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> > What did you do on the Fourth of July? I went fishing...for a little while...

Jmd123 has attached these 3 pictures. The message is below.
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It's milkweed season!  Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa
It's milkweed season! Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa
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Monarch food, common milkweed - and I saw several monarchs in the vicinity, a good sign!
Monarch food, common milkweed - and I saw several monarchs in the vicinity, a good sign!
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Gotta throw in a little New Jersey Tea...
Gotta throw in a little New Jersey Tea...
Jmd123July 5th, 2018, 7:21 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2304
A belated Happy Independence Day to all Troutnuts! It is NOT my favorite holiday, due to the influx of terrorists - er, I mean TOURISTS - this entire week because the 4th was on a Wednesday. And...well, drunk people setting off explosives, which has already been happening for two weeks at least around here. Ah, the great Up North, where the Citiots (Flatlanders, Downbelowers...and yeah, I DID mean terrorists) think they can do whatever they want whenever they want with no consequences. Which includes leaving trash everywhere, especially if it's an alcoholic beverage container or associated carrier. Talking to a few friends over the last day or so, they have said that they have found loads of people EVERYWHERE. A walk from my house down to Three Pipes on the Au Sable only drew 2 or 3 deer flies, but the beach had at least 100 people on it, with more floating down the river. Would have been a nice day for snorkeling, but...

Do I sound like I am bitching? Damn right I am! As are pretty much all of my friends (they taught me the names above, after all). Soooo...where to go to escape the crowds and actually DO SOMETHING besides sitting in my air conditioning? Someplace without camping, kinda out-of-the-way, not a heavily used access...I chose the bass pond at Clark's Marsh, and lucked out with one car coming out as I was driving in and nobody else there! Only one problem, the third curse of July: DEER FLIES. It's peak season, nice and hot like they like it, and they were all over me almost as soon as I was walking down the trail. And wouldn't leave me alone the whole time, which didn't last long for obvious reasons! I smacked as many as I could but I couldn't get them all and they just kept coming. On top of this, the fish weren't terribly enthusiastic - two of my best flies brought no strikes whatsoever (#10 POG Bugger and KBF). A chartreuse Woolly Bugger with grizzly hackle brought an average largemouth, a nice colorful pumpkinseed, and the smallest bluegill I've ever caught there (5") out to play, the first two bending the rod over good. I got to see all three fish take the fly - the chartreuse showed up well in the fairly clear water and I could see it disappear every time a fish grabbed it! Fun to fish visually like that...but those damned flies drove me out, getting in my face and biting up my hands and arms good. Itching plenty today...

After that, I drove to a little creek that crosses under a dirt road, with a culvert between two nice pools up- and downstream. I've actually caught brookies there before - it's a little trib to the Pine - but the hot weather probably had them all turned off, though the water didn't look low. I mustered up one little chub on the POG Bugger so at least I didn't get skunked there either! But again the deer flies came after me in numbers and started chomping down on me again, not to mention trying to fly up my nose, etc. And sadly, there were plenty of wildflowers blooming in both places, black-eyed Susans and daisies and etc. but the flies were so distracting I didn't want to give them more opportunities to puncture me! I got these beautiful milkweeds on the way in to Clark's Marsh, and wasn't assaulted by deer flies there because I wasn't near the water, so I have something to show you anyway...

Then I spent the evening at a friend's place in town and listed to what sounded like a major battle going on all around us. I guess I got my fascination with explosives out of my system when I was in the Army, where we had REAL explosives to play with (carefully!). I remember "grenade day" in Basic Training, when we all got to throw one live one (versus the blue practice ones that just went "pop"). Marching into the range we heard what sounded like thunderclaps, as if lightning bolts were hitting things and blowing them to pieces. Whoa, are those the grenades? Yeah they were...in fact we each got to watch one go off though a periscope from behind a cinder-block wall, and they make a fireball the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Ouch!


