Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I'm Only Going Over Jordan

At left, copyright-free image of a brook trout from:
Brook trout fishing : an account of a trip of the Oquossoc Angling Association to northern Maine in June, 1869 / by R. G. Allerton.

This work is in the collection of the Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ, Harvard. Image hosted on wikicommons.

I'm going to the Jordan for a trip to hunt brookies. The Jordan River Valley is a nearly pristine piece of Michigan managed by the state almost from the time it was first clear-cut. The second-growth forest is mature, protected, and isolated from the hordes who usually descent on rivers like the Au Sable on weekends. I'm in the upper part of the river valley - the rough part. The trees lie in the braided stream as so many matchsticks blown from a giant's makings box.

It can be treacherous. It can be a dangerous wade. There are a lot of pinch points from the timber. I'll be careful. Rain on Saturday and so subsurface.

The upper has a few browns and many brookies. Most of the brookies are small though I'm hoping to cover enough water to find the exceptional specimens. We'll see.

I've an old-style fly wallet in brown leather done up for me by Chris Lantzy over in the sidebar. I've loaded the felt pages with my arsenal for this weekend: wets. There are a handful of drys and attractors and a good dozen nice caddis which I'll use as indicator flies on some dry-dropper rigs.

I'm going with "the coug", the black magic, the partridge-and-orange ( and olive, and primrose yellow), a couple of nice dun-hackled scarlet spiders of which I have great hopes, and some #20 and #22 soft-hackled tricos just in case.

I'm loaded for ... brookies. I'm hoping not to encounter bear. I'll sling my food just to be sure.

Hemingway traveled all over Michigan fishing, usually alone. I'm doing the same with this trip. I've got some things to work over and the fly rod helps with that. I've got that flat metal taste of brass and scotch on the back of my tongue. There's a murder in the ink I need to work out.

I'll have pictures. I'll post a report.

I'm too close to being a character of E.H.'s these days to enjoy his writing though I will read some on this trip. I've demonstrated a considerable ability to piss away an endless stream of opportunities in life. I'm sounding like "Three Day Blow" now.

I've quite a grand collection of "didn't work out" mostly because I cannot let the good efforts of others stand for me in any way. I'm compelled to cast the line myself.

I'm beginning to think there's a story in that.

There's certainly a trout in it.



  1. Spike, don't forget to take some Late Summer Ghosts.

    Cool you're going by yourself. I've always enjoyed fishing alone. I get more secret stuff out of it when I'm alone.

    Took me a long time to learn that it is grace to accept the work of others when it is offered as a gift or shared. The nuclear 'I' simply does not jibe with the dynamics of the real world, where we spiral each other upwards & onward. A bazillion opportunities are missed in a lifetime. Perhaps a miss is merely a 'what if'. Sand on the beach. It will surely shift & it serves only a trifling 'what if' to concern ourselves.

    I think the best part of having it made is being able to realize when you have it made.

    Rx for melancholus habitus: Give something away. Go fish. Catch a brookie on a softy.

  2. Steve -

    Getting away was the medicine I needed. Good write-up to come this weekend. There's plenty of river to work on during the warm season next year. Water is very cold (can hold a hand in it for a count of 40 before cold-pain emerges). Will be perfect for adventure fishing with a new trout car next summer.

    Nothing like some activity to fix what ails us.

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