useless rubes in the other bedroom. We all must have shared the same excitement as the boys were soon to follow. We found ourselves on route to the river shortly after first light. The word must have gotten out as our first choice of starting water was well populated. We shook it off and put the legs to work and hiked down river. The early exercise was a mixed blessing as the morning temps were a crisp -13 C on the truck thermometer. The snow crunched under our feet as we navigated through the forest along the river. We were blessed to have the remainder of the river to ourselves this morning and spaced ourselves out in a very long sweet section of productive water. It didn't take long before we each had a couple of lb fish to our credit and I noted just how much colder the water felt on the hands this morning. I also felt a burning sensation on the tips of my ears that was certainly reminiscent of January and February Steelheading.
Unknown to me Harv had hooked up with a nice hen and put her on the bank for a quick photo op with Arns help. I was out in the river on a sweet little gravel bar that virtually isolated me from any other company up or down river. I had just happened to retrieve my rig and looked down river to notice a fish had come up to the surface just before a large sunken tree about 25 yards down from where I was standing. I gently dropped my float in front of me and watched in anticipation as my rig approached the location. And like it was scripted my float slowly disappeared followed by a quick and firm hook set. The surface of the water erupted and then line screamed from my reel as another very large fish shot down and across the river.
Arn's desire to hike through the brier patch to the inside of Suicide.
Norland is a DB!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
A crazy solid Manistee giant that made the entire outing. After a bunch of pictures she disappeared into the depth unscathed. We continued on with our game plan and picked away for another hour or so without a sniff. We were approaching a bend in the river but there was a nice piece of slow water behind a fallen tree just before it. We set the anchor and started to fish the run. I focused on the slack water behind the main seam and shortly into my 2nd drift my float disappeared followed by a quick hook set and multiple jumps from 2lb juvenile. This fish jumped about 7 times in the course of the battle and put up a great fight. After a few photos and follow up drifts we were back on our way down river in search of more chrome.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
This weekend while we were at the library my wife handed me a book we had seen at a novelty store on the Strip in Vegas this past December. For the record I was checking out the free DVD's at the time. On a whim I decided to sign it out in the hopes that it just may peak my interest and get me one book closer to counting my literary accomplishements on my toes. I must say it just may be one of the funniest things I have ever come across. So much so that I cannot stress enough the fact that everyone of you must read this book. It is called "Sh*t my Dad Says" and is an account of one mans youth and the many colourful words of wisdom his father bestowed upon him and his family during his upbringing. Please...get this book. You will laugh the hardest you have in years and it will make you feel like less of the POS father you feel like now. LOL! Check it out peeps! (Especially you Norland! you DB)
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Early spring weather is very unpredictable and this morning proved no different with snow, rain, and wind. Quality gear protected me from the elements but every fish reminded me just how cold the water really is this time of the year.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
I managed to salvage some time for myself this afternoon. The hyde is not yet registered with the state nor is the outboard motor mounted and set up. This and the fact that the ramps were snow covered pretty much dictated my afternoon game plans. I threw the waders on and jumped into the truck destined for the Tippy Dam access. Part way there my game plan changed. I don’t know what it was but I had a strong feeling that I should hit horseshoe bend. So strong was the feeling that I immediately made a U-Turn and headed towards plan B. The road back to the access only showed signs of one other vehicle. I parked the truck and made my way to the stairs. Much to my chagrin I laid fresh tracks in the snow. We were on the front end of a large cold front system and the winds were beginning to pick up while the temperature started to dive.
The run at the bottom of the stairs is my favourite in this section so I quickly got my rig set up and made the cast to the front side of a sunken tree towards the middle of the river. It was nice to see the river has seen a level increase and was carrying a slight stain compared to the low gin clear conditions she has employed all winter. That confident feeling I had was still prevalent and I was anticipating a strike at any moment. Then after a few drifts without warning it happened. The float dipped and I was into a nice 2-3lb chrome bullet. It was a beautiful fish and once again validation as to why I follow my gut instincts when they arise. A dozen drifts later and I was into a second chromer a bit smaller than the first but a great fish nonetheless. Shortly after releasing her a jet sled come motoring around the bend and made it's way towards my vicinity. I could see it was a guide with two clients. They made their way slightly past my location and anchored the boat part way through the run I was fishing. Its funny how a guide with a means of fishing the entire river would move in and low hole a shore angler that obviously put a great effort forward to get to that location. Having had success I decided to shake it off and move up river to some deep wintering water that owed me a fish. I fished the first section hard to no avail and decided to make the longer hike up the the next river bend. A minute into the hike a large gust of cold wind screamed down the river valley and stopped me in my tracks. I began to second guess my decision to make the giant hike up to the next bend and turned to look at the river beside me.
I was standing beside a short section of deep wintering water with no more than 40ft of drift before finding yourself into a very large and nasty tree. Compared to the chilly hike this section looked like a good alternative. I made a short cast to to the top of the run and thought to myself that there would be no chance of pulling a fish out of this section with all the wood. A missed opportunity is far better than no opportunity so I made another cast with all intentions of letting my rig float right up to the wood. Just down stream from me and before the tree the river undercut the bank and there was a slight back eddy. My float cocked slightly and I initially thought it was the eddy. I began to reel it in when I realized it was a fish. I set the hook and a giant wintered hen exploded from the surface. With full expectations of loosing this fish I clamped down and made every effort to keep her towards the top of the run and out of the wood.
I slid down the steep bank into the mud and once again understood why I follow my gut instinct when it speaks. With the cold river temps and lady luck on my side I managed to put the 30" 10+lb monster hen on the bank. In complete disbelief I frantically snapped a few pictures while I marveled over the size and beauty of this fish . I had been a while since I caught a giant fish and this one could not have come at a better time. After watching her disappear into the depths I made my way back towards the stairs but not before losing yet another small chromer in some wood. Four fish in three hours under nasty winter conditions. I'll take it any day over shoveling snow. Man I'm glad I turned that truck around.