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> > Finally went trout fishing, but the flora was more impressive than the fish

Jmd123 has attached these 10 pictures. The message is below.
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Dwarf dogwood or bunchberry, Cornus canadensis
Dwarf dogwood or bunchberry, Cornus canadensis
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Wild columbine, Aquilegia canadensis
Wild columbine, Aquilegia canadensis
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Interrupted fern, Osmunda claytoniana - the brown things in the middle of the fronds are fertile pinnules where spores are produced
Interrupted fern, Osmunda claytoniana - the brown things in the middle of the fronds are fertile pinnules where spores are produced
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Close-up on the fertile pinnules
Close-up on the fertile pinnules
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Canada mayflower, Maianthemum canadense
Canada mayflower, Maianthemum canadense
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Golden ragwort, Senecio aureus
Golden ragwort, Senecio aureus
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Canada anemone, Anemone canadensis
Canada anemone, Anemone canadensis
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Marsh blue violet, Viola cucullata, the last violet of the season to bloom
Marsh blue violet, Viola cucullata, the last violet of the season to bloom
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Iris versicolor, northern blue flag
Iris versicolor, northern blue flag
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Finally, a pretty fish to go with the pretty flowers...the "big guy" for the night, but lost a bigger one (~10")
Finally, a pretty fish to go with the pretty flowers...the "big guy" for the night, but lost a bigger one (~10")
Jmd123June 12th, 2018, 6:38 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
My first trout fishing adventure of the year, and my first trip to the Pine River for the year, was beautiful but grueling, and perhaps I should have gone to the Rifle for my trout warm-up. The Pine is tight and tough, but the brookies there are beautiful, and I lost one much larger than the little fella above, thrashing around until it threw the hook while showing off it's bright orange belly...but, as is often the case, the wildflowers were the real show tonight. No consistent hatches this evening but random insects the whole time, a few mayflies that might have been Isonychia and various caddis of different sizes and colors. A #12 Adams and elkhair caddis were the ticket tonight. Also saw one of my favorite insects, phantom crane flies! A few buzzed past me tonight as I waded, and I saw several small iron seeps along the stream, which is their larval habitat. And I STILL wasn't bothered by enough mosquitos to put on repellent! There were a few, plus some pesky deerflies already, but not enough in my face to piss me off. Saw a nice fat porcupine on the way in tonight as well, just waddling off the side of the road without a care in the world. And I was serenaded by two of my favorite birdsongs while fishing, the white-throated sparrow and the veery. Quite a lovely evening, but a good workout as well - there's a lot of walking between holes deep enough to hold fish. That's where all the wildflowers come in!

Man, I live in a beautiful place!

Oh, and one more thing: each of my first three fish were a different species, first a rainbow, then a brookie, then a brown, each all of 5" long. I congratulated myself on a Michigan Grand Slam, albeit in miniature, to kick off my trout fishing season!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Summer_dougJune 13th, 2018, 3:08 am
Detroit, MI

Posts: 28
The Michigan Grand Slam! Congrats! That's certainly one way to shake the rust off and kick-start trout season. Also the wildflowers look beautiful - I can only imagine how relaxing that evening was.

Any ticks? I hear that they are pretty bad this year.
From Michigan
Jmd123June 13th, 2018, 5:05 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
I have honestly not run into very many ticks this year, just like with the biting insects. Maybe I'm just not where they are abundant? I still can't believe I fished until well after 9 p.m. and the skeeters never came out in numbers. I didn't go morel hunting this year and that's probably why I haven't seen many ticks - that's usually the worst time of the year for them around here, and by summer they're either gone or too small to notice. Of course, the deer flies take their place...it would have been more relaxing if this were a more relaxing stream, but the Pine is tight with overhanging alders and as I said above there's a LOT of walking shallow riffles and runs looking for deeper water that holds fish.

But yes, it was beautiful, it always is out there! And meeting the challenge, even if you get a bit beat up in the process, makes it worthwhile. And the fish sure are pretty!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PartsmanJune 13th, 2018, 7:01 am
bancroft michigan

Posts: 187
As usual beautiful pictures! Skeeters got pretty bad last night on the rifle about 9:45, I had to reapply some repel on my hands. Fished till a little after 10:00 pm. A little slower than its been, but still better than work.
Mike.
TimCatJune 13th, 2018, 7:05 am
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Nice post! It's more about the experience than the fish caught in my opinion anyway! You're also definitely lucky to be relatively skeeter-free too. I've been getting bit up here quite a bit, both at work and on the river. Cheers
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
StrmanglrJune 13th, 2018, 8:10 am
Posts: 136Good to see you finally get out. Our timing is similar. Leaving for Northern fishing tomorrow morning, pretty geeked.

Now I just have to decide which side of the state. I have fished North West MI a lot over the years, the the North and North East are calling me. That means 2 hours more of drive time cause I'm leaving my dog w my brother who lives an hour west of me. Oh, where to go?

