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> > A Little Mousin' on Michigan's Sturgeon River



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OldredbarnJuly 26th, 2015, 1:26 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Floated the evening of July 19th with Phil Croff of Croff's Crafts Drift Boats...http://www.croffcraft.com/

We started the float at 10:00pm and stopped fishing the next morning at 6:00am...

We fished variations on the Gartside Gurgler that looked more like foam mice and frogs. The river was full of Leopard frogs.

I had a blast! I fish into the darkness and have for many, many, years, but its usually spinner falls or the hatches of the flies that show up after dark.

Tossing a fly in the darkness and hearing it get smacked and then a head shaking weight is a thrill.

These fish are a mixture of trout...Some resident fish. Others leave Burt lake as monsters trying to avoid the summer heat in the lake and looking for food. These are awesome predators and you really get an appreciation for this in the middle of the night.

It takes some relaxing to not strike too soon...You hear the attack, but they haven't closed their mouths on it completely until you feel the weight of the fish. Sometimes they smack the prey to stun it and then turn on it and swallow it.

Phil was a wonderful guide. We fished from the boat or occasionally got out and fished prime holding areas. He showed me a couple "Spey" type casts that work well in this tight situation.

I caught a few fish, but lost a couple I really wish I had a chance to see...:)

Fishing in the dark is a trip. Its mostly forest but around 4:00 in the morning we were laughing and having a good time when we heard someones dog barking...I saw an upstairs bedroom light go on, and then a woman on the back porch asking us to keep it down...Oops! "Sorry!" :)

I wish I had some better pics. Some of these spots on the river were sweet. Long gravel runs that went deep and dark in the bends...Great holding water.

My wife went up with me and we stayed near Alanson for a couple days and then birded our way home...Well...birded and ate, and swam, and had a wonderful time.
"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
Jmd123July 26th, 2015, 8:54 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2492
Nice fishies Spence! Hexes are done, can I assume?

I tried a little mousing on the nearby Maple River during my U of M Bio Station (a.k.a. Bug Camp) days, but didn't stay out quite as late as you did. There are rumors of big browns ascending the Maple too, though the mouth is pretty shallow and braided. I've always thought bass bugs at night would work well for those big prowlers. Pulled an all-nighter, did ya!! Just like back in college...

Again well done, glad you had a chance to get at least near to some of my old stomping grounds. Good birding too??

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PaulRobertsJuly 27th, 2015, 12:36 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Wow! Just Wow! That is exciting fishing. A nice write-up too. I did a bit of that kind of fishing on the small creeks back in NY. There are monsters even in those little creeks most FFers never know are there.
OldredbarnJuly 28th, 2015, 2:01 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Paul...My head is racing, sir...Just think of our discussions of Mr Bob Wyatt and add these predacious, night stalkers, lying in wait for anything that may stumble into the creek! They are gators! It was a fascinating float!

This stream is wonderful for steelhead as well and I'd like to get back up there so I can see the damn stream in the daylight! :)

The wild character of this stream is outstanding. I would love to show it to you and Kurt sometime...This is hunting, flat out head hunting in a primitive form...Night stalking!

How about that first pic above?! You can imagine these pigs lying in the shallows up next to the weeds waiting for some frog to make a misstep and end up lunch. I can imagine these guys pushing the smaller fish upstream.

Jonathon...The birding was out of this world! I added a couple Lifers to the list...A Piping Plover and her two young, and an Alder Flycatcher. Saw a Merlin and its two young and a Great Crested Flycatcher feeding their young in a woodpecker hole in a dead tree...Have you ever ventured over to the Shaiwassee NWR? 81 Great Egrets there!!!

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
Jmd123July 28th, 2015, 10:32 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2492
You know Spence, I suffer from insomnia enough that I should just go hit a few local spots in the wee hours. Guess I might want a fishing buddy willing to pull an all-nighter...the Rifle isn't too bad, fairly open in the Selkirk stretch and I know there has to be some "alligators" in there that only come out for night owls (oh and yes, barred owls are in the vicinity, many years ago got to listen to one changing trees above my head while wading down in complete darkness). Now the Pine, well that's a little scarier, simply because there are many more ways to "face-plant" into the river...but as small as it is there are big ones hiding in there, got a 14-inch rainbow 3 summers ago and you know they get bigger. Frogs are in the vicinity too...got a box of poppers that I use on the bass in Clark's Marsh.

Need some caffeine perhaps? With my tendency to stay up late at night I often wonder if I shouldn't have been a professional astronomer...maybe if I were more turned on by mathematics...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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