Thursday, January 18, 2018


I'm wussing out.

The photo at left hosted on wikicommons is from MIKI Yoshihito from Sapporo City, Japan. MIKI allows its use here for just the attribution. Nice. And, nice snapshot!

Winter camping breakfast/lunch/supper/snack. Who knows? Looks mighty tasty to a bear.

I have toyed with the idea of winter camping and doing some fishing on the South Branch Au Sable.

I've decided to pass this year. If the winter warms a little, I might go. We're crossing our third week without rising above freezing and it has been considerably colder up in trout country (interior basin so ... cold).

March. I'll make a dash in March.

I haven't got an expedition quality bag.

I'm cool in my bag and bag liner at the mid twenties even using mid-weight layering and, as always, sleeping in a wool hat. I could use a better low-temperature bag; but,  I'm not sure I really want to be fishing when the nights drop to twenty or below.

The first four or five hours with a 40 oz canteen of hot water makes for good sleeping. The last two hours before dawn can be rough.

Apart from cold -- and the persistent ice-over -- the winter here has been fine.

I'm concerned for my friends in the Old World after the winds and storm blew through. Power outages can be a real problem where electric heat or electric-glycol systems are employed.

Hope all of you are warm, powered, and dry.

Or, at least the pub is two of the three.



  1. Pretty cold here tonight. Down to about 45. Supposed to warm by Sunday, good tides, so a good day for the beach.

    Found an old 2009 Field & Stream with a blurb about the 41 pound 7.25 ounce world record brown caught from the Big Manistee River. Huge lake-run fish. The guy who caught it on a Shad Rap attributes the catch to God wanting him to catch it (could be). The guide agreed (of course he'd say anything for a tip). They killed the brown. The guide has a cleaning station set up on his boat, so this is obviously a meat outfit. Wondering if you ever fish that river for lake-runs...

    1. So ...

      The "Big" Manistee below Tippy Dam becomes a steelhead and salmon (3 species) type of river. It is also a boat-and-cooler type of water. Access, river flows , ... you know the drill.

      The damn basically cuts the river in half. Upstream: natural trout. Downstream: steelhead and salmon with some brown trout from tributaries and stocking. No natural reproduction.

      There are browns and some quite large -- though these are not reproducing populations in the Manistee itself. They come from some of the coldwater feeders or possibly this lake-run strain.

      It is also a stretch that is predominated by bait and lure. It can be combat fishing at times. Spawn sacks, spoons, and thundersticks predominate the style of below-dam fishing.

      There is a great trail that runs both sides of the river downstream from the impoundment.

      I fish the Upper Manistee. It's a naturally reproducing fishery and runs from the DEWARD tract -- a wilderness stretch -- down through fairly heavily developed stretches of second-home and fishing cabins. The father downstream from Deward one goes, the heavier the aluminum hatch becomes. It is a very popular float river here in Michigan which means coolers in inner tubes, splashing, and a great deal of "any luck?" queries.

      The Deward tract is 9/10th brook trout. I've taken some nice medium trout (10" - 16") but this is predominantly 8" brookie water.

    2. Thanks Spike. Suspected it may be as you describe. Giant tailwater in a developed area.

      Ah well. Just pokin aroun lookin for a little magic. Guess it aint the same as it was in Hemingway's youth.

  2. Lovely cold morning breakfast.
    We are in somewhat of a moderating trend, 50 today and tomorrow.

    1. 30's here. Some melt. Still have a nice fire in the stove tonight. Oil heater on in my library. Tying flies. Tea. I'm resisting the urge to make cookies. Barely.