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Hey folks! It's been a while since my last report, but there really hasn't been all that much going on with the bitter cold weather we've been having most days. My intention was to at least walk in to one or two holes on every day possible, but even I have skipped a couple... I'm 11 for 14 as of yesterday as far as getting out on the water and I'll probably take a quick walk around the ledge hole access or Green Cottage this afternoon making it 12 for 15 and taking a few cast, but I mainly just want to see how the shelf ice is now.

I was going to bore you with a bunch of scenery photo's on the river, but a friend (Jeff Mulliken) sent me a few of John and Miles Kluesing on a recent duck hunt with him in Maryland I'll share instead (We thought Miles might get a kick out of seeing them on-line.) and we have actually caught a few fish over the past week or so as well. Here are the hunt photos...

Miles with his first duck ever, a nice green wing teal!


The guys with Luke the wonder dog... And here I thought Labs were just for fishing!


I did actually manage to get out on the evening of the fifth for a short while, but once it got dark it was hard to effectively indicator fish. (Should have brought C&D for that outing.) Of interest was the fact that a few Steelies were actually rolling around in one of the pools I hit. On the sixth it was bitter cold out in the morning, single digit temps with a wind chill of -12 degrees, but like a fool, I went out anyhow and spent about an hour just trying to fish one pool. I did eventually cover it twice thru with a few different patterns, but I iced up on every other cast and my line was constantly being brought back to the surface by slush flows... No takers.

Well, if you can't fish when it's single digit temps and minus zero wind chills you might as well go cut some trees out at Bob's. At least that way you get to be outside and work up a sweat, so that's just what Bob, Rick and I did! We've been doing some clear cutting out there and promoting some second growth, on this day we fell around a hundred pines.

Timber!


After all that we had worked up a mighty big thirst, so Rick and I wound up staying out at Bob's for the night and it wasn't until the afternoon of the next day that I got up any gumption to try and fish again. It was still bitter cold and the extent of my effort was about 20 cast before deciding I was an idiot and should be chilling on the couch. Taz and I were in and out of there faster than ever and before you could say boo we were enjoying some quality nap time!

The next day it warmed up a bit and for some reason, I felt much better! Taz and I walked in at the Ledge Hole access and slowly worked our way down to Green Cottage. The shelf ice was still pretty bad, but I managed to hook a couple of Steelies loosing one to ice abrasion and landing the other. On the ninth I didn't have much time again, but still hit two spots and caught one small pre-migrant for my efforts. Saturday the 10th was spent in the shop and I never did get out, but on Sunday it was very nice outside and I convinced my wife to come in for me in the afternoon.

Johnny Matson and I decided to do a quick float and we were rewarded at our first stop with a nice big Buck that Johnny hooked on a chartreuse nuke egg. The fish put up a pretty good battle, but once subdued I had good chances to net it and didn't! At one point it was laid up on the surface right behind me and all I had to do was scoop, but instead, I spent too much time putting away my own rig and getting out the camera... After all that it took a good roll and popped the fly out! Ohh well, my fault, for all intents and purposes a caught fish none the less.

Right after that one was gone I decided there must be another and a few short cast later I was fast into a buck of my own that also took the chartreuse nuke. This one didn't have as much fight as Johnny's had, so no matter how much he might have liked to have knocked him off with the net, he couldn't without being obvious! (He, he, he)

Well, at least Johnny netted mine...


We left that sport and decided to bolt on down river a ways to another hole I like allot recently, but once there we found another angler busy fighting a fish! We offered to lend a hand with the net and once the fellow said yes, Johnny quickly jumped out with it stating something to the effect that the guy might not want me on it. (Jab, jab...) That fish was stubborn, but eventually it gave in and another day was made! Here's Chad and his first of the day...

Chad Theisman with a beautiful hen.


We went on down and hit a couple more spots pretty well, but never did get another Steelie to go. Still, John managed to get a fish that was picture worthy, a nice brown that put a good bend to the rod at first and had me fooled.

Johnny with a nice Brown.


On Monday I fished again for about an hour, but even though the air temp was nice the water temp had dropped with all the shelf ice melt off and the fish were not feeling happy. Once off the water I headed out to Bob's again, hung out, spent the night and then spent the next day dropping a bunch more trees with him and Rick. I was going to try and get out again yesterday, but instead spent the day behind the snow plow, snow blower and snow shovel. It looks like we're in for some very cold nights coming up here and some pretty darn cold days as well. I've got a feeling that much of the river will be iced over like last year soon if this keeps up, just hopefully not for as long.

I do have some news on the Pere Marquette River Plan revision for those of you that are interested... The next (and possibly last?) meeting will be held here in Baldwin at the Township Hall at 7:00PM on the 29th of this month. Those of you that receive letters from the USFS should get one any day now on this. I realize that this isn't exactly a whole lot of notice, but it's what we have. I've gotten around sixty e-mails from folks interested in joining a new PM River conservation organization we are forming and in a reply letter to them I stated that we would hold our first meeting on the same day as the one I just announced. I will send out another e-mail to all those of you that are already getting them from me, but wanted to make it public here for anyone else interested that our initial set up meeting will be held that same day (Time and place to be announced.) here in Baldwin as well. If you've got a sick day, vacation day, or any other way you can make it up here on that Thursday afternoon/evening I implore you to take it.

They never really did get much going on that web site that was supposed to have all the info from the last meeting and before on it, but for what it's worth
here it is broken links and all. I think it's the same link as one of the links that Northern Outdoorsman posted except that they've now added a "Issues from Novermber 2003 Public Meeting" link. (The broken link.)

I will post more on all of this soon, but that's all I have time for right now. Till next time...

Tight lines!
Steve
 

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Thanks Steve for your always entertaining report and pix.
 

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Great report and pics Steve! With the lakes finally frozen up, I almost forgot about steel. Shame on me!!!!! I'll bet the fisherman you helped out was sure glad to see you guys! I know for fact that when your fingers are going numb, any help is much appreciated!!
Thanks for the report...Sid
 
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