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> > A Stream to Tempt Paul to Michigan or How I Survived Sandy Along the Shores of Lake Superior

Oldredbarn has attached these 20 pictures. The message is below.
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Nice, no!?
Nice, no!?
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Where the little stream ends up...Lake Superior
Where the little stream ends up...Lake Superior
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Lake Superior Shore
Lake Superior Shore
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The Upper Falls...Tahquamenon Falls
The Upper Falls...Tahquamenon Falls
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Petoskey the night before Sandy made it near Michigan
Petoskey the night before Sandy made it near Michigan
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Painted Rocks with sea in a roil...Miner's Castle...We had the only car in the parking lot.
Painted Rocks with sea in a roil...Miner's Castle...We had the only car in the parking lot.
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Where we slept...
Where we slept...
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Whitefish Point
Whitefish Point
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Lisa's lunch in St Ignace
Lisa's lunch in St Ignace
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My German friend and I raised a few to a friend in one of his old watering holes in Petoskey near Walloon Lake where his family had a place when he was a young man.
My German friend and I raised a few to a friend in one of his old watering holes in Petoskey near Walloon Lake where his family had a place when he was a young man.
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Yooper humor 2. When I was told that the "Thingy" had been cancelled I said to my waitress, "Damn! I drove all the way from Detroit for the "thingy!" :)
Yooper humor 2. When I was told that the "Thingy" had been cancelled I said to my waitress, "Damn! I drove all the way from Detroit for the "thingy!" :)
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Yooper humor 1.
Yooper humor 1.
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Real Road Warriors! Been on the road a few days with Spence and still smiling! Yooper humor 3...Note "Free Beer" sign in upper left...It reads "Free Beer Tomorrow" :)
Real Road Warriors! Been on the road a few days with Spence and still smiling! Yooper humor 3...Note "Free Beer" sign in upper left...It reads "Free Beer Tomorrow" :)
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The best Jukebox in the UP in Grand Marias...From Patsy Cline to Hendix's Voodoo Child.
The best Jukebox in the UP in Grand Marias...From Patsy Cline to Hendix's Voodoo Child.
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Yes thats snow. Oct 30th...The straight north road to Grand Marias...Ending at Lake Superior...I had a UPS truck on my rear aand he had a semi pushing us both in to town...The new Van Morrison CD is playing in the car there. :)
Yes thats snow. Oct 30th...The straight north road to Grand Marias...Ending at Lake Superior...I had a UPS truck on my rear aand he had a semi pushing us both in to town...The new Van Morrison CD is playing in the car there. :)
OldredbarnNovember 2nd, 2012, 1:35 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
I had a friend here from Germany and he has never been north. We headed to the UP dispite Sandy and my limping Tigers...We had the UP nearly to ourselves...Us three and Snow Buntings.

We stayed at the house where the boys who used to row out to save sinking ships slept...The wind howled for two plus days and was appropriate considering we were about 15 miles from where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down just about 10 days before the anniversary of it's sinking on Nov 9th 1975.

It was too windy for owl banding...Didn't get to do that at the Bird Observatory there at Whitefish Point.

When we stopped at the falls we were walking along a path in the woods and came upon some park rangers repairing some fence...Our car was the only one in the parking lot and when they saw us coming they shouted, "Tourists! We thought we were through with you!"

On the frig where we stayed at the Shipwreck Museum they had a note that said, basically, that everything was 11 miles back in Paradise...This became a motto of the trip. We were there between seasons and a lot was closed. Folks told us that things would open back up, "on December 27th when the snowmobilers come up." This was a good road trip motto as well which we wore out every chance we got...:)

Spence

Made the boy eat a Pasty in Munising...He's a Yooper now! :)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EntomanNovember 2nd, 2012, 3:29 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hey Spence -

Three things:

1. Looks like a really fun trip. Petoskey looks like a beautiful little town - great photos!

2. Lisa's lunch looks scrumptious. I can make out the grilled scallops, but what's the fish? Looks pale for a salmonid, small walleye? BTW - I'd much rather have hers than what you probably ate....:)LOL

3. Gordon Lighfoot's haunting dirge is one of my all-time favorites.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123November 2nd, 2012, 5:21 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
Fabulous northern Michigan tour pamphlet you have put together here, Spence! Maybe the State would be willing to add it to the "Pure Michigan" campaign?

