Sunday, January 10, 2016

Outings Plan - 2016

At left, public domain image (thanks, Anjbe) on wikicommons of a classic excursion tent famed in the 50's and 60's. Weighs about a ton wet or dry.

Nice basecamp, though. I wonder if they come pre-impregnated with skunk odor or that's just how they end up over the years?

I'm planning my 2016 outings. Never too early.

For the Amber Liquid guys, here's what I am planning. Where dates are known, I've put them down.

  1. Trout Camp -> Mason Tract South Branch Au Sable. Canoe Harbor Campground featuring Ol' Delano as base camp. (Thanks, Big Bear!). May. The Mason Tract is good brown trout fishing. Car camping.
  2. Father's Day Camp -> Mason Tract South Branch Au Sable. Canoe Harbor Campground. June. Brown Tout summer outing. Dry Fly and Soft hackled flies in the surface film fishing. Probably another up-on-Thursday and back-on-Sunday affair. Car camping.
  3. Deward Dry Camp. -> Upper Manistee.= for wilderness brook trout.You can camp in the Deward tract within 50 feet of the roads so: car camping. No facilities so I will bring my own water. However, I need transport help to make it down the two-tracts.  My trout car is a BMW Z4 ... not exactly a two-track champ. It does attract  my wife who likes fast rides in a convertible and ice cream outings on warm summer evenings. Outing is definitely SUV camping.
  4. Keystone Landing Camp -> Main Branch Au Sable and North Branch Outing. Keystone is a great evening wade on the Au Sable at dusk and dawn (no canoes ...water calms) during the summer proper. My North branch outing is from Powerline to Lovells and then the area around Dam 4 lower down. I've not fished Dam 4 before and so will be adding it to the trip. Car camping.
  5. Adams Fly Origin -> Up to the Boardman River and Scheck's Place trail camp. Some say the Boardman is off these years. I have to try. If I leave Michigan without fishing the birthplace of the Adams fly, what stories can I actually tell?  This has good July possibilities when the Au Sable has its annual canoe marathon outbreak. Car camping.
  6. Trout Dash Manistee - Upper Manistee River Campground. I need a good place to make a dash and during last fall's Manistee outing I enjoyed the gentle bends of the river along the campground. Sure, there are canoes. Always canoes in Michigan. However, the river had a nice turn here and I think dawn/dusk will offer a lot in the summer. I plan on most dashing to involve the Mason Tract and the South Branch but this is a campground area is a nice spot for a little outing, too. Car camping ( 100 yard walk-in).
  7. Sturgeon Surgeon Wilderness Prescription -> Green Timbers on the Sturgeon River. This is a wilderness hike-in and camp on the Sturgeon river. It isn't much of hike as I intend (less than 3 miles) but it is unimproved wilderness dispersed camping along a spring-creek style river. I still want to hike-in and fish the Jordan but the river is tough - very tough - and not the sort of place I'm inclined to go alone. Bears (just black bears) and very treacherous wades wait on the Jordan and so might just wait another year for me. The Sturgeon has some open, gentle, seldom visited sections and this wilderness park is one. How much pressure can a river have if you hike-in two to three miles? As much holiday and solace as trout outing, this trip has a great deal to offer in less-visited parts of Michigan. Great when everyone is on the Au Sable accessible parts! This is a hike and pack-in trip. 
So, there is plenty here beyond smallmouth in the Huron and trout fishing in the evening on my local Mill Creek restoration stream. Mill Creek offers bar-b-que supper (Hotel Hickman cowboy cooking ... tasty ribs and pork) and the Beer Grotto (craft beer watering hole) as well as the Null Taproom and soon: grub pub annex. Right now it is beer only from the Northern Brewing Alliance - including Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak.

Plenty of trout fishing to make happen.

Next year: Northern Michigan Fox River and the Fox River Pathway Trail.

First dash to the Mason Tract ... late March? We'll check the weather. Certainly there will be a trip in April.

All welcome to join. Spending the night even on a one-day up-and-back really makes the trip easier. Extra tent and cot available for use.


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