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> > A beautiful summer evening on my favorite brookie pond

Jmd123 has attached these 5 pictures. The message is below.
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Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) - the only milkweed without milky sap!
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) - the only milkweed without milky sap!
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The guard at the entrance to the Pond
The guard at the entrance to the Pond
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Betcha didn't know we have cobras in Michigan!
Betcha didn't know we have cobras in Michigan!
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Another beautiful pond brookie, biggest of at least a dozen
Another beautiful pond brookie, biggest of at least a dozen
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YIKES!!  This is how my evening ended...
YIKES!! This is how my evening ended...
Jmd123July 12th, 2016, 6:23 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2535
Well, last night at [REDACTED] Pond started out slow, no hatches, no rising fish, and very few quiet water strikers. A trip up the spring-fed feeder creek did not yield the big ones I was hoping for, so I finally went out to the quiet cove just outside the creek mouth to await some action. Sure enough, as soon as the sun went down, up came the risers, to what I don't know because I never saw any bugs on the water. No matter, a #10 hopper twitched on the surface was too much for them to resist, even after it started getting good and dark. My last fish was the biggest, 11", but I probably caught at least a dozen more, mostly 7-9" but all beautiful. Got a really small one too, a good sign that they are reproducing in there.

On the way in I had to stop and shoot some butterflyweed, a beautiful orange milkweed, and the nice fat hognose snake who was guarding the entrance road. He went Full Cobra on me! Impressive, even if they won't actually bite you and they're not venomous anyway.

After the 11-incher I suddenly realized that my fly line had gotten into a total bird's nest about five inches in diameter. That was it, I wasn't getting that untangled in the dark...that's for tonight, as we have a massive (and much-needed) storm front coming through, hopefully to plaster us with rain!!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratJuly 12th, 2016, 6:49 pm
Posts: 471

Nice pics, and nice fish! I have yet to catch a brookie this year, just can't get on their favored water I guess. And the snake is extra cool, I'm envious!

We were rained off the Big Manistee @ Hodenpyle yesterday morning, no complaints since I agree we're pretty dry in Michigan.
As a consolation we toured the DNR Hatchery @ Harietta, and it was well worth the side trip to see 990,000 Brown and Rainbow fry being prepped for transfer from the rearing tanks to the bigger troughs outside...the water was boiling with these little guys, and the DNR staffers were more than helpful with information and answering questions. I was surprised at the number of still-water planting sites they serve, lots of lakes along with the better-known trout streams here.

A worthwhile trip if one is near one of the hatcheries; Wolf Lake has steelhead and Muskies and it's on the 'grandkids trip' list.

tight lines,


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
TimCatJuly 12th, 2016, 11:00 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Nice brookie! I had a great Sunday fishing on the north branch of the boardman for those guys. Nothing bigger than 8 inches or so save for the 14 inch brown I caught. I love brook trout, and anything over 12 inches is a "beast" in my book... Unless you're in Nipegon or going for coasters in superior, etc. Do they get to some decent sizes in that pond? Or is it more like the brook trout often caught on other Michigan rivers?
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
OldredbarnJuly 13th, 2016, 5:40 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600

Monday evening my Audubon group did a stroll in the nature center in Kensington Metro park looking for warblers. We were walking down the path and we stumbled on an eastern massasauga lying on the edge of the path. It wasn't too pleased to see us and seemed a tad agitated. We gave it a wide berth. It is only the second I've seen in my life, the other being way back in the late 60's on my grandma's farm between Clare and Cadillac.

It's summertime...I trimmed back some bushes to reveal some milkweed and have spotted a Monarch the other day, and an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and the ever present Cabbage White...I also watched and photographed a stalking Willow Skimmer dragonfly in the yard...It was a female.

"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 14th, 2016, 6:03 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2535
Rogue, if Wolf lake is the one not too far from Kalamazoo, then I have been there but a looooong time ago (we're talking fall of 1988). At that time they also had the muskies, I think they were 8-10" long or so, with the smaller ones getting eaten by the larger ones...haven't been to one since, I should check one out sometime. Another thing they were doing there was briefly heating salmon eggs to a high temperature, which killed about 80% of them but the survivors were almost all triploids, with 3 sets of chromosomes and sterile. Which means they never breed, never expend energy in breeding, and therefore grow to very large sizes...

Yep, I just love brookies too, and I have a couple of good spots for them, one on the pond and the other at the Pine (need to explore that river more). This pond, which I can name to you in a PM (I keep it secret on the public forum in case of any bait-fishing trolls who don't respect seasons, limits, etc.), is like a giant man-made beaver pond with a small but spring-fed stream leading into it. There are also springs in the pond as well but most of them are up near the feeder creek, so during the heat of summer the fish concentrate in a fairly small area and seem to feed at dark no matter if there's anything on the water or not. It's lovely to be out there all by yourself as the sun goes down and the water gets flat and glassy, surrounded by pine trees and some bog vegetation too.

Tim, this pond has in the past thrown out a few in the 16-18" range, I am told. My biggest in here has been a pair of 13-inchers, and I used to get a lot in the 11-12 1/2" range. Not so many big ones in the past few years, could have been the nasty cold winters that knocked them back a bit. It seems the smaller fish handle the extremes better than the larger fish...maybe we'll get a few milder winters and they can grow a little. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot of folks not obeying the rules and keeping lots of 8" brookies, perhaps on bait (artificials ONLY, 15" minimum size, one per day, only open May - September), which will hurt the population, as well as competition with perch (I try to kill and eat as many as possible - yeah, such a hardship...). I'm still waiting for the pond monster to show up and play, and get photographed and summarily dropped back in.

Spence, I STILL have yet to see a wild rattlesnake in Michigan, or anywhere else for that matter except Texas (and only saw one there). Of all the time I have spent in a wide variety of natural environments, including known massassauga habitat, I don't have much luck running into venomous snakes...or perhaps that's GOOD luck!

I have seen a fair amount of butterflies this year, just saw what I think were great spangled fritillaries on our field trip to the Pine on Tuesday, tiger swallowtails, anglewings, I think one monarch (saw a caterpillar on milkweed on Monday), and some pearl crescents on a job site Monday. I have to say though that insect life is less abundant this year, I have noticed pretty much across the board, with the exception of the hatches on Cooke Pond and midges. Well, actually, lots of dragonflies and damselflies too, which I of course see every time I'm on or near the water. Still haven't caught a really major hatch on trout water yet this year, though, been coaxing them up with EHCs and the occasional Royal Wulff or now grasshopper and cricket patterns.

Wildflowers have been SPECTACULAR. In spite of not much rain the roadsides are blooming pretty good with milkweeds (three species!), black-eyed-susans, and now blue vervain coming is a beautiful time of the year, and not too many pesky mosquitos or deer flies this year either. There's one good thing about the lack of rain!!

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

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