I would ask about fishing but I figure most of the Yooper trout streams are probably closed...eh?

Jonathon

P.S. My folks told me that Sandy kicked up 24-foot waves on southern Lake Huron...wouldn't doubt it, with winds blowing straight out of the north there's several hundred miles of fetch for those waves to build up, which is why eastern Lake Superior is so dangerous with prevailing westerly winds. The pour souls of the Edmund Fitzgerald found out the hard way...R.I.P.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123November 2nd, 2012, 5:22 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
P.P.S. When I was a kid I referred to the Tahquamenon Falls as the "Root Beer Falls"! I think you all can figure out why...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
GldstrmSamNovember 2nd, 2012, 5:35 pm
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
Are the falls always that color? I thought that that was just from the river being high.

Sam
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
OldredbarnNovember 2nd, 2012, 10:12 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
2. Lisa's lunch looks scrumptious. I can make out the grilled scallops, but what's the fish? Looks pale for a salmonid, small walleye? BTW - I'd much rather have hers than what you probably ate....:)LOL


Lake Superior White fish (Coregonus clupeaformis)...Hence Whitefish Point etc...:) The "scallops" were actually mashed potatos formed in to what you see. Everything is placed on a board, vegetables and all, and run under the broiler. I was the odd man out for sure on this one...Lisa and Markus were in heaven and talked about this lunch for the rest of the trip...

An aside here: We were in St Ignace, just over the Mackinac bridge...A freighter was parked in the "safe harbor" there and had been for a day or two unable to continue until after things calmed down a couple days later. The snarly nature of the weather and Lake Superior seemed appropriate considering where we were etc.

Jonathon..."Root Beer Falls"...:) My German friend thought Guinness. :)

Sam...Yes they are always that color...Tannin...Leeching from the great conifer bogs of the northern forests...Google tanning process.

Kurt...Mr Lightfoot is a life member of Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society...The place running the show where we stayed. The bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald is there...raised from the deep in 1995 and rang 30 times every anniversary...29 for those lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald and one more for all lost on the Great Lakes. They exchanged it for a new bell re-attached to the wreck with all the names carved on it...They brought it up to offer some closure for the families...The Mariner's Church, from the song, is still in downtown Detroit on Jefferson Ave.

Spence

Concerning the Hemingway nod...We crossed over the Fox near Seney...Considered the real river called the "Two-Hearted" in the story...Ernest couldn't pass on a river with the poetic name of Two-Hearted, just up the road, some think he was directing anglers away from his fishing hole...Like Voelkers fondness for the "Yellow Dog".
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsNovember 3rd, 2012, 3:58 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Sounds like a nice trip, Spence. I suppose steelies run that creek in the spring -yes? Looks like there could be some hotspots along that shallow little creek. But really, almost any creek could tempt me. I'm easy.
OldredbarnNovember 3rd, 2012, 4:49 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Paul,

It's hard telling what may make it up that stream from Lake Superior...Steelies, Salmon, maybe even coaster brook trout. I was a ways further up along the coast in the mid 90's, near Big Bay on the other side of Marquette, and my uncle caught a nice coaster brookie from Superior...

He is a farm boy from near where my grandparents are from, near Cadillac, he had a spinning rod and a glob of worms and made me look bad with my fly fishing tactics along the Yellow Dog river...Every whirlpool below a small falls would offer him up another fish...I tried to tell myself it was early spring, but...:)

When we stopped in Petoskey there is a stream that empties right in to the marina called the Bear...There were carcass' of what looked like Kings that never quite made it to the river laying along the beach at the mouth...This lake was Michigan though. It was an odd time for them this year with low water etc...Some Mergansers were diving down below the water surface and appeared to be taking bite fulls from the remains.

