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> > My trip to the Upper Platte, Page 2

Roguerat has attached these 3 pictures to this report. The message is below.
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A view downstream from our campsite...I woke up to this every morning!
A view downstream from our campsite...I woke up to this every morning!
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Upstream, lots of wood...
Upstream, lots of wood...
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upstream again, even more wood.
upstream again, even more wood.

Report at a Glance

General RegionBenzie Co, MI
Specific LocationUpper Platte above Honor, MI
Time of Day6-10 am, 6-10 pm
Fish Caughtsmall Browns
Conditions & Hatchesmixed weather through the week- sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy with showers, consistent high humidity and low 80's, consistent small BWO's (sz 22), intermittent Light Cahills (sz 14)

Details and Discussion

OldredbarnOctober 21st, 2014, 1:48 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
Nope, I'm not familiar with that trail.



It's off 22 just below the Platte River...below the Manitou Restaurant. That's why I squeezed it in here. You were on the Upper Platte and this would definitely be the Lower...

At the beginning of the trip we stopped at a couple spots on the Lower Au Sable near Oscoda and saw one fish and a couple anglers...Don't know what seems to be holding things back a bit?

In Petoskey we saw a Barred Owl and Pine Siskins in Alpena. Hooded and Common Meganser...Bufflehead and Ruddy duck, and the ever present Pied-billed Grebe. We had a great trip in terms of birds, hiking, and Fall color. Pure Michigan.

If anyone is ever in Alpena the Besser Museum is worth a stop. A great Native American Michigan exhibit. They had some early hooks formed from stone...I wish I had taken a picture of them. In the basement is their natural history display of Michigan animals and birds, and fish of course.

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
RogueratOctober 21st, 2014, 6:32 pm
Posts: 434
Spence,

Next trip up there I'll look for this trail, likely early next spring. I tend to shy away from the Circus where 22 crosses the Platte, tourists parking anywhere and everywhere, then the tubers and kayakers and canoeists...I think Mondays in the off-season are the best bet to get through there with my mind somewhat intact.
My well-worn and marked-up DeLorme's lists a Jesse Besser Museum, it must be the same one. I've been telling my grandsons about the shipwreck Preserve off Alpena, so a trip to the East side of the state is in the planning stage at least.

My neatest wild-bird story was at the Haymarsh Protected Area, we were walking through the woods and 'whoah!' a couple immature Bald Eagles glided right over our heads and disappeared into the dusk. The sort of thing that makes one catch his breath at the sheer wonder of it all.

Enjoying a cold Heineken at the moment, by the way...

Roguerat


I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon Him...'
OldredbarnOctober 21st, 2014, 7:03 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
Enjoying a cold Heineken at the moment, by the way...


:) You are a good Dutchman!

It was really cool to see the owl. I only have one other on the list and that's the Snowy, which should be the most difficult to fill. I've seen the Snowy twice...In the late 80's in downtown Detroit about four in the morning at Rosa Parks and Lafayette...Has to be one of the oddest sightings ever! Then I saw it again this last winter, an irruption year for the Snowy, out at Willow Run airport.

Nice thing about travelling up north in October. The canoeists were done on the Platte and many other rivers.

I must admit that I was shocked with the traffic in Petoskey and Traverse City. All those folks who fled to the north to get away from folks, fine themselves in a traffic jam.

My half-brother used to live by Walloon Lake...He would give me hell about all us "Fudgies" heading north and jamming up his roads...The damn kid grew up in Warren! :)

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
Jmd123October 21st, 2014, 10:53 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
"If anyone is ever in Alpena the Besser Museum is worth a stop. A great Native American Michigan exhibit. They had some early hooks formed from stone...I wish I had taken a picture of them. In the basement is their natural history display of Michigan animals and birds, and fish of course."

