Thursday, January 07, 2010
#6 Have I ever mentioned the White River?
Alright...after reading the #7 entry you can appreciate the fact that the White River is a special system. Did I mention that it has some giant fish in it? Let me rewind a bit and set the scene. It was late March of 2008. Harv, Norland, and myself set out on our first MI adventure all together. We were on a two day jaunt that started at the Big Manistee. It was damn cold the morning of our arrival and the fishing at the Big M was sketch to say the least. I think Harv was the only one to manage a decent steelie. Early in the afternoon we decided to head south on M37 and hit the Pere Marquette for a quick afternoon/evening fish before crashing in Baldwin at the Outdoor Inn. After lunch in Baldwin we headed west to the Sulak river access point. We fished her hard and had no luck with the exception of the many resident rainbows and browns. Over a killer pizza and beer supper back at the hotel we decided that we would head further south in the morning and fish the White. Norland and Harv had not fished the White yet and were keen to give her a go.
Having left home around 2-3 am we were all pretty tired so after a few more beers we crashed with a typical early morning rise time agreed upon. This is where fate intervened. The agreed upon rise time came and went. Actually it came and went a bunch of times. We were all so exhausted and the beds were so comfortable that we snoozed until 8 am or so. If this happened to me under a normal planned fishing day I'd be devastated but today nobody cared. I think we were all happy to get the sleep. We leisurely packed the car and headed towards Hesperia, MI.
Upon arriving at the river access we witnessed a few cars but didn't let it discourage us. Norland had left his wet waders and wading boots in the trunk over night and had to wait at the car while they thawed before he could gear up so Harv and myself headed up river. Fishing was tough but I managed a nice hen far up at a nice deep pool. After a hour or so we decided to double back and meet up with Norland. Upon meeting him he told us he lost one fish and landed another. We thought we'd continue further down river and try our luck. That's when Harv pulled a nice little buck from some wood. It was kinda cool. At this time all three of us had a fish and the boys got to experience a new river with success. Norland and myself slipped further down river to the next bend. It was very deep and black. We spaced ourselves out. I took the top and Norland fished the middle to the Tail out section. Once again I was fishing the 15 Frontier and had to be careful with the trees. A dozen or so drifts in and the float disappeared. I set up and immediately knew it was a good fish but never would have expected it to be as big as it was. Luckily for me I had the big stick and Norland was there to help. The fish have a definite advantage on the White with the strong current and overhanging shore foliage. It was another epic battle that luckily ending with a monster MI hen in Norlands grip. The pics will best describe the grandeur of this fish and I think you will all understand why she made the Top 10 list. Another trip I'll never forget and definitely one of my top 10 most memorable catches.
Note...Have I not already told you that you better have "The White" on your list if you don't already?