The UP just seems a bit more rawer and wild and I thought you might enjoy it there for that reason. The wildlife is boreal forest types and the migratory birds that travel through there are incredible...On the bird list board outside the bird observatory at Whitefish Point the had listed a sighting of a Pacific Loon with exclamation points behind it...I was sorry that the weather cancelled the owl banding trip...My friend never would of forgotten that for sure...

Researchers sit up there in platforms and count passing hawks every spring and fall...There is something about that "point" sticking out in to the bay that must be a sign post for them...

Spence

If you ever did make it over this way I have a "secret" brookie stream that if I showed it to you, you might never leave...How's that for tempting? :)

My wife says that these "Michigan" trips are a bit bittersweet to her...She claims that they remind her that her husband can drive to any of his "special" places in Michigan with out ever looking at a map or GPS. This probably means that the chances of him ever leaving his beloved Michigan, say for the warmer southwest nearer her sister, are pretty slim..."I am a Michigan man!" :)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsNovember 3rd, 2012, 4:58 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
On the E end of Lake O, a relatively unsettled place called Point Peninsula collects raptors. I made a trip up there one winter just for that. Rough-legs on every fence post and tree top, and a few snowy owls too.
Jmd123November 3rd, 2012, 6:53 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
Hey Spence, those coasters are getting pretty rare. I was on Isle Royale for a 4-day backpacking trip over Labor Day Weekend - the ULTIMATE U.P. trip - and the latest regulations have all brook trout being strictly catch-and-release because even the interior island stream populations were in decline. When I was there in 2000, I did catch and eat a 10-incher from a beaver pond (on a #10 Joe's Hopper, no less) and may have hooked and lost a really nice coaster trolling a jig in Rock Harbor. (At the time I thought it was a small lake trout but now I'm not so sure, the lakers were all pretty deep at that time of year, mid-August.)

Sadly, on this trip I didn't catch a single fish. I even broke down and pulled ou the spinning gear, something I haven't done since 2007! I didn't have my kayak, and fishing from a few isolated points on shore simply doesn't cover enough water up there...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123November 3rd, 2012, 6:56 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
BTW Paul, if you make up here to see Spence, you won't be that far from me either so let me know and I'll take you to [REDACTED] Pond for some big brookie action there too.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnNovember 4th, 2012, 12:56 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Isle Royale


One of the few spots I haven't seen here in Michigan. Maybe you should do a little report on what you saw there...A rare place for sure...I haven't made it over to the Porcupine Mtns either.

There is a river near Big Bay that flows through the private Huron Hunt Club there...It is the Salmon-Trout, I think its called...Due to its private nature and the size of the club may be the last best hope for the coaster brook...This was a major reason a good many folks were opposed to a mining development up there in the Yellow-Dog Plains...Headwater for the Yellow-Dog and the Salmon-Trout.

Paul...The weather was pretty bad up there in the UP and birding wasn't the main reason for the trip...I did see a large raptor that I wasn't able to id...Young Eagle?, Northern Harrier?, Goshawk? I wasn't sure...Also spotted a couple diving Grebes on a small lake that were already in winter plummage and difficult to decide what they were...

Snow Buntings, on the other hand, were everywhere! As we drove down the roads there we would kick up a small flock over and over again feeding along the roads edge...Sometimes they were almost touching the windshield before they turned away from the moving car. A few times I was afraid we were going to take a few out.