I have more confidence catching larger fish west but I really like the East side. They really are different.
MartinlfJune 13th, 2018, 8:28 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2842
Thanks for sharing, Jonathon. I love to hear the veery thrush when I'm fishing too. Gorgeous photos.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123June 13th, 2018, 9:16 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Strmanglr, an embarrassment of riches! Yes, we MI anglers are spoiled by the endless opportunities. Heck, I've been here 7 1/2 years now and I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface! What I have done is found some favorite, productive spots, and have learned their hatches and rhythms over several years so now its more a matter of how big they are versus figuring out how to get them to hit my flies. I'd minimize the drive time to maximize fishing time, but you are always welcome over here on the "Sunrise Side". Just bring your 7' 3-weight if you plan on hitting the Pine or anything of similar size, you'd be miserable with an 8 1/2' 5-weight out there. Good luck and tight lines and some hatches thrown in to boot!

Louis, I heard the veerys calling the whole time I was learning how to fly fish waaaay back in the mid-80s at the U of M Bio Station, on the Maple River. That twirling, descending trill will always delight my ear, and bring back memories of irises and nodding trilliums blooming along the banks. And the white-throated sparrow is truly a bird of the North Country - I remember hearing them as a kid on fishing trips up to Drummond Island, never around Troy or the other suburbs...and Drummond Island itself is a place that holds a certain mysticism from those childhood experiences, all the way up to the Mackinac Bridge and over, east until you run out of land and then take the ferry across. Seemed like the End of the Earth to me, after all to the east was Lake Huron! Look it up online if you haven't heard about it, it does indeed have many attractions, including fishing, geology, rare plant habitat, Silurian fossils, a bay full of islands, an inland waterway paddle into the interior of the island...check it out. Need to go back there myself, last time was 1990.

Mike, what are you getting on the Rifle, and what are you getting them on? I may be heading out there tomorrow evening to beat the aluminum/polyethylene hatches, probably Selkirk for a more "open" experience than last night on the Pine...

Tight lines to you all, and more to come from me!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
StrmanglrJune 13th, 2018, 9:32 am
Posts: 136Yeah, I opened the county map and started looking at all the opportunities and felt like a kid in a candy store. Oooh, this looks good, so does this and this over here...

I usually go to the N Branch of the Au Sable this time of year. I heard there was a significant fish kill there last fall though. I might still end up in that area, there's so much to fish around it.

I carry a 7'5wt for the small stuff.

Jmd123June 13th, 2018, 11:53 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
"I carry a 7'5wt for the small stuff."

Perfect! Helps when you want to throw a weighted Woolly Bugger too. Stung myself in the shoulders plenty of times with the 3-weight...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Summer_dougJune 14th, 2018, 6:06 am
Detroit, MI

Posts: 28
I've read a few reports that mentioned issues in the N Branch.

In light of that, I'm taking a group of newcomers to the S Branch. My idea is to highlight the beauty and maybe get lucky enough to catch a few trout along the way.
From Michigan
PartsmanJune 14th, 2018, 3:00 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 187
Jonathon, go to the next rd. up from Selkirk. Ive done well with the natural imatations, Roberts yellow drake, a brown drake and caddis have been very good. I have broke off more fish this year than ever, I don't know if its my eyesight and knot tying or what, but its pissing me off! Fished the s.b. of the ausable 2 weeks ago, some bugs going, I just got some small brookies, but Im to start working in learning this river system.


Mike
Summer_dougJune 14th, 2018, 3:51 pm
Detroit, MI

Posts: 28
Thanks for the SB info Mike! Small brookies are just what the doctor ordered. The only trout I’ve been able to catch in the last 12 months were mutant-looking brood stock.

Doug
From Michigan
Jmd123June 15th, 2018, 10:45 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2310
Doug, if you or any other Troutnut needs a strictly wild-fish fix, well that's the Pine - it get no stocking, none at least from the MIDNR. The big guys are few and far between, but they're in there - this stream has thrown me plenty of 10-11" brookies and rainbows up to 14. It's a challenge, but as shown above, there's plenty of scenery and beauty to keep you motivated. Like I said above, just make sure you have a short rod!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Summer_dougJune 17th, 2018, 4:29 pm
Detroit, MI

Posts: 28
As soon as my new fishing buddy learns to cast (haha), we will hit the Pime because your descriptions have sold me on the little gem. It looks gorgeous.

Tomorrow, we are bracing possible rain and looking at the south branch of the Au Sable. We will be starting at the chapel.

Very excited - first time troutin’ in over a year and I’m trying two rods I built this winter. I want to post pictures but haven’t looked at how to yet.

Doug

PS the rods I built are under 7’ so I think they should be good. We have to meet up!
From Michigan

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