Spence, I'll second that motion! I got invited to graduation at Alpena Community College (where I teach but on the Oscoda campus) by one of my very first students, and the "after-party" was at the Besser Museum. What a treat! This botanist was most delighted, not to mention all of the other displays of natural history, Native American history, Alpena history...and when I was there in May they had a pretty amazing Vietnam War history display, with personal artifacts and mementoes from at least 20 veterans. Was that still there, Spence? In any case, I highly recommend it to anyone travelling through the area.

"At the beginning of the trip we stopped at a couple spots on the Lower Au Sable near Oscoda and saw one fish and a couple anglers...Don't know what seems to be holding things back a bit?"

And you didn't tell me that you were coming through my very own backyard?!?! You were no more than a few miles away, shoulda called, we could have gone out for a few!! You're right though, slow run this year, I haven't even bothered to go out and fish it...or anything else lately with the up-and-down weather...

Colors are good, though, just a little past peak. My Mom and Dad are visiting and we took our own color tour, maples are mostly still holding well and many oaks have lit up nicely, even still some red sumac and cherries out there, golden aspens and birches too. We've had a good long season around here, but it won't last much longer.

Another Alpena stop: Bob's Gun Shop, on M-32 west of downtown Alpena:

http://www.bobsvintageguns.com/

I haven't been afield as much as usual this fall so far, so I've only seen a few blue herons at Clark's Marsh (should check that one out Spence, you weren't far away!). However, a friend who co-captain's the Au Sable River Queen told me on their last trip on Sunday that they got to watch a bald eagle chase a gull around the boat while out on Foote Pond!

Jonathon

P.S. Spence, my folks always come up on a Sunday and leave before the next weekend - much easier traffic!!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123October 21st, 2014, 11:01 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
P.P.S. Somebody supposedly got a photo of a cougar on a trailcam north of Foote Pond, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are around here too, after all everything else is! While taking my class on our usual fall field trip to the Marsh a couple of weeks ago, we came across an apple tree just loaded with apples and surrounded by plenty more on the ground. Shortly thereafter one of my students says, "Yuck, I just stepped in poop!" Upon examination of said poop, it was composed of nothing but...apples. So was the next pile a few hundred yards down the trail, and the next, and the next, and the next...hmmm, wonder what large furry beast did that? Perhaps the same kind I heard grunting at me this summer at [REDACTED] Pond during blueberry season...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratOctober 22nd, 2014, 4:31 pm
Posts: 434
Well, that was the last of the Heineken- a birthday present from my underpaid, elementary-school teacher daughter.

There are documented bear sightings as far south as Kent Co, bruins wandering around in suburban areas.
My only close encounter was west of Ontanogan, when a USFS Campground Ranger stressed 'don't cook breakfast until the bears go through...' my tenting neighbor ignored the advice and we watched a good-sized sow beat the snot out of his cooler, eat some cottage cheese, then look at us disdainfully before waddling off to sleep somewhere. Impressive!

Roguerat

OldredbarnOctober 24th, 2014, 1:30 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2585
And you didn't tell me that you were coming through my very own backyard?!?! You were no more than a few miles away, shoulda called, we could have gone out for a few!!


Yeah...I knew I'd get in trouble here. Oops! On our way up we did the so-called "Au Sable Loop" We came up 65 and crossed the river and took Bissonette Rd east past the old airbase to Oscoda. We ate at the Subway there on 23 and then took River Rd back to 65 north.

We stopped at the Lumberman's Monument and hiked the 300 stairs down to Largo Springs...We also stopped at that stretch where the guys fish for the big fish and we saw only one fish, one bank angler, and one guide boat?

I have had moments where I did think of you though...Honest.

1) The Headlands Park just west of Mackinaw City...There is a "dark-sky" park there and I wondered aloud if you had been there. I was there for birding, but there are stops along the road there where you can make a call and hear some info about astronomy stuff.

We walked out to the beach where they set-up their telescopes and there are long wooden benches out there for lectures etc.

2) Yesterday. My wife has a college girl friend of hers visiting us from Manhattan and the two of them are attending the Big Game tomorrow together up in East Lansing.

