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Thread: 1100 Miles of Freedom
04-20-2009, 07:30 AM #1
1100 Miles of Freedom
Background: The Mrs and I are expecting our first child in four weeks. So me thinking my life would be turned upside down very shortly I thought what better time to put some miles on and spend a few days fishing Michigan. This is a sweet blog on our five day trip up and down the Wolverine State which ended up with the odometer reading just over 1100 miles.
Day 1: Busted out of work at 11:00 and ready to hit the road by noon. We had our sights set on the Pere Marquette River flies only section by Baldwin, MI. After a seven hour drive and 370 miles later we got into our hotel.
Got the grill set up and got a few hotdogs down before the new season of the Deadliest Catch started.
With the excitement of the days fishing to come we managed to get a few hours of sleep. Mostly helped by the few rum and cokes and half dozen beers or so the night before. Had my fishermans breakfast and it was time to hit the water.
Wednesday started out great. We went out with John from Baldwin Bait and Tackle for the day. Things started out real well hitting fish in the very first stop of the morning.
Colored up buck #1
Colored up buck #2 (almost a twin of the first fish)
And a nice, fat brownie from some dark water behind a few redds.
The sun came out shortly afterwards and with the low, clear water it pretty much shut things down for the day. We swung some streamers and hit some more dark water, but only had a few brief hookups and that was pretty much it.
The view from the front of the boat is always nice!
Day two we decided to make a drive over to the Little Manistee to check it out. Never fished the river before, but we heard warnings of it being "very narrow" and "very tough to fish". We took the warnings with a grain of salt and went nonetheless. Pulled into the small lot and noticed we were the first vehicle there!! Got geared up, took our time and headed down to the water. Well low and behold we were not the only ones there as we quickly spotted about six guys. So we settled for either less than ideal runs or running flies through areas that were just fished by spawn chuckers. Needless to say we didn't do as well as we hoped, but we did get to shake hands with a few fresh fish that did not want to come to the net. With low and clear water I downsized to 4lb flouro. While it increased my hookup ratio, it did not do wonders for my landing percentage.
View of some nice looking water on the Little Man.
My buddy Jon fishing a hole that had at least a dozen fish sitting in it. If you look closely you can see at least one shadow of a nice fish cruising up higher in the water column.
Decided to bunch that trip in the mid morning and re-group. With the advice from another gentleman from the hotel we decided to check out a lower section of the Pere Marquette. We hiked in for a straight 40 minutes before we found some fishable water that looked promising.
A stop along the way to rest.
Finally that evening Jon gets the funk out of his trip and landed a pair of colored up males (with the assistance of an awesome net job by this guy)
Friday was decision day. Do we stay where we're at or head back north? With the weekend coming up we thought it would be best to head north and away from traffic.
Always a welcome sight after being gone a few days.
The first river we checked out was a bust. Warm weather with snow melt made for chocolate milk conditions. The next stop looked prime, but the water was low so we geared up anyway and went at it.
A look at my more familiar tanic acid stained waters of home.
The fishing was slow, but the walking was nice. This guy decided to take up residence on the end of my rod for a while as I was taking a break. Didn't get the camera out until he was sitting next to me resting in the sun as well.
Found a few fish on redds that I didn't care to harass and just fished some dark water moving a few, but nothing to the net.......again.
Day four was on my home waters with confidence a little higher than the start of the trip. Overcast skies were a welcome sight after four days of bright, high sun. Second drift and it was game on. I was solo this morning so after a few runs up and down river I finally slipped the net around this chromer.
A short while later it was brownie time with this resident brown taking a nuke egg.
A closer look at my "home waters". This reminds me of why I laughed after I saw the Little Manistee after the warnings of it being small and tough to fish. Hell, it felt like fishing on a football field compared to what I'm used to.
One last stop before lunch time paid off as this fatty brown was also looking for an egg dinner. This picture doesn't do the color of this fish much justice, but it was the best I could do solo.
That about rounds out the trip. The due date is May 17th so I'm thinking I'll be fishing very close to home from here on out. I can't say I wasn't thinking about the day I'll get to take my boy out on a trip like this. I hope he will appreciate it as much as I did. I guess that's my job to make sure that happens.
04-20-2009, 07:41 AM #2
Good shit HFB! Congrats! You prolly will be fishing close to home and if you follow a schedule like mine, not very often as well. The sacrifices are well worth it. You will soon learn that you have new passion...changing diapers.
04-20-2009, 09:29 AM #3
Hope all goes smoothly with the new arrival. I found that trying to get my fill prior to birth only made me want it more when I free time after she was born...so good luck with that!...And the greatest ice must crumble when it's flower's time to grow.
04-20-2009, 09:48 AM #4
Baby time cuts in on fishing time, but it is still time well spent. I bought a boat when mine was 2 months old. That is one way to guarantee you get out- gotta use the boat!!!
04-20-2009, 04:02 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Clare, MI
I love your photo threads seeing pics of my home state...God I miss Michigan!
04-20-2009, 04:10 PM #6
That was fantastic! Nice work on those chromers!Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but you still can't
help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs...
04-20-2009, 06:26 PM #7
Jealous! You have open water? Guess its a little different up here in Fairbanks.
Very nice fish and great pictures of the rivers!
04-20-2009, 08:12 PM #8
OK, no shit... I had this song playing while reading your TR... (don't ask, long story)
But it added a certain element to it...
HFB... PURE AWESOMENESS. LOVE IT!
And congrats man! My daughter is 2 1/2 now and time has FLOWN by...
04-21-2009, 08:50 PM #9
Nice. What UP rivers did ya hit?
I love the flies only section on the PM. So fun to fish there.Looking California, feeling Minnesota.