December Walleye

2 12 2012

December is a time that most people spend scrambling around getting ready for Christmas.  Shopping for presents, Christmas parties, visiting relatives and everything else that goes along with the holidays.  As for me I’m watching the weather to see if I can get that last trip in for the year.  Every year is hit or miss, last year it was a miss, this year was a different story.  Earlier in the week the weather forecasters were calling for 50+ degree days for the weekend.  That sounded great but with a warm front usually comes a lot of SW wind.  Well Saturday came, no rain, no wind and warm temps.  Time to launch the boat.

Originally I had planned on going alone but I talked to my friend Chris earlier in the day and since he didn’t have anything else going on he decided to come along.  We hit the water at about 3:30 pm and headed downstream to my usual spot.  Surface temps were 39 degrees with about 2 feet of visibility.   Not exactly the crystal clear water I had been hearing from some people.  If I had known it was going to be like this I would have started earlier.  Never the less we set up and started fishing.  I was running Rapala’s in size 11 down to 7 and Chris was running a pair of Smitwick Rattlin’ Rogue’s.  There were very few surface weeds but again there were plenty below the surface.  We weren’t constantly checking lines but we could tell they were down there.  Not much happened in the first hour.  About the only excitement we had was watching a pair of Bald Eagle’s fly around us and roost in the trees along the Solutia property.

Around 5:30 I finally had a hit on my kicker and a #7 Bleeding Original Shad.  While I was bringing her in Chris got hung up and his shank busted above the lures.  He lost the whole rig but after a few minutes I got him set up again and we were back to fishing.  During this time I swapped out my two bigger lures for a #11 GFR and a #9 Downriver Steel custom Rapala.  We fished for about another 30 minutes when Chris told me his hand was starting to get sore and cramp up.  Things were slow so we pulled lines and headed in.  We only got the one fish but I was able to keep my streak alive of 11 straight months of catching a walleye in the river pulling wire.  If we get another warm spell I will try again.  It is kind of nice being out there fishing at night when the homes along Grosse Isle have their houses all lit up with Christmas lights.  It would be nice to get out again but at the same time I am hoping for a lot of snow this winter.  The water levels are way down and it is only going to get worse unless we get a lot of snow.  From what I have been hearing that even if we get a record snowfall this winter it still won’t be enough to get the river back up to pre-drought levels.

21 inch, 3 pound female

21 inch, 3 pound female





Quiet Water Symposium

4 03 2012

The best laid plans of mice and men…..ever hear that phrase before? It comes to mind every time I have something planned and it doesn’t happen. This time it was for The Quiet Water Symposium I was supposed to attend. Unfortunately work, kids and other responsibilities come up and plans fall apart. I would have liked to have gone but at the same time I am not going to lose any sleep over it. A year ago I didn’t even know this show existed. As I sit here and type I’m still trying to remember how I ever found out about it. This show doesn’t have all the pomp and circumstance of some of the bigger shows but that really wouldn’t work for this one.

The Quiet Water Symposium is a show about quiet, clear flowing streams and experiencing all that nature has to offer from a canoe or kayak. A couple of years ago I would have never cared but since I picked up a couple of recreational kayaks I have a new found appreciation for quiet times on isolated rivers. As much as I like running the Detroit River in my aluminum boat and 20 hp outboard I do enjoy being by myself and floating down the AuSable or Manistee river systems.  It’s hard to describe but the feeling i get catching fish with no one else around is very rewarding.  It might not be like “The Old Man and the Sea” but to me it’s like heaven on earth.

Like the other shows I attend I am there to gather information. When I attended last year my goal was to get as many maps and flyers as I could find about my local streams. I didn’t know it at the time but there is a Huron River Watershed Council that works to promote recreational activities on the Huron. That was my first map along with a list of all their paddle dates. All throughout the summer they sponsor paddling weekends on different sections of the Huron. They coordinate drop-ins and shuttle services during the day along with instructions for the first timers. I never did attend any of the event but the information and maps will come in handy someday.

I talked to a lot of people that day about everything from catching grayling and brook trout to the damage being done by feral hogs. When all was said and done I left with a bag full of flyers and maps for the Huron, Flint and Shiawassee rivers with all the kayak put-ins and take outs. I didn’t get the opportunity to use any of them last summer but hopefully I will this year.

Next week, The Midwest Fly Fishing Expo…….providing the mice and men don’t interfere.

http://www.quietwatersymposium.org/

http://www.hrwc.org