We drove over to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens yesterday and hiked a couple trails. We then went into Ann Arbor for a drink and ran across some guys from the "Lowbrow Astronomy Club" set-up on the sidewalk outside the beer garden we were heading for.

On the way in we stopped and chatted and they let us look at sun spots through their scopes. After we had a couple beers we came back out and there was a crowd gathered and they had several top end scopes set up and 4x4" welder's glass squares so we could watch the partial eclipse at 5:30...It was cool and we took a great iphone pic through one of the scopes...I can't find your private email so PM it to me and I'll send you the pic.

So, sorry we blew by you, but we were on a mission...:)

Spence

Oh! I almost forgot...Last night my Wings beat Tony's Pens in dramatic fashion...Two-plus minutes left in the game, down by two goals, Lisa's visiting girlfriend came down to check on the score of the game and the Wings scored...I wouldn't let her move from the spot where she was standing and the Wings scored again sending the game to OT, where we won it...Sorry Tony...I just couldn't stop myself here. ;)
"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
Jmd123October 24th, 2014, 4:20 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Man, you hit a bunch of my favorite spots...Iargo Springs is just amazing, besides being a good workout! It is best in the spring when there are lots of wildflowers blooming down in there. You were pretty close there, Spence, not gonna forgive you if you blow me off again... ;oD

Did a bit of astronomy too? I wish I could set my scope up right in my backyard, but besides the big oak trees there are too many street lights, not to mention a new neighbor's floodlight that aims right at my back deck...I do have two friends who live out in the country on acreage that's fairly dark, or I'm going to have to find a clearing out in the Huron NF and pack my .44 magnum for night missions in bear country...

"We also stopped at that stretch where the guys fish for the big fish and we saw only one fish, one bank angler, and one guide boat?"

Don't know what's going on with the salmon this year, there's usually at least a few more than we've been seeing. Maybe they took a hit like the trout did from this past harsh winter? I haven't bothered trying to fish the run, due to some health issues I've been having lately...2014 has not been a good year for me in that regard, amongst other things (like the trout fishing)...

"We drove over to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens yesterday and hiked a couple trails." Another of my favorite spots! Did you make it back to the bass pond? There's some nice ones, as well as some big bluegills in there. A few years ago I nailed an 18-inch largemouth in this pond (on my 3-weight!) and posted pics on here. Beautiful place, isn't it? I discovered it back in 1984 and have been there several hundred times at least, including for cross-country skiing! Did you make it into the greenhouses?

Gee Spence, maybe you and I should write a Michigan tour guide!

Jonathon

P.S. Go Wings!!! I just heard about the game from my Mom, who was visiting along with Pa a few days ago. I took them on a fall color tour up to Alpena and we caught the trees just past peak, on a nice sunny day where they were all lit up really nice.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchMarch 9th, 2015, 10:30 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2392
Just happened on this post from early July 2014. Missed it because that was when I was in Montana for two weeks. Pretty stream but so many sweepers! Would be tough, or impossible, to float in a drift boat and still tough in a kayak or pontoon boat.

I'm kind of curious why do you think you only caught little brown trout? The water looks nice and I see aquatic weed growth. Is it a shortage of aquatic insects that causes the trout not to grow larger?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RogueratMarch 10th, 2015, 8:21 am
Posts: 434
Matt-

I had some kayakers TRYING to paddle downriver on a couple days, most asked the same 'catch anything?' but some remarked 'is the rest of the river like this?!'

I was well upriver of the busy spots, downstream toward the Big Lake is a real circus of tubers/kayakers/drunks...the stream is wider and a lot less wood there.

I'm not sure why the trout were small. I didn't land anything bigger than 10-12", and the Hatch Charts for the river show a fair number of species. Wrong time of the season? The Platte's a noted steelhead and salmon stream when those guys are running, though.

Mark aka Roguerat
RogueratMarch 10th, 2015, 9:37 am
Posts: 434
I'm attempting to add a photo of the Lower Platte...Circus Maximus!
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