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PartsmanSeptember 18th, 2015, 11:05 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 386
I went fishing on Rifle river Tuesday. It was a beautiful to be on the river and I really thought the hopper bite would be going good. There was not much going on but it was a spectacular day until a plane and chopper desended on me. Of course I knew they were looking for someone, and that made me a little nervous. Thankfully the 85 year old fisherman was found ok and even wonder what the big deal was all about, and he was going back out fishing that evening. His flashlight died on him and he just spent the night in the woods. Me thinks the gent should a cell phone just in case, but I love his reply. Im going back fishing tonight.
WbranchSeptember 19th, 2015, 12:18 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2722
While I'm only 72 I no longer go to fish alone in some of the more remote places I used to fish all the time. Back then I used to think I was invincible but now I know if I fall, and really hurt myself, I'm pretty much screwed. A cell phone won't do much good if there is no reception where you are.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TNEALSeptember 19th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Posts: 278
I recall Fred Bear fishing the South Branch of Michigan's AuSable (wading at night) by himself when he was 81. I was in my late 40's at the time thinking how great it would be able to do that at that age. Now, at 70, I no longer fish at night or by myself. One accident could do it.
TNEALSeptember 19th, 2015, 12:57 pm

Posts: 278
My math was off. I was in my late 30's at the time.....
Jmd123September 19th, 2015, 1:37 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2530
Where were you, Mike? I hit it on Monday at Sage Lake Road, nothing bigger than 7" but got to show Mom and Dad where I go fishing, plunked them on the bank with folding chairs and a cooler while I flailed the water with EHCs. They said they didn't even get bothered by any mosquitoes!

I will still fish the Rifle at night, but then again I'm only 51 and still go x/c skiing by myself (though usually within cell phone range!). But the Rifle is nice and open, very few obstacles to trip you up and at Sage Lake Road I just fish upstream until I hit a clearing where the trail comes right up next to the stream, then it's 5 minutes walk back to the car. So, it's easy...but the Pine is small and tight and has lots of things to trip over, so no, I don't stay out there after dark.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PartsmanSeptember 19th, 2015, 3:20 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 386
Jonathon, I went up to campground entrance and then drove down to the wooden bridge. I fished all day and had the same results as you, some small brown trout, I started out with hopper patterns, but the fish wanted something smaller. Again a ehc saved the day. I saw bigger fish but as you know the water is really clear right know. I stopped at the ranch campground and started to head up to Houghton Creek, this is really cool looking water. But it got dark on me, and I even got turned around, but some how came out to my car. I see a hand held gps in my future. Fished the old fenwick ff806 on this trip and loved it. I have a Mark Steffen 3/4 fiberglass blank to build out this winter, and then start checking out some other waters up that way. I wish I could get on the west branch of Pine up were my Great aunt Bessie Tait had the farm, She was my grandmothers sister and lived by her self at the end of tait rd. This time of year I would go up grouse hunt there and she would always have a homemade pie and hot coffee when I came back to the house.
OldredbarnSeptember 19th, 2015, 6:19 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I recall Fred Bear fishing the South Branch of Michigan's AuSable (wading at night) by himself

:) Tim,

Just wondering if the folks on this site remember old Fred Bear?

I have a story for you.

I was up on Beaver Island in August with my wife and her twin, and their big brother. The place where we stayed is something of a co-op or association. My wife's sister has been a member since 1985. The building was built in 1901 and I was sitting on the big front porch...One of the members was exercising his Lab next to the porch and asked me how my visit was going...

We talked for a while and it turned out he was heading out west to fish...It also turned out we knew some of the same folks...Anglers. He turned to me and asked, "You fly fish?" :)

This led to a long conversation and he said, "Hey. You look about the right age. Do you remember Mort Neff?" I told him how I use to visit my grandfather and we would watch Michigan Outdoors together and talk about hunting bunnies and when I would be old enough to deer hunt..."We loved that show!"

"Well...He was my grandfather."

Small, small, world...

Back to the topic: My wife forbids me from fishing after dark...:) As far as you all know, I don't, right?

Many years back I leased a Bravada and it came with Onstar. This pre-dates really good cell coverage up around Grayling.

I had heard that the phone in Onstar was stronger than a regular cell phone. They were running a special, 15 phone minutes for so much...I bought them.

