Monday, April 16, 2007
As the end to the spring season draws near an opportunity for another road trip came to fruition. After the successful PA adventure I was tempted to return for another round of juvenile chromers with a friend from work but local reports suggested I pursure other venues. Inspiration came in the form of an email indicating favorable reports were coming out of Michigan. MI is literally at my door step and home to an abundance of world class steelheading rivers. One in particular I have wanted to fish for the last couple of years being "The White".
The White River is a bronze coloured small to moderate flow with expansive gravel bars, deep lumber lined holes, and swift chutes. The White is best waded but we did encounter the odd drift boat guide throughout each day. Typical to the US there is adequate river access and an expansive network of river trails which made exploring that much more enjoyable.
The White river gives one the feeling that you are fishing in the North. The river is surrounded by a mixed hardwood bush with plenty of large towering Hemlocks and cedars shading the deep holes. The runoff is well filtered by the sand and gravel substrate typical to Western MI. She was high water during our visit yet crystal clear. I was told it is rare for the white to be unfishable. This river is where steelhead should live!
While driving thru Western Michigan we were surprised to see there was still snow remaining in the bush from the previous weeks dumping. Upon arrival in Hesperia we hit the Sport Shop for our NonResident licenses and some local info. We were going into this trip blind and any info was greatly appreciated. Within 15 mins were were back in the truck with a map and licenses in hand.
Ya gotta love the outdoors enthusiasm of Michiganders. Upon arrival to the state owned river parking we quickly observed that weekends are what Michiganders live for. The parking lot was crowded. We didn't let this discourage our spirits and we suited up and made our way down the trail. The sounds of spring were in the air. Numerous song birds were singing, a giant Pileated was hammering on a long dead Hemlock and the golden clear river chanted its hypnotizing melody. It didn't take long to slide into a beautiful gravel laden river bend run. The river runs clear but carries a slight stain that is exaggerated by the abundance of golden gravel. The river bottom can be hypnotizing and is quite hard not too look at. The success of this trip was not measured in numbers but more in personal accomplishments, raw beauty, and the spirit of adventure. Western Michigan is truly beautiful country and I cannot wait to revist and explore some more fabled rivers.
Hmmm I wonder if old man Norland is up to it this Friday?