"This winter is too long," "I am tired of snow," "I can't believe that there is more snow in the forecast." Blah blah blah.
Making the most out of winter.
I get it, there is still snow falling in Michigan. You could look at this as a bad thing, a bummer, one more reason to sit on the couch and press play on just one more episode of ____________ on your DVR; or, you could make the most of it and go have some fun.
Face it: this winter is not stopping, and neither should you! Get outside and do something already!
Winter storm "Vulcan's" impact on my bike, no biggie.
When the winter weather hit this year I slapped a mountain bike tire up front and kept trucking. With the exception of one miserably slow slog through new snow in December and a few spills on the ice I was able to ride whenever I wanted to this winter due to this setup. This is definitely the most versatile bike that I have owned.
Several years ago I blogged for Pure Michigan about the ice formations that are found on Lake Michigan. At the time it was no big deal. In fact the post did not receive too much traffic. However, this year it seems the Big Lake's ice features have been receiving rave reviews.
When I was younger exploring the lake ice was a yearly occasion for me. I remember spending quite a bit of time out there the first winter that I had my driver's license. I thought that as I "grew up" the excitement of the ice on Lake Michigan would lose its majesty as most memories of youth tend to do; fortunately, that was not the case.
Every year I find an entrance to the icy playground, and every year it's just as much fun as the first time.
This is what a beach is supposed to look like; in 3-4 months there will be a few hundred people staggered along this section of beach.
While these are only about 1/2 to 2/3 the height of those in Leland I did not have to brave any sort of crowds or wait for parking to experience these.
The weather is quickly warming up and the season of playing on the ice is drawing to a close. If you haven't made it out there yet you probably have missed your chance. Better to play it safe and wait for next year than to wind up in the frigid drink.
I am eagerly looking forward to next year's ice season.
I am currently working on filling my fly boxes for the upcoming season. If I were in the northern part of the state I might be doing some midge fishing or looking for stealhead in some other way, but that is not the case.
If you don't know this about me, I am currently studying for the Michigan Bar Exam (February 25th and 26th) and I really needed some stoke to keep my sails full. That stoke came in the form of some FlyFishing Film Tour Tix (F3T). Two days after the bar exam I will be sitting in the Michigan Theater with a clear head and the excitement of a kid on Christmas. Go check out the trailers and head over the Schultz Outfitters in Ypsilanti to get some tickets; it is going to be a good time.
Anyhow, the boxes are getting filled with patterns that seem sort of odd to me: big meaty streamers. It is not how I normally flyfish, but I am told that it is one of the more productive approaches to take with warm water fish in southeast Michigan. We will see.
I have gotten back into fly fishing and tying so while on a recent trip to Atlanta I high-tailed it over to the local Orvis shop on Peachtree to pick up some necessaries.
My first metro Orvis visit.
Like most Orvis shops, their tying section left much to be desired but had some of the zonker-style things that I was looking for. Also like most Orvis shops they had all of the periphery gear, garb and lifestyle "stuff" attributable to those who fish. (I would love their Mission style fly tying bench.)
That being said the guy in the fly tying department was very helpful. Just the kind of person that I like to talk to behind the fly counter; not too over-the-top with the bro attitude, and not super secretive about what works locally. He was a well traveled fly fisherman who could bend your ear for hours will well crafted stories about "a perfect night," "matching a hatch," and how "that fly will catch fish any day." He was also familiar with northern Michigan waters and had nothing but good things to say about them... but then again, who wouldn't?
So kudos Atlanta Orvis shop. If I ever have to be in Atlanta again I will surely be stopping in.
I've lived in Ann Arbor for just over three years. In that time I have made numerous trips to the closest section of the Huron River to to try my hand at catching whatever would bite. I was never impressed with the mutants that I was pulling out; rock bass with white eyes, all-black bluegills, and other varying offerings that I refer to only as "panfish." Due to the many dams on the Huron I regarded it as a few long, slow-moving, oligotrophic lakes strung together that could only support halfbreeds and muttfish. But this summer I found out that people catch some sizable carp on the Huron. The sub/ counterculture of carp fishermen deserves a post of its own. Pictures of people landing 10 lbs + carp not far from where I live got me super stoked. I picked up appropriate tackle, but the season's best time coincided with my last set of law school finals. Needless to say, my dreams of horsing in copper-colored softmouths yielded to the necessity of my school duties. Fast forward a few weeks: I'm done with law school for good (graduation in a week and a half). Now, barring preparation for the Bar Exam (honestly, not a pun) my free time is truly free time. Today I put some of my free time to good use: I gave the Huron another shot.
I'm very glad that I made a serious effort to find a fishable portion of the Huron. It will give me one more resource to call on when I need a reprieve. We caught many Bluegill, a few smallmouths and quite a few decent-size rock bass. There were no trophy fish willing to suck up our flies but they were out there, in the water... and that will keep me coming back.
You get that Chernobyl Hopper little man!
Carp carp everywhere and me with my little 6 wt. Next time.