myself how to use my fly rod, read the water, and just plain tie on my flies.
Once I was able to have Gary Borger sign a copy if his recent book during my recent trip to Montana, I thought it would be nice to also get an autograph from Joe. Luckily, he was a headliner at the show this year.
I was able to purchase Joe’s book Trout Tactics, and got to meet him at the Author Booth at the show. We only chatted for a minute, but it was great.
I really didn’t buy much at the show this year. After fishing for so many years now, I own pretty much everything I need. I’ve dabbled in fly tying and rod making. If anything though, it is still nice to take a look around the show and see what is new and exciting. I did attend one seminar on the topic of fishing the AuSable during the month of May. It was definitely nice to see some photos and video clips during one of the harshest winters I can remember to dispel some cabin fever. Hopefully, I can hit the water soon.