I start this by saying I'm lucky to have an amazing wife who lets me get out and feed the fishing beast without giving me too much hassle. In fact, she was totally on board with my need to get away. So as Jay and I packed up the Pathfinder and hit the road, knowing we had a warm house and a bed in which to crash, Amy was content and we could barely contain our excitement. We took off late Friday evening and arrived in just enough time to turn on the heat and rig up our rods. We'd be heading to the PM in just a few hours.
After getting skunked on the PM the weekend before, I was dead set on doing everything I could to find some fish. Either way though, it would be step up from other recent trips, as it was the maiden voyage of my new waders. It was weird to finally get in the water, waiting for the rush of the cold river to soak in to my socks, and then to find the delightful surprise of staying bone dry. This was the first time in close to two years that I had the pleasure of enjoying a day of dry wader johns and socks. So the weekend would be starting on a good note.
In the morning, as our alarms blasted, we became a whirling dervish of activity. Getting the coffee going, layering up, packing away our waders and loading the car. As we got the final pieces loaded and grabbed the gazetteer, our final destination was still uncertain.
As we turned and drove east on Rt 10, we decided to pick a spot that's produced in the past. We both had waded here in years past and thought this would be a great place to start our day. We geared up, threw on the extra long johns and grabbed our mittens. And we were off.
As we walked the banks of the river I grew uneasy as we continued to notice a lack of fish. I quickly decided we needed to find gravel, hoping to find some steelhead or at least few browns. The weather looked to be cooperating, and other than some high winds, it wasn't too bad. We still had a chance.
We arrived at our next spot to a few cars, but no fisherman. We took that as a good sign. Hopefully we'd all have some luck today. We found the gravel I was looking for and thought for sure there'd be some fish nearby. I'm not sure there was a hole we didn't fish, but again, it wasn't to be. Our highlight came in the way of the beef stroganoff freeze dried meal we enjoyed from the bank with the JetBoil and then the gyro burgers for dinner. Without fish stories to tell, we wandered around near the house, heading down to the channel to see if anything was stacking up before heading in to the Pentwater River, and downed a few "sodas".
As we headed out on Sunday, we did some adventuring and went and checked out another stretch of water down on the White River. We found some great looking water and made some notes for the future. We'll definitely be heading back there this Spring.
Looking back on another great weekend of being outside and in the elements and I'd have to say that catching fish can change a weekend. It's not that it's going to make your weekend. I've had plenty of crappy trips where we caught lots of fish. I understand it's not the numbers, but the experience. Though when you're chasing fish and they seem to be everywhere but near the end of your line, appreciation takes on a whole new meaning.