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I can never seem to wait till the general opener to start my Michigan season. It seems like a good idea but then usually by the first week in April i get antsy...this year was no exception.

I made a few phone calls and locked in for the weekend. I busted out of Chicago friday evening and made Grayling by 11pm. We met at the shop in the a.m. to get a game plan together. I decided on a float but with the overnight temps as cold as they were we were in no hurry to get out. We tossed around a few options and decided to have a look at the South branch.



The river looked good but actually maybe a tad low for this time of year. We launched around 11ish. The air temp was probably 40, i didn't get a water temp but after about 3 hours of absolutely nothing, i'm guessing it was still chilly.

We stopped for lunch around 2pm. The sun was out and gave us some much needed solar...both for us and the water. I was sitting on the bank when the first black stone hit the water, thats a good sign.



Then another, followed by another and so on. It took awhile but eventually a few fish took notice. I grabbed a rod rigged with a stone and went to work...and i couldn't make it happen. I got one fish to take a half hearted look and that was it. We finished lunch and climbed back in the boat. It was decided we would continue with the streamers and if we saw a rise switch rods and have at it.



The rises were few and far between but it gave us just enough players to throw at to keep it interesting. I didn't think i'd have much of a shot at dry fly fishing, much less take a few, so i looked at it as a bonus.



The sun continued to work its magic so at that point we decided to switch things up and bring on the main event. This is my favorite thing about this time of year, throwing the big uglys.



I think it was probably around 4 when the streamer bite turned on. We turned and boated a handful of fish. It was nothing crazy, but fairly consistant. We hoped we'd get a shot at a nice fsh and figured that would come at dusk near the end of the float.

We came around one of the final bends and a nice fish swirled on my streamer and dissapeared. I paused for a moment then stripped...he came back and just crushed it. We steered the boat to the bank and hopped out. He gave us a nice little battle but eventually we slipped a net under him.



He was just gorgeous. Unfortunately by this time we had lost most of our light so all but one of the pics turned out. I suppose i could have taken some time to change some settings on the camera but i didn't want to do it at the expense of the fish.


We sent him on his way, strung up the rods and continued to the take out. It was a great day and good to be back in Michigan...home is home.


The forecast for Sunday called for better weather so i figured i'd go have a
look at the north branch. I was really expecting to see stones, BWO's and if i got real lucky maybe one of the first emergences of the hendricksons.



I got very little of any of it. The weather was indeed better...for awhile. Then a front moved in and with it a nice gusty wind. I saw no stones, the occasional olive and a small trickle of hendricksons. By 4:30 the sun was gone, the wind was whipping and it felt quite a bit colder so i decided to call it a day and get on the road.

I took a few brook trout on streamers and stones and one pretty little brown nymphing the likely spots on the wade back to the truck.



Hopefully we've seen the last of the screwy weather and things can start to get dialed in. I'm back up there the next few weekends so it should be intersting to see how it all plays out.

Hope you all get in the water...
 

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Nice report. Quite the jaw on that last SB brown! The south does look pretty low for this time.
 

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Great post as always. Some nice colors on that first brown. That last brown is nice. I caught one in that same spot last year about the same size too. Got him with a Iso.

Did a trip up to wisconsin the other weekend and caught a ton of nice browns on rainbows. They would only hit muddlers with yellow maribou. Nothing else.

It will be awhile before we make to our property on the East Branch. With the wedding & honymoon in the smokies then the fly in trip to Canada. But hopefully will make it there next a few times next month. I'll let you know when so if your there we can share a brew and toss a fly.:D

Thanks for you continued great posts, truely enjoy them! I
 

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Thanks for the report. I'm definitely getting the itch!
 

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nice post, as always. I got the bug, and went up the last week end of march. Fished the north branch with my eight year old and a couple buds. Great to back in the waders again, I hope the good weather were going to have this weekend sticks.
 

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Great report and super pics as always!
 

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Hey BK....great post. I figured you'd surface in these parts pretty soon...getting to be that time of year. My time has been spent on steelhead the last few months. I'm now looking forward to putting the 8wt on the shelf for awhile and pull out the 5wt, 2wt and dry flies for trout.

Great pics!
 
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