October Review

1 11 2017

Sorry I haven’t posted much but I’ve had a lot going on this month and I really haven’t felt like posting anything.  All the warm weather hasn’t helped any, as far as fishing goes, so I haven’t been out that much.  Haven’t done a whole lot of hunting either.  I just haven’t felt like it.  So, without further adieu, I give you the October Review.

WALLEYE

With all the warm weather I have had zero desire to go walleye fishing.  Water temps were still in the upper 60’s and that meant the Fall run was behind schedule.  I did go out one evening (Oct. 20th) and that turned out to be an exercise in futility.  The weeds were horrendous.  We had received a bunch of rain earlier and that got all the weeds sitting in the marina’s flowing down stream.  Throw in the weeds that were dying off and it just made for a terrible evening.  I fished for about an hour and after I landed my second walleye I just gave up.  Now that the weather has turned and cooler temps are the norm the Fall run should be in full swing now.  I just need to find time to go out.  At least my walleye streak is still intact.  I didn’t get skunked a single trip this year.  As a matter of fact there were only a handful trips where I didn’t catch a limit.  I never did keep count this year but between legal and sub-legal fish I had to have caught well over 250 walleye this year.

2018 should be Phenomenal.

STEELHEAD

Let’s just say that my streak of not landing a Steelhead since Jan. 2nd, 2016 is still intact.  Hopefully that will change starting this weekend.  I am headed up to the Muskegon River to start my full on, take no prisoner, full frontal assault on Steel for every weekend until January.  The next two months I have trips planned to the Muskegon, St. Mary’s, Manistee, PM, AuSable, Huron and Steelhead Alley.  I should bring this streak to an end.

WATERFOWL

I managed to get out for Opening Day of Waterfowl season, in Zone 2, earlier this month.  I was the only one on this public lake and it turned out to be a productive morning.  The only down side was that I shot a mallard and a woodduck that I did not find.  I really miss Sherman at times like this.  He would have found them.  I also shot my first widgeon in Michigan.  I saw him circling out in front of me and I couldn’t make out what it was.  Eventually he came into range where I could identify him and make a clean shot.  The other surprise was a Canada Goose.  Around 9:00 am several flocks left a lake west of me and headed east to the field they were feeding in.  On group flew over me low enough to give me a shot and I took advantage of it.

Nice to know all that steel shot I loaded 20 years ago is still lethal.

HRWC

On October 14th I participated in another River Round up for The Huron River Watershed Council.  I look forward to doing these because it gives me a chance to find out what is going on with the river and I usually meet some interesting people.  This time around my crew was less than enthusiastic.  A group of 4 college kids were assigned to my squad and three of them were pretty much useless.  One did absolutely nothing.  The other two were more concerned about taking selfies than anything else.  One good thing came out of today.  The last collection site was just below the coffer at Huroc Park.  This area has historically been a poor producer for aquatic insect collection.  I had an idea why and I was right.  Much of the bottom is covered in broken concrete.  Using a net was worthless because there was just no place you could use it effectively.  I put the net aside and started picking up chunks of concrete and giving them to the “pickers” to look for samples.  The found plenty of caddis larvae and both mayfly and stonefly nymph’s.  Something I will have to keep in mind if I ever fish that area for steelhead.  I relayed this information back to the planners at the HRWC so they can plan accordingly for future round-ups.

FAMILY

My sister Linda re-married on Saturday, Oct. 21st and in true Linda fashion the reception was costume optional.  I had a lot more fun at this than I thought I would.  Linda made extra molasses cookies for me and gave me a Darth Vader helmet to fill with all the candy I could carry.

Me and my little sister, Lydia Deitz.

SUSAN

October 26th would mark the one year anniversary of Susan’s death.  October turned out to be a very emotional month for me.  The day itself wasn’t that bad but the anticipation leading up to that day was awful.  Lot’s of sleepless nights, happy memories that were now painful (thank you Facebook) and tons of messages from people I hadn’t heard from all year asking how I was doing.  A group of her friends and family got together for a Susan remembrance day at Cedar Point on Sunday, Oct. 22nd.  I picked the day to do this and a week later I realized it would be the one year anniversary that her and I went there for the last time.  The weather was near perfect and we had a great time.  The plan is to make this a yearly event.

The Gang

 

Well that’s it for October.  Not the usual Hunt and Fish every possible day it usually is but an event filled month none the less.  Hopefully November will see the end of my Steelhead streak.

Later…..

 

 

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River Scout Part One

5 08 2013

 

Several months back I received an email from the Huron River Watership Council.  They were looking for volunteers for a new program they were starting up, River Scouts.  The council members are trying to collect data on the hundreds of miles of creeks and tributaries that feed into the Huron River.  Since funds are tight for this kind of field work they need volunteers.  I volunteered.

I had to attend a training meeting to find out what this was all about.  I was going to be part of a 5 person team (I have to say person because I was the only male, sometimes it’s good to be me) that was assigned to Wood Creek.  This little stream is located in Lower Huron Metro Park.  My team and I would be making 3 visits throughout the summer to take readings, pictures, clean up garbage and record any observations concerning wildlife or any aquatic critters.  Seems simple right?  Oh was I in for a surprise.

