Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Almost Spring for Opener. Almost.

 Three pictures of Black River country on Friday.  That's between eleven and thirteen inches on the forest service road a couple miles in towards camp.

The guy down there in a new model F 150 was doing fine ... for about another fifty meters.

The problem wasn't so much the snow but the huge amount of water from the melt and the lubricating effect it had on the sand-bed roads.
 An example. I'm on  "high spot" here and you can see how the snow and ice worked to pool the water.
 The road to an alternate campsite. I didn't get to my chosen spot.

It didn't seem necessary.

So, I was making it down the road fine (after helping the lightweight F 150 in the above picture who had a little traction issue on some running water). However, in the advantage of age and experience a little voice spoke up inside my head as I paused to take these snaps before roaring onward ...

At twenty-two degrees on Saturday morning, this water would surely freeze over to sheet ice. That's always unpleasant especially in camp.

Then, It was to warm Saturday night into Sunday morning and there was a great deal of snow to melt. Local road flooding in the forest lanes was highly likely before I eased out at noon on Sunday.

Maybe, I should come back.

Au Sable in the trees.
South Branch unwadable as is usual on opening day.
The Manistee was fast, high, and treacherous.

I suspect the small Deward segment upstream on the Manistee to be high but manageable in spots. The problem being hopping between those spots with the possibility of getting "high banked"  in the flow and unable to crawl out upstream against the narrow channel current.

The Sturgeon was bank-to-bank and isn't a river with paths down the banks.
The Pigeon was better (the camp road above lead to the Pigeon) but again, it is a brushy beast that demands in-the-river wade fishing.

The Black was anticipated to be high but as it is a smaller stream, it would have been manageable were the surrounding conditions better. My desired stretch has a couple miles of bank walking available.

Discretion and Experience had me drive home Friday night.

Those two seldom are available for dates. Normally, they're washing their hair or something and leave me chasing that hot redhead Rashness and her exotic, leggy cousin Ill-considered. Those two account for most of my best stories and more than a couple scars.

 I fished my local Mill Creek ( one five-inch skinny brown )  on Saturday afternoon in a bit of wind. 

I was the only fisherman out. I caught the little brown on a soft-hackle micro-streamer in root beer on the very first half-cast. Then, nothing in two hours.

It was a good outing.

I was able to use my small OPST 175 grain head and tip set-up on a Winston BIIIx in 4 wt. I was casting from the bank in the weeds and brush with no appreciable backcast. I  covered all the water I wanted. Lovely. Worked like a charm.

Yes, the BIIIx is a wonderful dry fly instrument. It also makes a fine all-rounder here in Michigan, soft tip and all. It's pretty nice plastic.

So, opener. I celebrated at home. Had the place to myself this weekend.

 Biscuits in inverted perspective. Cat heads.
 Biscuits converted to biscuits and gravy. Always looks disgusting in pictures but smells so good in person. It's a small bowl.

Okay, not so small a bowl. Lunch, really.
Blueberry enhanced Jiffy-sourced blueberry muffin coffee cake. This beast was indeed destined to Sunday morning at camp but became Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday breakfast treat back at "base camp."

I'll give the up north two weeks. I'll fish the Huron swinging for smallmouth this weekend. Then, excursion outing to the north.

Still, it's opener. I have daffodils blooming and all that snow was four hours north of me,

That's something.



  1. Yikes man. When I saw that first photo it sent waves of fear, I'm happy it's not here.
    I am a big fan of Jiffy products and your conversion of the muffin to a coffee cake looks great.

  2. Yea, somebody didn't get the memo about spring. We'll try again in ten days. The Pigeon River country looked great though. Awesome to be back in a proper forest.