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> > Stream fishing this time, on the Rifle and a tributary

Jmd123 has attached these 6 pictures. The message is below.
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Spunky rainbow that cleared the water by two feet
Spunky rainbow that cleared the water by two feet
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Nice fat colorful Rifle River brown
Nice fat colorful Rifle River brown
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Beautiful clump of New England aster blooming along the creek
Beautiful clump of New England aster blooming along the creek
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AHA!!!  Beaver ponds!!
AHA!!! Beaver ponds!!
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Beaver pond brownie
Beaver pond brownie
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Asters on the way back down
Asters on the way back down
Jmd123September 25th, 2015, 10:51 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Our beautiful stable weather continues, so today I headed out to the Rifle with the intention of getting up into a tributary with lots of meadows for hopper fishing. Well, I had already released five trout by the time I reached the mouth of the trib! Figuring that the middle of the day wasn't going to produce much on the mainstem of the Rifle, I had planned to fish through it fairly quickly so I could get some time in the trib. No flies on the water during the afternoon, so what should I tie on? Well, how about a hopper just for the heck of it, a #10 modified Joe's Hopper again that I had stuck in my fishing hat. I had never thought of the Rifle at this location as being good hopper fishing, as it is pretty much all forested. However, I realized that there is a section where there is a pretty good stretch of grass and goldenrods on the left bank, so maybe...two little 8" browns took it first, then up near the grassy bank an 11" rainbow hit and went airborne! Further upstream, in not particularly deep water or near any significant cover, what looked like a little guy just sipped it off the surface. Setting the hook, I realized it wasn't so little after all, in fact I swear the fish grew as I was fighting him because he ended up being 15" in the net! Then another enthusiastic 9" rainbow and I was up into the trib.

Well, there used to be some nice beaver ponds in this little stream, about 14 years ago or so, but the last time I went in about 4 years ago there were none to be seen. Obviously taken out by humans, who always seem to argue that beaver ponds warm the water, block fish migration, etc....I suppose I can see the point here, as this creek has extensive gravel beds perfect for spawning (and it closes Wednesday night at midnight for the next 7 months). But without the ponds it's tough fishing, in many places just a tunnel of alders that always seem to brush over the deepest spots. In one good hole a little rainbow took it, and another slashed at it pretty good, but it was hard to find good fly casting room. As I hiked further upstream lo and behold, two beaver dams!! Oh boy, here's where they're gonna be and I can even cast to them! The first pond yielded nothing, and the second was frustrating at first, even tried a Woolly Bugger and a KBF but no sign of fishies. Wading further up, it started getting close to the top of my waders so I had to sort of throw around the bend, and then KBAM, a 12" brown takes it! After that I was pretty much done, wading up the beaver ponds had murked up the little creek pretty good on the way back down, and the Rifle was quiet with a few Nectopsyche but nothing really feeding.

And I thought my major action was going to be in the evening! The five I took on the Rifle were all before 5 p.m. with bright's been a helluva week of fishing: 8 brookies, 13 perch, 4 browns and three rainbows! My "end-of-the-season-is-near" frenzy continues this weekend on the Pine...and this stretch of the Rifle is open year-round! I hope our weather continues!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfSeptember 26th, 2015, 9:01 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Good fishing. Thanks for the photos. That buttery brown was especially pretty.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
OldredbarnSeptember 26th, 2015, 2:21 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Nice Jonathon! I finally have some New England Asters growing on the edge of my backyard...I think they are one of the few natives we still have here.

Next summer when you are visiting the folks you should make a trip with them over to Indian Springs Park just north of M59. They are managing the place with controlled burns etc, and trying to reestablish native Michigan prairie plants.

It is very interesting there. They have a side garden with the natives that are marked so you know what they are.

This early Fall season is nice. No humidity, sunny, and not too hot.

Went down to Erie Metro park yesterday to see if we could spot any migrating hawks...Wanted to get my 83 year old stepfather out of the house...There are some guys down there working with the DNR keeping track of the migrants...I missed some serious "kettles" of Broad-winged Hawks that had gone through a week or so ago. Had a Black Vulture fly over, but I was unable to make out any identification marks to make my own call, so it doesn't count. :(

Enjoy the rest of the Fall!

"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 27th, 2015, 7:42 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 420
Way to go Jonathon! Very well done and what a great way to end the regular season. Those are some cool pics, I love that brown in pic number 2. Im so glad you had a some really good fishing. Im going up to the Pine on Tuesday, I have had good season for me, and really I Just want to relax for a day and enjoy that beautiful area. Kinda want to take the old to and chase some grouse to, but he will not stay out of the water, maybe next for him.
TimCatSeptember 29th, 2015, 9:24 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Nice! I may be up there this October. Hopefully I can have a somewhat similar day on the rifle as well!
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless

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