Since we are all volunteers we are doing this out of the kindness of our hearts.  If other things come up then our volunteer work will have to wait.  Such is the case with this.  Trying to schedule a time when all five of us would be available was next to impossible.  Throw in the fact that the June of 2013 received almost twice as much rain as we normally do and you can see what I was up against.  Eventually I just said to heck with everyone’s schedule and just picked a date.  July 4th.

I sent out the email stating the date and only one person showed up, Erin.  That’s okay, for what we needed to do I figured one person would be enough.  I was more worried about the water levels anyway.  The prior weekend the levels were about 4 feet above normal and made wading the stream hazardous.  I had stopped by on July 2nd to see what the level was like and it had dropped some.  My fingers were crossed that a few more days and no rain would finally allow me to do the initial testing.  Erin arrived shortly after I did and we packed up the gear and headed to the stream.  The water level was back down to normal so we waded in.  After one step I remembered that I never fixed the leak in my hip boots.  Erin just waded in with what she was wearing.  She soon found out that all natural insect repellant doesn’t work worth a damn.  They attacked her in swarms.  For some strange reason they left me alone, not that I was complaining.

Part of our work is to take temperature and water conductivity readings.  The meter they gave me takes both temperatures and measures the ions in the stream.  Anything under a reading of 2 means the water is clean and healthy.  We had to take a reading every 30 feet and mark it with GPS coordinates as well.  All of our reading were around 20 degrees Celsius (or 68 Degrees Fahrenheit) and a conductivity reading of .80.  All seems good.  The stream itself had a gravel bottom the whole length we checked.  A good sign for all those Steelheaders.  A member of the HRWC told me that they have had reports of steelhead fingerlings this far up the Huron so this may be a viable spawning area for them.

Another part of our job was to take pictures of the surrounding vegetation and make notes of any aquatic or land based wildlife.  Didn’t see any critters but I did see lots of baitfish in the stream.  As far as insects go there were a lot of damsel flies and of course about a gazillion mosquitoes. Because of this and the total failure of Erin’s all natural repellant we hurried through our sampling and got off the stream in a hurry.  She was a little annoyed that I never got bit.  Like I said before, sometimes it’s good to be me.  She was a good sport about it thought and offered to enter all our data in to the spreadsheet we were given.  I told her I would go through the pictures and add them alter when she was done.

Mission Accomplished, now all I had to do was try and schedule future visits with the rest of the team.

I’m not too optimistic about this.

Up Next, Creek Walk #2 and my Advanced Warning System.

Wood Creek (1) Wood Creek (2)





Stonefly Search 2013

27 01 2013

A while back I attended the Quiet Water Symposium at the Michigan State Pavilion.  While I was walking around I cam across the Huron River Watershed Council booth.  I took some of their literature along with a map and when I got home I checked out their Facebook page and Website.  One day I received an email stating that they needed help collecting Stone Fly nymphs along the Huron River.  Next thing I know I am sitting at the New Center in Ann Arbor waiting for instructions.  While I waited I read over some of the paperwork involved.  Most important of which was a little guide as to what a Stonefly looks like and where I would be going.

IMG_0660

My Cheat Sheet

While I was going through the paperwork I got to meet Rachel who would be tagging along with me today.  Since we were heading down to Flat Rock we were meeting a group of fly fishermen down there to assist with the collections.  Rachel and I were going to be the “Pickers” today, the group we were meeting were going to be the collectors.  After a brief description of what we were expected to do and a poem of what we could encounter we were on our way.

Our first stop was Port Creek near the Huron River.  With the recent cold snap and low water levels I wondered if we would even have any water.  After busting through the ice we found about 6 inches of water.  We took a sample and a couple of scoops but all we found was muck, a few midge larvae and a small darter.  We punched another hole about 100 feet away and got the same results.

Our crew sifting through the sample.

Our crew sifting through the sample.

Our next stop proved to be more productive.  We stopped at the DNR launch along the Huron River just east of Telegraph in Flat Rock.  There was no ice, the water was very clear and there was a lot of gravel.  I handed the net to Ed our collector while Rachel and I got the sample trays ready.  One of the helpers brought over a rock and Rachel went to work trying to locate a nymph.  It didn’t take long when she spotted one and she dropped it in the sample bottle.

Rachel picking.

Rachel picking.

We took a few more samples and eventually filled 2 specimen bottles with about 20 to 30 nymphs in each one.  After we were done we took the samples back to the organizers at the New Center where they will do their studies.  These nymphs are very sensitive to changes in water quality.  If there is an abundant supply that means the river is healthy.  If the bugs are gone, they tend to get a little concerned.  This is one of the reasons why I volunteered to do this.  I like to know what is going on with the rivers I fish.  The Detroit River has cleaned up nicely from when my Dad used to fish it as a kid.  Seeing the Huron healthy is a great comfort for me and a lot of other fishermen.  The Flat Rock area is a great access point for people to possibly catch a steelhead without having to drive to the west side of the state to do it.  The results of what we did today will be used to further influence water use laws and fish stockings by the DNR.  If the river can’t support a forage base for the steelhead, no more plantings.

Our first one of the day.  Tiny little bugger isn't he?

Our first one of the day. Tiny little bugger isn’t he?