Sunday, September 13, 1998
I got a few good casts at salmon, and even had one take my fly. It popped off my tippet after about 2 seconds.
Talked to a few other guys who were wading or being guided in drift boats. They all had the same look of despair. Maybe tomorrow ...
Monday, September 14, 1998
Greg stopped by and got us out of the tent at 9:00, but it was still raining. He took one look at all the other guys already in the good holes and took off to another stretch of the river.
Jim and I tried the more promising holes and had some good chances at salmon. Still, nothing doing.
I did catch one very nice brown trout on a spring wiggler. Took his picture and sent him on his way.
Maybe after the honeymoon ...
Friday, July 31, 1998
As I approached the stream at 9:00 in the morning, I saw a doe and a fawn run across my trail. (It was the only trail I could find that didn't cross private property.) Tanner could smell them and wanted to chase, but he was a good dog and stuck with me. Then, a few minutes after I entered the water, I saw the deer again. This time, 50 yards upstream, they watched me cast to the rising brookies. A classic moment.
It was easy to catch the many, many brookies on a blue winged olive. (I think they were brook trout, but some looked like rainbows. Maybe they were little steelhead?) After a while I just stood in the low, clear water watching the trout surface and resurface to invisible insects.
After catching and releasing my fill, I headed for bigger water. First I drove to the south branch of the PM, but couldn't find a spot where the river looked any good. The water was way to low and slow. Then I drove to the Muskegon for an afternoon of watching the suckers swim around my feet.
Monday, April 6, 1998
With all the rain last week, the reports have been saying that steelhead were on the move. I'm not sure if the reports were right about that, but I do know that they were right about the high water.
It was so high that I could only wade in a few spots, and those spots didn't get me to the holes I wanted to be in.
Along with the high water came all the silt. Some have said the water looked like tea. I'd call it more of chocolate milk.
At any rate, Tanner and I checked out a lot of the river. It was a nice warm sunny day to be out on the river.
I saw one trout surface a few times on the opposite bank, and that was all the action I saw. Kinda disappointing, so I decided to find fish further north.
With a couple hours of daylight left, we drove up to the Little Manistee by Six Mile Bridge.
Saturday, February 21, 1998
However, I had a good time taking Tanner and Sarge out to the river for some fun. I fished at the Maple Leaf access, the same spot at which we had gone salmon fishing this fall.
I wanted to cross the river to reach some of the good gravel beds, but the river was a bit too high to try to wade across. Instead, I drove around the river to where the map shows a lot of state land along the river.
I found no true public access, unless you happen to be staying at the Barothy Lodge. Their private property effectively closes off the public land from public access. Even in their advertisements, they claim to have access to 7 1/2 miles of river access. I'm sure they do. It's a beautiful setting, complete with full houses for rent, a swimming pool, tennis courts and swiming swans. I looks like a great place to stay. Too bad I can't fish that stretch of the river without trespassing.
Friday, October 10, 1997
Tanner was with me so the salmon I did see were spooked pretty easy. I saw a few salmon but not many. When I talked with the guys, they had seen lots of them a little further upstream. Greg caught one jack in the mouth. The other guys on the trip were Paul, Kaz and Keith.
Saturday, October 11, 1997
Didn't see many in the early hours like we had expected. As the day wore on, we saw more and more salmon on the gravel beds. Greg accidentally snagged a couple, and I even helped him briefly land one.
he water was about normal depth and clarity. The weather was really nice even though we had frost overnight.
As a our fishing luck wasn't so good, we started drinking around 11:00 a.m. and didn't stop until bedtime. We drove back to the house for a late lunch and relaxed before heading back to the river. Our luck was pretty much the same. We saw some on the beds and in the holes next to the beds, but the salmon weren't biting.
When it got dark we went to Government Lake Lodge for a pretty good dinner.
Sunday, October 12, 1997
Wednesday, October 1, 1997
I saw several people here even though I knew tons of people were fishing the river. I found that the DNR had done some erosion control work in the area. The access is across from Taylor Road between Branch and Walhalla. I first took the dirt road straight to the river and found a lot of cars from out-of-state there. Then I turned around and took the branch of the road that went downstream. At the end of that I found a couple of campers set up semi-permanently, but no one else. It's just a short walk down a lot of steps to the river. Plenty of wading access and bank fishing can be found along this bend in the river.
At the river I saw a couple of guys on their own across the river and one guy on my side. Also saw about four guides taking boatloads of clients down the river. It rained the night before and I think that encouraged the salmon to come upstream. In the afternoon I saw a few salmon but not many because Tanner was playing in the water a lot.