Well, got robbed of a full week's worth of classes too, due to the middle-of-the-week holiday. It would have been difficult to go ANYWHERE without encountering "civilians" who love to come over and ask "What are you doin'?" Not to mention feeding the deerflies, but then again they'll be around for a while...won't be fishing a few places during this time!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TroutnutJuly 5th, 2018, 10:55 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2457
For the 4th itself, I was home getting some work done and went to see fireworks in the evening. But for the preceding weekend, you've seen my posts already. My go-to solution for busy weekends in general is to seek small streams where someone has to do a lot of work or know a really obscure spot to access small but abundant trout. There's almost always solitude to be found.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
PartsmanJuly 5th, 2018, 1:01 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 181
Thanks Jonathon and Jason for the great photos, I have family here from Arizona and Oregon, so dealing with them and the heat! Its been fun but damn this heat. Hopefully the second half of the season here in Michigan will be as much fun as the first half, Im really looking forward to some hopper fishing, if we can just get a bit of cool off. Oh did I mention its hotter than hell here!

Mike.
WbranchJuly 11th, 2018, 5:27 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2381
I rented a drift boat and floated six miles of the Missouri River in Montana.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PartsmanJuly 11th, 2018, 6:25 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 181
Matt, Im jealous. how did you do? Some pictures to come?

Mike.
Jmd123July 11th, 2018, 6:50 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2304
Yes, Matt - pics? You can't just tease us like that now.

Jonathon

P.S. I didn't go fishing today because of...antihistamines. I popped one Zyrtec this morning and I've been feeling like a zombie all day. It's that or itch all over from various bites and pollen and contact allergies and...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchJuly 12th, 2018, 10:48 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2381
Everyone,

I have yet to download pictures from my phone and camera to the PC. I got home Tuesday morning at 2:00 a.m. I hung around home and unpacked Tuesday. Yesterday I put the bass boat in the Susquehanna for the first time this year. Today was a property weeding day with my wife. Tomorrow back to the bass fishing. Hopefully over the weekend I will put the pictures onto the PC.

Honestly there are very few fish pictures. When my partner and I were wade fishing in the Dillon area we were rarely close enough to each other to get a picture. When we rented the drift boat very few of the fish were picture worthy. Less than 19" just does not get photographed. Although we made an exception since so few bigger fish were being caught.

There are some pretty scenery pictures and even a few flowers. All the rivers that feed the Missouri were double their historic flow for the period. The Missouri was 15,000 cfs when I arrived in Montana on June 28. I paid for lodging in both Wolf Creek Montana for 11 days and in Dillon, Montana for 7 days. Dillon was a back-up plan and we kept the Wolf Creek lodging hoping the Missouri would go down. I left Dillon on July 05 and the Missouri was still 11,000 cfs. When I left on Monday afternoon it was just under 10,000 cfs. Today it is 7300 cfs.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutJuly 13th, 2018, 12:15 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2457
All the rivers that feed the Missouri were double their historic flow for the period.


Wow, why the high flows? Rainfall or an extended snowmelt season?

I'm looking hard at a Montana trip in mid-late August and wondering if I could expect normal conditions then.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123July 13th, 2018, 12:40 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2304
"There are some pretty scenery pictures and even a few flowers."

Looking forward to seeing them all, Matt, not just the fishies. Scenery is what makes the trip worthwhile! Who wants to fish in an ugly place? All of my fishing spots are gorgeous, and sometimes that beauty deserves some photographs. Look at Jason's stories!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchJuly 13th, 2018, 4:03 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2381
Jason,

Wow, why the high flows? Rainfall or an extended snowmelt season?

I'm looking hard at a Montana trip in mid-late August and wondering if I could expect normal conditions then.


Huge snow pack winter 2017 - 2018. 150% of normal snow. More in some regions. There is still plenty of snow on the Pioneer Mountains a bit north of Dillon and a lot of snow on the mountains that parallel the Madison from Ennis to West Yellowstone.

You will be fine though. Just since Monday the Missouri dropped from 9950 cfs to 6200 cfs. There was very little dry fly fishing when I left yet it turned on last night. My friend stayed an extra week and it was a smart move. He went 11 for 15 last night and all on a #20 CDC caddis. One 20" brown, a 19" brown, one 19" rainbow, and all the rest 17" - 18". There are epic Trico spinner falls in the morning, the PMD's are still quite strong but waning soon. Still huge spinner falls, sometimes throughout the day. Very good evening cinnamon caddis. If you have never fished the Missouri it would be worth it to try and spend a few days there. If you do decide to go there I will PM you some very good walk-in wade spots. I saw more rattlesnakes this year than I did in the last three years combined.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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