It started with a few phone calls, some banter back and forth, and the desire to wet a line. Honestly, for me, it was just time to get back on the water. First it was Jason who committed, then Nate. A call to Riverside Campground in Scottville to reserve a campground and we were in business.
With the benefit of Nate's Stealthcraft, floating was an option and we were in business. It would be the first time Jason had been in a driftboat, and his first time anywhere on this stretch of the river. To say he was excited was an understatement. For me though, I had the normal excitement and a nervous feeling. The Pere Marquette for me, really is a fickle beast. Giving up some of my best quality fish that keep me coming back, but rarely the quantities to keep me consistently satisfied. She tends to leave me with a smell of skunk, more to the lack of skill of the angler, than the quality of the water. As the cheddar brats sizzled on the grill and the beers starting flowing we discussed the upcoming day and rigged up our rods. We thought for sure this would be our weekend.
The day started with a minor hiccup, as we didn't notice the missing drain plug, nor how quickly the boat was taking on water. A bit of a speed bump yes, but with the aid of some water cannons and a bucket, we were up and running in no time.
This is normally the part of the story where I tell you things started off slow, but then something happened and the fishing just turned on. Like lights out. Unfortunately, it's really where the plot turns to all things non-fishing. Where I tell you our gyro burgers made the trip, or Nate bringing breakfast sausages that made for the greatest morning snack on the river I've ever had. The weather was phenomenal, the pork chop lunch outstanding and getting to hang with Nate, who recently moved out of state, was great. Both Nate and Jason both hooked in to some zombie kings which made for some decent battles. And we all got a laugh as water gushed from my waders as I climbed back in to the boat, time after time.
The first of three straight weekends with plans to be on the water started a bit slow. But it has only added to the appreciation I have for the days of double digit fish, or twenty plus inch brown trout. As I get older and grow as an angler, I'm finding it's less about the fish, size or quantity, but about the company you keep on the river and the solace it provides. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love a day where your rod spends more time bent than not. But it should never be just about the fish, but instead about the adventure now, and those adventures to come.