One night I'm driving out of the Mason Tract and decided to try it out and called home. I didn't think it would work but all of a sudden the phone was ringing and my wife answered..."Sweetie! You won't believe where I'm calling from. I'm in the middle of the Tract and this damn phone is working!"

She asked, "Dear. Do you know what time it is?"

I looked at the clock and it was midnight. Oops!

"You fishing after dark again, dear?!"

"No...Uh...It's a long haul from the river to the truck...I had to remove my waders, and you know I like to sit on the bumper and eat a sandwich, drink a couple beers, and listen to the coyotes and whippoorwills, maybe an owl...Etc"

"Bullshit!", she said...Busted! :)

I found a couple older guys...Older at the time, :) stranded on the river one night around midnight. When I got to them you could hear the concern in their voices that they were going to have to sleep on the river...They couldn't figure out how to get back to the car.

"Do you know the way back to the car?"


They were ecstatic...They went on how the wives were back on Higgins Lake and probably in a panic. I asked if they had a light on them. One guy did...I had three lights on me...There was a tree at the access site that for decades guys have attached reflective stuff to in order to find the exit in the dark...I told the guy to turn his light on and gently turned him by the shoulders and when the light hit the tree it lit up like a Christmas tree...I gave the other guy one of my lights and told them to stay on the trail and walked them to their vehicle...

Night fishing does have its risks and they probably increase once we get older.

You really need to know where you are after dark because the woods all look the same from the river after dark...Easy to get off course...If you are alone and hurt yourself you are screwed.


"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
PartsmanSeptember 20th, 2015, 5:18 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 386
Spence, I met Fred Bear at a book signing at Anderson archery me any years ago. He was on oxygen at the time, but he told the crowd don't worry it's really gin and tonic. I later had a moment alone with him while he signed my book, he really was the consumate gentlemen. We could use a Mort Neff and Fred Bear here in our state.
OldredbarnSeptember 21st, 2015, 12:03 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
We could use a Mort Neff and Fred Bear here in our state.

Mike, "I second that emotion", for sure...I was introduced to hunting and the woods by my grandfather in the 60's. Things were a great deal simpler then, and those guys were the real deal...Gentlemen and sportsmen both!

We had a DNR then that worked...Now the staff is depleted, there's no dough, and no real direction from Lansing in terms of our natural resources...They think only of exploitation and little of the other values we derive from nature...The soul replenishing value.

Just an FYI, I spent most of my time as a kid between Clare and Cadillac and Evart and Marion. :) Paradiso! Or God's country as my grandpa, my dad, and his brothers called it.


"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
CrepuscularSeptember 23rd, 2015, 9:55 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923

I have a story for you.


OldredbarnSeptember 23rd, 2015, 3:15 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
First one to 2,500 posts wins a trip to Alaska to freeze with Jason...Little known secret.


Spence the Storyteller
"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
WillyOctober 30th, 2015, 6:01 pm
Chicago, IL

Posts: 47
My Grandfather was a lost 85 year old fisherman at one point. His Alzheimer's was at the point where he was no longer coming night fishing with me and my Dad, but we'd still let him fish the evening rise out in front of Gates. My Mom and sister came along that year (my grandmother started coming to keep an eye on "Far Far"). Well Far Far decided to do the loop down to Stephan's Landing without telling the ladies. I'm not sure if he knew he was lost or not, but they sure freaked out. By the time Dad and I got back, Far Far had returned safely, but my mom and grandmother still had seriously elevated heart rates.

This year on the South I ran into a couple guys who had done a long wade in the dark without any idea how to get back to their car (besides get out on the same side that they got in on and walk upstream, which is a decent enough plan). They were still young enough that they weren't all that concerned about fishing until daybreak, but I recognized their voices as guys I had met in the shop and offered them a ride back to their rig. I think I saved them at least three hours--and probably a few holes in their waders. They were very appreciative.
Check out my fishing pictures on Instagram.
OldredbarnOctober 30th, 2015, 10:59 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600

How's it going out there? Love your pics by-the-way! Especially that one of you as a younger man. Did you live up that way, by the Finger Lakes at one time? My wife's father's family is from Cortland...We did a nice wine tour up that way about ten years back...I also visited Sapsucker Woods at Cornell.

You gonna make it to Crawford Co this summer?

"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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