Sunday, November 22, 1998
In fact, the fishing was slow. I lined one nice, healthy brown trout on the top of the back. It took a long, long time to land him and release him.
Saw a few other guys out today around Carmichael Flats. I was suprised to see so many since hunting season was in full force.
No sign of steelhead or salmon, but a few gravel beds looked fairly fresh and I didn't stay until dark to see if anything moved in from the deep water.
Saturday, October 24, 1998
But once darkness fell, the salmon came up out of the deep water to swim actively around the gravel. I spent a couple hours tossing yarn balls, marabou streamers and giant stone flies at them. I got three of them on the line for a few minutes each, but I had little hope of slowing them down. It seemed like they would take my fly, swim down the middle of the river, and shake the fly loose. Within a couple of minutes I swear I'd see a salmon back at my feet acting just like the one I lost.
Never fear, steelhead will be here.
Monday, October 19, 1998
At the series of holes where I had seen salmon before, two old-timers stared into the water. They had been in that same spot most of the day and had seen salmon hanging around, hooked into one, and landed none. They left just after dark, and then I headed into their hole.
In the darkness, I hooked two, fighting one for several minutes before I had to try to stop him. He was almost across the river and heading downstream when I really applied the pressure. Soon enough my fly popped off the line. Next time I'll have more patience and follow him downstream.
Saturday, October 17, 1998
Sunday, October 12, 1998
Late in the afternoon, I drove up to the area around Carmicheal Flats. Saw several guys wading and several boats pass by as I walked along the bank looking for the salmon. The only fish I saw were those jumping out of the water like killer whales, and most of those were way out in the middle of the river.
I settled on an area that had lots of gravel -- even a few redds -- and some deep holes to throw my slinky in. I started using caddis nymphs and various streamers with no luck. I think with the bright sunlight of the past two days, the salmon were as deep as possible in the pools.
When it started getting dark -- around 7:00 pm -- I noticed some fish starting to hit the gravel. It may have been a coincidence but at the same time I began using yarn balls and immediately started getting hits. I stood in the same spot, casting 10 - 20 feet away and had five hook-ups during the next 45 minutes. The battles were all done within 15 seconds.
I used 3x tippet, which seemed to help my rate of hook-ups, but the fly broke off too easy. Next time I'll try 1x and test my knots more.
I'll also watch my trail going in a little better. I ended up wandering the woods for 45 minutes looking for the truck.
Friday, August 7, 1998
I saw a few trout surface before sunset (9:00) and it picked up after sunset. Ended up catching three nice-sized trout, but only landed two of them. All were about 12-14 inches. One took by elk-hair caddis, one took the LaFontaine caddis, and I'm not sure what the other took. The best action was after it got dark, from 9:30 on.
Friday, July 31, 1998
I suppose I could have tried fishing for the many large suckers I saw, but I was there for trout. Unfortunately the trout weren't there for me. I guess I could not have been there at a worse time: 2:00 in the afternoon on a cloudless day.
All in all it was okay. Tanner had a good time swimming and it was a beautiful day.
Saturday, June 27, 1998
I caught several 12-inch rainbows and one very surprising, very tough smallmouth bass. It weighed at least a couple pounds and took two hands to hold onto. It took a hopper right off the sruface, lept out of the river a few times (just like a rainbow) and put up a great fight. Hmmm, maybe it's time to start fishing for smallmouth again.
Again, I had no luck on emergers, but plenty of strikes on a small hopper on a cinammon caddis. Didn't try the bigger drakes, but I should have after dark.
Sunday, June 7, 1998
Lots of guys wading, lots of guys in boats, but plenty of fish and water for all.
Sunday, January 4, 1998
The only place I fished was just downstream of the Croton Dam. Everything here seemed about the same as previous trips except for a good number of rotting salmon carcasses.
Later on, I drove to a couple of other access areas along the Muskegon that I had never been to. The first access I entered across the street from the Pine Avenue boat launch. The dirt road is 72nd Street and it goes due west for about a half mile and then turns south for a quarter mile. There are a couple of parking spots at the end of the road, which also is right next to private property. Wading along here looks okay, though I didn't go in. Some area of riffles, but also some areas of very slack water.
The second spot I drove to was futher downstream. This one was off of Thornapple Ave, and was reached by following 72nd street to the east. It was a muddy, muddy drive. I didn't get out of the truck because it was geting dark, but it looked to be a bit of a walk to get to the water. I could see the upstream limit of this access from across the river at the access I was just at. I'll have to go back to check out the water conditions.
Sunday, October 12, 1997
Wednesday, August 27, 1997
Thursday, July 31, 1997
Tanner was annoying at the beginning; splashing around wanting only to play. I yelled at him a few times but it didn't seem to stop his craziness. After a couple of hours of going in and out of the water he decided to just stay in the water. He would swim circles around me or swim in place for long stretches of time. I finally left because he was shivering from the cold water. Dumb dog wouldn't get out of the water.
Sunday, July 28, 1997
I ended up catching 6 very nice trout. All were about 12-16 inches and fought especially well. Had a few other hits on my caddis as well. I started out with a bead head caddis and caught one or two before switching to a dry elk hair caddis. I should have tried a dropper because I could see the white bellies of a few trout striking just below the surface not even breaking water.
Wading here was pretty good, lots of big rocks to stumble on though. I fished until 10:00, well past dark. The best time was about a half hour before and after sunset.
Wednesday, July 9, 1997
The action started right away and only got better. I caught one rainbow and one brown but felt disappointed because I felt I could have caught many more. Each was about 12 inches long. Lots of hatching tonight. Mostly caddis, some mayfly, and a few gray drakes. I caught the brown on a bead head caddis and the rainbow on a caddis pattern that I had often used on the Missouri in Montana. We need to go back soon.
Tuesday, June 17, 1997
I then drove to the Croton Dam and found the trout. Many guys were here using fly rods and spinning rods. I caught one nice 10" brown and had a couple more hits before a sudden thunderstorm rolled inland. I only got to fish for about 15 minutes. I saw a couple of guys catch some. One older guy said he caught 39 since 1:30 in the afternoon.
I was using a caddis, but I heard that blue winged olives and drakes were also effective. The guy who caught 39 used a gray mayfly most of the time. There seems to be access on both sides of the river and the wading is okay if you're careful.
Sunday, September 15, 1996
Although it looks tough to wade, it's not too hard to get nearly all the way across the river. Because the wading is easy enough, you can go up and down the shoreline which is all privately owned. I'm sure it's worth going back to.
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