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Opening Day Report

Discussion in 'North West Michigan Streams and Rivers' started by Whit1, May 10, 2002.

  1. Whit1

    Whit1 Premium Member

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    Once again I spent the morning of that Hallowed Last Saturday in April, a Holy Day of Obligation for trout fishermen and women here in Michigan, on my favorite stream. For the past several years I have spent the first few hours of the trout opener on the same hole in a Northern Michigan trout haven.

    The hole is a deep, double eddy jewel formed by the remains of an old, early 20th Century spillway from a long collapsed mill of some sort. I usually concentrate in the early hours of pre-dawn and the magic time of half light, fishing the tail end of the deep water and the run out below the hole.

    Arriving at about 5AM I settled into a well rehearsed routine, noting new snags and stickups that might hinder the drift of my bait and cause difficulties in landing a fish.

    Using spawn for the most part, I fished until noon, going 11 for 11 with fish that I hooked, and having 3 or 4 more takes. The fish were browns for the most part, ranging in size from 11 up to 19.5 inches. There was also a 12 inch brook trout thrown in for good measure.

    The fish were on the prowl and eager all morning.

    On my favorite Orvis, 2 wgt. flyrod and open faced spinner reel, spooled with 4lb test clear mono, the fish gave a good account of themselves.

    The first fish, a brown that stretched to 17 inches took the spawn at about 6:30AM, a bit later than normal for my initial fish of a new season. About 5 minutes later a smaller brown struck, was hooked and released. It was inching towards 7AM when the 19.5 inch took the spawn sac that I offered. The take did not indicate his size, as it was rather gentle, but steady.

    The instant bow in my rod at the hookset told me of his size and a mad dash into the deep water of the pool's center, confirmed this thought. It was in the pool that this trout decided to make his initial fight. I'd rather have a large fish stay in the deeper center of a hole. Those fish that run pell mell downstream can be a handful.

    After 4 or 5 minutes touring the deep hole, the brown opted for a mad run downstream. In my earliest trouting days my father had counseled me to "get below the fish." There is no sense in trying to haul a large and reluctant fish upstream against his will, so downstream I headed, trying to get below the fish and keeping an eye out for any unwanted snags.

    The description of the battle could go on. In short, I landed the fish about 50 yards below the double eddy hole. He had been working his way upstream into the hole and struck at the tail end runout. The water there is about 5 feet deep and has always been a great spot as the grey light of a new day begins to spread its mantle upon the water.

    The fish remained active for the rest of the morning. Night crawlers and spinners brought no takes, and for the most part I used steelhead spawn sacs.

    My son-in-law, fishing a downstream section caught a few smaller trout and lost several others, only one of which pushed the 14 inch (estimated) mark.

    On Sunday I was joined by two of my sons, Kevin and Forrest. They both took respectable trout while fishing the heavy water brought on by an all night rain. They are excellent trout fishermen and are at the point of teaching their daddy new tricks.

    With my bum left hip I have trouble fishing heavy water. On Monday I went 2 for 2. Those were the only hits I had and they came in deep runs. The fish were laying behind large, midstream boulders. Both of my sons took respectable trout using both spawn sacs and night crawlers. Their youth allowed them to get into those fish holding, deep runs.

    Below I offer some photos.
    [​IMG]

    These two browns were caught on Monday. The water had come up about a foot since Saturday. The deep runs were the hotspots.

    http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/photopost/data/1761MiltOpener1.jpg

    These two browns, measuring 19.5 and 17 inches came from the tail end of the double eddy hole on Opening Morning.


    http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/photopost/data/1761ForrestOpener1-med.jpg

    This is my son Forrest with three trout from his Opening Day. He plays rugby and couldn't fish on Saturday (where have I failed...LOL!) He tells me that this is his last year of participation in that English version of American football.
     
  2. gunrod

    gunrod Mods

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    Whit, as always your reports are so eloquent. It's a pleasure to read reports that make me feel like I was there. Congrats....
     
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  3. chef

    chef Guest

    I am glad to see that you made it out with your boys. There is something to be said about being on your favorite stretch of river with those that you are close to. As we (children) get older and busier it seems harder and harder to do the family rituals that were once second nature. Those times that we can actually get together and do those things just makes them that more enjoyable.
     
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  4. rookie1

    rookie1

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    Great post! Looks like a successful opening day.
     
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  5. mickey

    mickey

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    Excellent report. I really enjoyed reading it.
     
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  6. Shoeman

    Shoeman Mods

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    Real nice

    Loved the story. Hey, ever try writing articles? LOL
     
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  7. jnpcook

    jnpcook

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    Great Report Whit. I always enjoy reading your reports and articles. Very nice fish as well. I am glad you could spend your opening weekend with your sons.

    John
     
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  8. stelmon

    stelmon

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    Hey whit,
    Nice opening day report. Do I smell an article comin up?
     
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  9. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    TTT....miss you Whit.

    SFK
     
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  10. Splitshot

    Splitshot

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    Milt, you going out this year? I haven't seen you at the river cabins in a couple of years? Hope all is well?
     
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  11. Ranger Ray

    Ranger Ray Smells like, Victory! Premium Member

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    Whit has not posted on here Ray. Someone posted a past post of his.
     
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  12. Splitshot

    Splitshot

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    I know Ray but sometimes he looks at what's going on plus it's getting close to opening day.
     
  13. Ranger Ray

    Ranger Ray Smells like, Victory! Premium Member

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  14. zig

    zig

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    Whit1, a voice of logic and reason, with some great trout stories to boot. I miss his posts.
     
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  15. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    That's why I bumped it. Just to let him know we miss him.
     
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