Here’s a little mash up video from the month of October 2015.
10-31-15 Halloween Treats
We’ve had rain the last few days, water up a bit with a slight stain. It’s Halloween streamers. Would it be trick or treat?
Bob, Randolf and I opted for a bug pull. It had been awhile since we had done a streamer trip where it felt like something could honestly happen. With the water up the river looked perfect. We took off from the launch and weren’t 200 yards down stream and bam, Bob’s in. It’s a big fish, flashes and we see a white stomach as it rolled on the bug, it’s a steelhead. The fight died off pretty quick for a fall steelhead though. This time of year with warmer water temps steelhead don’t give up. Upon further review as we get a better look it was a decent pike. You can find anything in this river for the most part but it seemed a little odd to find a pike this high in the system on October 31.
Ok, one fish right out of the gate. Things are “on” today. Not so fast. We floated for a couple hours and didn’t see another fish. As I was digging through boxes looking for “the fly” I noticed one particular one that has had a history of doing some damage in this particular river. It’s a modified white legs for days. Has a little more flash than normal. I strap it on for my next shift and off we go. we’re 10 minutes into the shift and approaching some of the better water in this entire stretch. I drop the bug at the upper edge of a down tree that is laying in the river. I strip a bunch and now the bug is probably 15 feet from the boat. I see a gold streak blazing at this bug from 20 feet away and it gets smashed. A few minutes later Randolf nets it and I’m breathing a lot easier.
As the day went on we found a few more fish.
10-24-15 Bring It All
In a regular year, with regular fall rainy weather, we’d be seriously searching for steelhead right now. This year it’s just been so dry and the rivers are so low I haven’t really even considered it yet. Until today. that first “steelhead” trip of the season always feel like something new has begun.
I spoke with Youngberg the night before we went to discuss what and where. We decided on a northern river, float and bring it all. We took enough gear for a trip to Alaska; streamer rods, steelhead rods, trout rods and about 20 boxes of a variety of flies from eggs to 8 inch streamers. We dropped the boat in early to get a jump on others. This time of year it’s not really needed. Most guys are fishing for salmon on gravel and all the holes and runs are wide open.
We got most of the water we wanted and picked it apart all day with precision. Word on the street was steelhead were tough, they weren’t kidding. We did end up sticking a few trout and even a salmon on a streamer.
10-17-15 Never Predictable
As I’ve said over the last few weeks the temps have been warm and rain has been non existent. With these drought like conditions the forecast of cold rainy weather gets a streamer guys wheels turning. It has to mean fish will go wild as soon as it starts raining and continue to eat everything in site while it keeps raining. Always does right. No.
We had a group of guys head to my cabin for the weekend. The forecast was for rain…and
a good amount of it. Dan and I headed up Friday morning. We wanted to get a half session in before the rest of the crew showed up that evening. Plus with this rain trout will be jumping in the boat. Not really. We fished from the top to the cabin. We’ve never taken out at the cabin but a streamer guy always wants more water. “Add another section we’ll be fine”. It’s usually well after dark when we take out on these occasions and this night was no different. We had no idea how we were going to get it out but we’d figure it out. We did. Was a pain in the ass. The fish were less than active even with all the rain. They’re never predictable. I did stick one walleye which I thought for sure was a trout. Rich, Ryan and Matt showed later and saved a tough outing with pizza and beer. Pizza and beer can heal a guy after a tough day.
The next morning we hit it early and fished hard sun up til sun down. The weather was all over the map from rain to snow to sun to warm and cold. I really thought one of us would be holding a beast by the end of the day but it wasn’t to be. Even with the perfect weather these trout and this river are never predictable. Either way great weekend with a good group of guys.
It’s into mid October and it’s still pretty warm. Temps we’re in the low 70’s today which makes it hard on the dogs. These temps get them breathing harder and through their mouths, not using their noses. It doesn’t stop them but it certainly wears them down quicker. Even though it was warm they still did their job and I didn’t. We put up a handful or grouse but they are still alive to fly another day.
10-14-15 B Covers
It was a perfect fall day. Mid October, temps in low 50’s, blue skies and colored up Fall leaves. Why I thought I’d be the only person in the woods I have no idea. I was right, it was crowded. I got an early start and on the drive up I had 2 specific covers in mind. One is fairly popular and the other not so much. I figured I’d leave the not so popular cover for later since I left at a decent time. Maybe I’d get there before others. I hit the split in the road to the 2 covers and hesitantly stayed the course. When I pulled up there were 6 guys in so much orange it left a hue in the sky. I turned around and headed to the “not so popular” cover. As I get back to that split in the road I stop to make sure there aren’t any vehicles coming. I see one truck, two truck, three…four. Four trucks, everyone in orange heading towards general direction of the “not so popular” cover. No way were they’re going there…impossible. If they turn right here they’re for sure going there. Right blinker. Frustrated.
As I was driving toward another cover about 20 miles from there I see people in every spot I know of. I finally decided I’m going to have to run some B rated covers. Maybe I’d learn something new. I take a route I normally don’t to another haunt. On the way I find a stretch of woods I’ve never been in. Wasn’t the greatest looking stuff but I was limited on choices. We dropped in and it wasn’t 15 minutes in and we flushed a few birds and were lucky enough to get an open crosser that found the path of my shot.
Word on the street is salmon in Michigan are fading due to the declining number of alewives in the big lake. Seeing the lack of fish on some rivers I believe it. On a smaller creek to the north which is generally wall to wall salmon we have seen very few this year. On a larger river we float that I’ve always thought was fairly light on salmon in the past is loaded this year. Not sure what that says about the overall numbers or the future of them.
Today was sunny and rivers are running low and clear. I met up with Peklo and we floated looking for salmon on gravel. This time of year when you find salmon on gravel there’s a good change you’ll fine browns lined behind them pounding eggs. Today’s excuse was too much sun. We didn’t see many but found a few mid size rainbows and browns.