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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Reflections…

16 01 2012

Recently my girlfriend and I spent a very relaxing weekend at a Bed & Breakfast in Marine City Michigan.  As luck would have it we were the only couple spending the night so we had the whole house to ourselves.  Being the nosy little busy body that I am I found myself poking around and checking out all of the rooms.  Eventually I ended up in the widow’s peak overlooking the St. Clair River.  I have always wanted to own a house with a room like this overlooking a river.  While I was up there I found a copy of “A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean.  As I sat down I began to flip through the pages and read some of the quotes from the book.  I could hear Robert Redford reciting them just like in the movie.   Soon I began to think about the fishing history around me, what stories the St. Clair could tell and what part it played in my own family.

I have never fished the St. Clair River but my grandfather and his brother’s did.  My Great Uncle Ed, who manufactured the Schaller Trolling Reel, moved to Algonac and set up his new shop during the early 40’s.  The house still stands where he built hundreds of the reels that became synonymous with hand lining.  Earlier that day I found an old Schaller Trolling reel in a nearby antique store.    It was an earlier model with a wooden spool that he built while he was still living in Detroit.  The older reels are not as popular as the aluminum ones  built in Algonac but I think they have more character.

Early Model Schaller Reel

As I stared out the window I wondered who owned that reel.  Was he an everyday fisherman or a weekend warrior?  Was this reel used on a regular basis or did it sit on a shelf collecting dust?  I began to think of my own fishing stuff and the history behind all of it.  The boat I own was originally built in 1957 and owned by my Great Uncle Hank. He died from a heart attack while fishing near Marysville in 1966.  My Grandfather inherited the boat and several years later it was passed on to my father.  Eventually he gave it to me and over 50 years later it is still going strong.  I spent my whole life in that boat and unfortunately I have forgotten more experiences than I can remember.  People have asked me why I don’t get a new boat but it is hard for me to let go of that history.  I grew up in that boat, why sell it to someone who would never appreciate all that it has experienced?  I know some day it will start to leak and it will have to be replaced but for now I can still day dream about all it has experienced.

Eventually I went back to reading but that soon ended once Norm began to talk about the beauty of the construction of a bamboo fly rod.  His description made it sound more like a work of art and I thought of my own bamboo rods.  I never looked at them that way before.  I used to just view them as an old rod that I would never use because they weren’t as good as today’s graphite rods.  That view changed this past Christmas when my Father gave me a bamboo fly rod that was given to him.  This rod belonged to a friend of both he and his father, Bill Boudrie.  The rod itself was made by Wright & McGill and it is in beautiful shape, except for a crack in one of the tips.  I wonder if that crack was caused by some errant car door or by a 2 pound Brookie on some isolated stream in the Upper Peninsula.  Was it one of Bill’s favorite streams or one that even Ernest Hemingway fished himself?  I will never know for sure but it is a lot of fun to think about.

I never did finish reading that book.  As usual I spent more time day dreaming then actually reading.  This was a problem I had all during my school years as well.  It didn’t do much for my grades but it sure was a lot more interesting.  Guess I will have to go back sometime and try again.