River Report - May 25th, 2017
"To go fishing is the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish."
Things definitely are not slowing down up here, but each May around Memorial Day weekend, I escalate to the point where each hour blends with the next, each day seems to fade into another, and even though I try...I can't keep up. As soon as I get to that point, where I feel the world rushing by faster and more turbulant than Type IV rapids, a bird whispers in my ear "go find the river." And that's what I do. And in the craziness of life, I find quitude, I find serenity. And I find fish.
Sure...the consistency of good weather, hatches and spinner falls each night from late May through June helps make any angler who spends enough time on the water feel like they are definitely doing something right. But even with the consistency, I still choose to test my own patience and skill set as an angler, and as a guide. Just the other day, Andrew & I met up late in the evening...about an hour before dark...to make a few roll casts on a nice little ditch we typically leave to the locals. Andrew had been throwing long loops to smallmouth bass up at Wilderness State Park for the day, and besides other anglers saying things like "it's too early", Andrew managed to wrangle a dozen or more fish in an afternoon of fishing. I convinced him to join me for a quick jaunt with the dry flies, and so we met by the river, threw on our waders, and jumped in. I took point, and after casting to two decent little browns, and landing both of them, I told Andrew to come on up. At that point, we decided to get serious. Sneaking along the banks and waiting on bends and tailouts to watch for rise forms. But we weren't looking for the small splash of the 8-inchers. We were looking for subtlety - dimples, the ring of the rise...without the rise. And so we hunted. Keep in mind, this river is anywhere from 2 to 3 rod lengths across, so even though you can catch fish day-in, day out... if you want to catch decent fish, the key is stealth. We ended up on a nice inside bend, where the outside current comes off a small riffle, and runs a nice seam along a high bank of cobble, and tails out to a respectable pool. We waited - and we watched. We heard a slurp. No rise form. "Where the hell is he?" After a few minutes of watching a couple other fish crash sulphur duns, I saw him. Barely a dimple. So close to the bank that the rise form quickly melded with the rest of the current that it was hard to distinguish. I told Andrew where he was sitting, and told him to make the cast. The cast was good...the trusty Roberts Yellow Drake slid along the bank and kicked out with the current..."Set" I told him... the rise form barely noticeable with the fading light. To hand came a nice mid-teener brown. Sure, it wasn't a trophy...but the hunt made it all worthwhile. Both of us were happy with the outcome, and after less than an hour of fishing, we called it a night.
Each night is better and better. The temperatures are more consistent. The emergences and spinner falls are near clockwork. And more trout seem to show up each evening. It can be hard to distinquish between all that is going on in the bug world - light hennies, sulphurs, borchers drakes, march browns - along with the caddis and stones - keep even the best of dry fly anglers on his toes. If in doubt...throw on a roberts yellow drake or a borcher drake, and you'll cover a lot of your bases. But when those fish get picky, take a step back, crack the code, and make the cast.
We are celebrating our 5 Year Anniversary here at Boyne Outfitters this weekend! Stop in and see us - we appreciate you for helping us continue to share our passion with others.
Enjoy this beautiful Memorial Weekend upon us. Fire up that grill, crack a cold one with friends, laugh, have fun, and get to the river! It's a great time of year to enjoy northern Michigan. On Monday, even if only for a moment, take time to reflect on those who really paid for the party... and since you still can... step in the water and make a cast for them.