It’s been about 3 months since my last post and it has been a very trying 3 months. As some of you already know Susan, my friend, companion, fiancé and partner in crime, passed away on Oct. 26th from complications from surgery for an aneurism. Since then I have been adjusting to life with out her. On top of that I am the executor of her will and I have been dealing with that. As you can imagine wanting to do anything, let alone fishing, has been difficult. Granted, time on the water can be the best therapy but not being able to share that with my two biggest supporters (My dad and Susan) takes the fun out of it. It’s getting better and I hope to make 2017 a great year. Only time will tell. In the mean time I’ll catch up with what has been going on the last 3 months.
November turned out to be a warmer than normal month. I had hoped to spend it fishing for steelhead but they were even later than last year. I went up to the Pere Marquette river for a few days and all I saw was half dead Coho’s, low clear water and no steelhead. The water on the Huron was pretty much the same, low, clear and way to warm. Because of that I went back to my old reliable, Detroit River walleye. I had traded all the fish in the freezer to a relative that raises cattle for beef. I need a few fish for the winter so I went out a couple of times. The water was clear and no weeds but I managed to get a couple of limits. My last trip was towards the end of the month. I only got a couple of small ones and since a cold front was coming in I just winterized the boat. Love that E-Tech.
During Thanksgiving I decided to take a break and head north to Sault Ste. Marie to fish the St. Mary’s river to try for steelhead up there. I figured the temps would be cold enough there, little did I know it wasn’t. I was going to be there for two days and I was going to make the best of it. The first day I was not able to concentrate on what I was doing and managed to miss two fish. One grabbed the fly and I never set the hook. The second one swam up and took a swipe at it and I just sat there and watched. I was beginning to think I should have stayed home but tomorrow would be another day.
The next morning I was back at it in the same area. Fishing was a lot better this time around. I ended up going 3 for 5 but not on what I was expecting. Instead of Steelhead I went 3 for 5 on Atlantics. I have no idea why but for some strange reason there were still a few hanging around in the rapids. The 3 I caught were on the small side. One of the fish I lost was a brute in the 8 to 10 pound range. He hit like a freight train and went airborne immediately. Once he landed he made a dash downstream and on the next jump my fly and about 90 feet of Skagit head and running line came right back at me. I finished fishing that run but I didn’t hook into anything else. As I finished the run I could see someone leaving the next run I wanted to fish. He was drifting beads under a float and as it turned out had caught nothing there in the last hour. I can’t tell you how pissed he was when he saw me hook and land a fish on my second cast in the same run he had just spent the last hour fishing. I love it when that happens.
My last fish of the day came completely by accident and it was quite a learning experience. As I was walking down the concrete berm I noticed two fish lying near a rock. I got up ahead of them and proceeded to drift my fly past them, repeatedly. If the fly was up high they would swim up and take a look at it. If it drifted right at them they would ignore it. After about 20 minutes of refusals I changed flies to a small egg sucking leech. I made a few more drifts and it was the same result. I made another cast and it was a really bad one. The fly was high and way to the right and over the fish’s head when it hit the water. It was already past her when the fish swung around and charged the fly. Five minutes alter she was unhooked and released to fight another day.
December was pretty uneventful. Fishing on the Huron sucked. High water one day, low the next and absolutely no fish. I went out about a dozen times and never even had a hook up. January, on the other hand, was a different story. Towards the middle of the month we experienced a unseasonable warm up. It lasted about 10 days so I made another run up to the St. Mary’s river and once again all I caught was another Atlantic Salmon. My guide, Rod Trudel, started calling me the Atlantic Whisperer.
The fish surprised both of us. An Atlantic at the end of January was the last thing we expected. Especially a nice clean fish like this one. I won’t complain to much, it was better than being skunked.
So there has been what I have been up to for the last 3 months related to fishing. I can’t say how much walleye fishing I will be doing this year. With the two biggest consumers of walleye gone from my life I really don’t have a lot of desire to go. I’m sure I’ll be out there at the end of April but I can’t guarantee I’ll be hitting the river on a regular basis. Who knows though. I have been asked to give handlining seminars at the Columbus Fishing Expo in February. Maybe it will give me the incentive to go out more.
Only time will tell.