There is something about those "points"...Point Pelee is a big birding area during migrations as well. It is on the Canadian side near Lemington Ontario jutting out in to Lake Erie.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnNovember 4th, 2012, 1:04 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
MICHIGAN MAN
When I wander far a way, a dream stays with me night and day.
Itís the road that leads to my home state,
I am a Michigan Man.
Changing seasons paint the scene
like rainbow trout in a hidden stream
the white tail deer and the tall pine trees
I am a Michigan Man.
(chorus)
I am I am a Michigan Man
ask where Iím from and Iíll show you my hands
Lord above I love this land
I am a Michigan Man
From the Keewenaw down to St. Joe
Kalamazoo east to Monroe
Sault Ste. Marie and back again
I am a Michigan Man
(cho)
(bridge)
Mitch-i-ga-mee
Win a-wen nsustung
wah-sey-wah mib-zey-wen
geen-wah gaa-muk,
wen-maa-naa-nuk
Ab-nab-ma-ing
Anishnabe Anishnabe
(Looking back,
he who understands
the passing light
will always remember
the first people of
Michigan)
If I should die across the sea
on a peninsula you can bury me
and on my headstone it should read
here lies a Michigan Man
(chorus)
(repeat chorus)
I am, I am a Michigan Man
where sleeping bears lie on the sand
where Manitou has placed his hands
I am a Michigan Man
copyright 1995
Mike Ridley
Keweneh Music


:)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsNovember 4th, 2012, 1:30 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Thanks, Jonathan. That would be fun.


There is something about those "points"...Point Pelee is a big birding area during migrations as well. It is on the Canadian side near Lemington Ontario jutting out in to Lake Erie.

As I understand it, raptors are not endurance fliers, relying on thermals to travel distances. They rarely cross large water bodies bc of this, esp in winter. Thus they hug shorelines and points collect them.
Pryal74November 4th, 2012, 11:14 pm
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Should have messaged me =) I have been slaying big browns and lots of gorgeous steelhead. Glad you enjoyed your trip!
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
OldredbarnNovember 5th, 2012, 10:14 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Jim,

We almost took the southern route along 2 over your way and then I decided to head up to Whitefish Point. We only had a couple days and I didn't even have any gear in the fishing wagon!

I love it up your way and would like to get up there for the spring migration of the birds...You never know what you might find. We get some of the artic birds that hold over down here on their way south due to the water etc...Some birds move through that you would have to drive north of 55 degrees to see. :)

If I'm heading your way, I'll let you know...As hard as it may seem to understand, this wasn't really a fishing trip.

I do have a question: Have you ever fished the Tahquamenon River? It looks so fishy! :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123November 5th, 2012, 11:34 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
Spence, James can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the majority of the Upper Penninsula is brookie water, and I read a DNR report on the Tahquamenon a few years ago that seemed to confirm that. After all, those are native waters for those beauties! There's been some contention as to whether they're native to the Lower Penninula - some say no, others say north of Gaylord, "Tip of the Mitt" if you will, but nobody doubts that they're a natural part of the Upper. And yeah, it looks WAAAY fishy, and bigger waters = bigger fish...

Given my limited income (what's new?) these days, I think the U.P. is going to be my primary vacation destination for a few years to come. Porcupine Mountains, Sylvania Wilderness, Isle Royale, Drummond Island, etc. And I need to pay James a visit too!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123November 5th, 2012, 11:42 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
Oh BTW - never commented on the cuisine. Whitefish: YUUUUUMMMMYYYY!!! If you haven't tried it, you don't know what you're missing...apparently they are going to be coming inshore soon around here and folks will be catching them off the piers in Tawas and Oscoda. Although, I've heard they bite best in the worst weather...

Jonathon

P.S. They're even better smoked!! Like eating candy...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
JesseNovember 5th, 2012, 7:01 pm
Posts: 378
Everything about those pictures is excellent!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
OldredbarnNovember 5th, 2012, 11:44 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Thanks Jess.

I think that in our state the UP would really appeal to you...Maybe the next wildest area would be in the upper eastern corner of the lower...Maybe the southern line would be the Au Sable from Grayling across to where Jonathon is in Oscoda...Stay east of I-75 all the way up to the bridge...East of Vanderbilt, in the Pigeon River wilderness area, where the elk herd is...Pretty damn wild!

The white fish thing is funny Jonathon...I have known these "German" boys since they first lived here with us in 91-92 school year. They have been this vegetarians surrogate palate...:) Everywhere my wife and I have taken them we have exposed them to the local cuisine.

In 92 when we travelled from Detroit to Florida and back we made the fella living with us at the time eat ribs in Memphis and crawl-fish in New Orleans. Its been fun...I'm living, I guess, vicariously through them. :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
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