Sunday, April 25, 2021

Season's Start


Above: Gates Lodge on the Holy Waters of the Au Sable in east of Grayling, Michigan.
Usually, the opener brings a witty or clever or funny message. This year there is little laughter. The 2020 season was a huge "no go" on socialization for most of us and our fishing suffered for it. So this year: a simple message that the fish are out there.
I opened Saturday with the North Branch of the Au Sable upstream from Lovells, Michigan. It is brook trout water but int he past three years, we've had some sort of event which decimated the population. The good news: they're back.
Below, a couple of small brookies from my efforts. Actually, they're two of a total of six that I managed to get in a net.   The one on top I had to work to get the take every bit as hard as a trophy brown.

I was grinning like a drunken skunk when he came to the net.


All my fish were taken on soft hackles in the top eight inches of water. It was awesome!


Saturday night saw a lovely small socially-distancing after-opener party hosted by my friend Lauren at her cabin on the Manistee. We had burgers and brauts cooked over the firepit. Lovely time. 

The evening was less thrilling. I camped. Rain turned to cold (I used a 0 degree bag)  and then this morning, sleet. Yea, sleet!

I broke camp and loose packed my tent fly in a construction garbage bag for the four hour ride home (road construction season). When I got it out to put it in the sun and breeze to dry, it was still coated with ice.

Luckily, it is sunny and forty-five degrees at home. Great drying day for boots, waders, and tents.

I hooked six fish. Three I had to work diligently to earn the take. Two to net, two lost at net (barbless fishing), and two to long distant release.

I had a blast. I hope your opener goes as well.


Watch the ice build-up.


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