In the evening, I put Tanner in the truck and got down to serious fishing. At the hole at the bottom of the steps I saw at least 10 salmon swimming down deep and up on the gravel riffles. I fished there for a couple of hours and only accidentally snagged one in the tail. Several made runs at my flies but none took them. I went through 10 or so flies because of all the logs in the water. I'm sure my presentation was part of the problem and I probably should have tried some of the other holes with my flies. A guy downstream from me said he saw 10-15 in his hole and had seen 20 more further downstream. He caught one last weekend but nothing today. It got dark about 8:00 and I drove home then.
Thursday, March 27, 1997
I fished from 1:00 to 7:00 and never saw a thing. One guy said he had caught three in the morning but couldn't land them. All the other guys I talked to were also getting skunked.
I took Tanner with me; this was his first fishing trip ever. He stayed by my side or right nearby the entire time. He even took a couple quick dips in the river. On of his dunkings happened as he was snoozing on the riverbank and rolled over into the water.
Saturday, November 2, 1996
We stayed at Johnson's Pere Marquette Lodge in cabin #3. It was spartan and rustic, but had eveything four guys and a dog would need. They have pretty good river access and we fished it for an hour or so with no luck.
Paul and I agreed we should go to Gleason's Landing. Saw only one other guy there who caught a couple of rainbows. We split up and fished the river pretty hard but never saw anything. The water was a little high and tea-colored from rain earlier in the week. We even got snowed on for a good part of the day. Paul and I went far down stream, all the way to private property, much further than I had been before. We found one really nice stretch of gravel and some good holes, but still found nothing. Paul saw one living carcass of a salmon.
We went back to the cabin in the afternoon and I never fished again that day. Too damn cold, not enough fish. Paul and Jim did a bit of fishing around the cabin and saw a pike, but no steelhead.
I cooked my coho salmon from the Platte River, which was still very good eating. We tried to go bowling in Baldwin but all the lanes were filled. Ended up watching TV and cutting each other up all night.
Sunday, November 3, 1996
Monday, March 18, 1996
I spent the whole day working different access sites along the river. Weather was nice and sunny but a bit cold, around 40°. Water was pretty clear since nearly all the snow had melted off earlier in the week and it hadn't snowed or rained since then.
Started at Ledge Hole access and waded up and down the public land. Only a few guys out today, didn't see any of them catch anything. Then went to the M-37 boat launch, much easier wading up there. A few good holes to cast to.
Also went to Gleason's Landing. Saw plenty of cars in the parking lot but didn't see as many fishermen. There is much better holes and access here than I remember. Also noticed that the spot where I got the truck stuck last time is directly across from the camping area on this side of the river.
Finally hit Rainbow Rapids. Upstream is heavily, heavily posted. I didn't remember that. I did go downstream a bend or two until I found private land. No really good holes here, but some of it is okay.
On the way home I drove to the access just upstream of South Branch Road. It looks pretty cool. There's a rope swing and some areas to set up a tent. It doesn't look like they encourage camping, but there weren't any signs saying you couldn't. Driving out of there I saw two turkeys and many, many deer scattered through the farmlands.
Sunday, February 25, 1996
I drove to Gleason's Landing but the parking lot was filled with 10 -20 cars so I moved on to Bowman Landing. There were only three cars here. I talked with most all of the people, none of them caught or saw a thing. Two guys were from Jenision. They said the 6th St. Bridge in GR was the best place to go for steelhead. Like them, Redwood and I didn't see any fish.
I walked about a mile downstream looking for good holes to fish and I hit most of them. Wading was tough because the river was full and tea-colored. There was also 5" of snow still on the ground. I lost about five flies trying to fish all the logs that looked promising. Used wooly buggers, glo-bugs and prince nymphs.
I took a nap in the parking lot and then drove across the road to a 2-track access that leads to fishermen trails. Got the 4Runner stuck in the snow - it took 1/2 hour to get out. Dirt finally worked after using logs and sticks under the wheels. I had to dig out with my hammer. I was beginning to wonder if I could sleep here all night.
The fishing wasn't any better through here, and the access from the bank was probably a little worse. It's worth going back and exploring some more though.
Driving back to GR I hit an owl as it swooped out of a roadside tree and into my grill. I went back and saw that it was dead. I felt bad about it, and wondered if killing an owl was a sign of anything to Native Americans.
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