Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MI Trout Opener

Well I am sitting here thinking back on what has transpired over the last week. Being able to look back it doesn't seem as fast paced as it was when it was happening. Go figure. So with that being said let me get to it.

One of my favorite trips of the year is the Michigan trout opener. It is like a deer camp but only in the spring. You meet up with guys you don't normally get to see throughout the year. The food is always something to write home about. Stories always seem to be more funny when told up at camp than anywhere else.

It was Thursday and we were set to leave at ten bells. Dave had showed up at 7:30 and decided he wanted to take a nap since he worked all night. (You will see a pattern here) I decided to finally pack my clothes since it was only a couple hours until our departure. This is not really a tough task or a long one since the gear is always ready to go. Just a matter of getting it into the truck. Gear is at the truck and waiting on Art to show.

Art shows up and sleeping beauty awakes to a nice Sharpie mustache. Just my way of saying thank you for falling asleep on my couch and welcome to our weekend of fun. We load the gear up and and realize that Dave may end up having to ride on top of all the gear in a rocking chair ala the Beverly Hillbillies. We were able to clear out a cubby hole for him and off we went.

There is nothing better than getting out of town and knowing that you are gonna be doing your thing with no worries. The ride up was hilarious as usual. Nothing but stories joking and a very pathetic rendition of Country Road by Art and myself. Let's hope that it doesn't make it to any of the footage shown from the week.

We arrive and unload the gear into the cabin. Let me tell you it is as rustic as rustic can be. No running water, electricity and is at the end of a two track out in the middle of nowhere a few hundred yards off the Big Mannistee river. There is no signal for your cell phones so there really is no interruption except maybe a bear that may get hungry and wants to see if we have anything as far as left overs. Now its time to turn on some Bocephus and Johnny Cash and sit back and relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Well Cy showed up a little while later as well as my brother in law. Like I said before it is great to see these guys. The joking and stories immediately get going and the good times start. As everyone settles in we decide that we should go into the local town and grab a bite to eat. It was good to unwind and just relax without the cameras around. Don't need anymore blooper shots. We discussed our plan of attack and decided to do some scouting when we woke up before the rest of the crew showed up.

Well we woke up and once again Dave looked like he got into a fight with a Sharpie. Man when he sleeps he sleeps hard! Off to scout and put in the last bit of work before the fun begins. We split into to groups to check out more streams. With that behind us we made our way back to camp to wait for the other guys to show up. More hanging and telling stories. Then the rest of the crew showed up and game on let the festivities begin.

Can't fish til midnight so what are we to do until then? Grab the PSE's and start letting the arrows fly! I just wish Mike wouldn't have been so cheap and picked up the Sasquatch target at the sporting goods store on his way up. Who cares it was almost $700. Help some brothers out and spread the wealth. It was great to shoot the new rigs and try and get them dialed in. Man I can't wait til bow season, because I am about to hand out some dinner invitations. If that wasn't enough fun we decided since we always have the guns with us we might as well shoot some clays in preparation for duck, goose and whatever else flies through the skies that we can shoot. So we burned through a ton of shells and ridiculed whoever missed and called it good because it was time to fill the gas tank with food. Big boys gotta eat.

Once again Cy outdid himself with the dinner. Over 20 lbs. of ham in this boiled dinner! Then used it for tomorrows lunch to make bean soup. I will put this guy up against any camp cooks in the world. He is definitely the bomb dot com. With the gas tanks full it was time to load the gear and head out to our night spot.

Midnight came and lines went in the water and the anticipation began. Other than more talking and stories not much really happened. Well Dave fell asleep in his chair after about a half hour fishing. I had to wake him up to tell him he had a fish on. then it was off to the truck for him so he could continue to sleep. (Remember the pattern thing I mentioned earlier?) That was pretty much it. Very cold and the fish weren't biting and so it was back to camp at 3:00 AM.

5:30 came quick and we were off to another stream. One of the coolest things for myself and Art was the fact that it was Mike and Mikey's first time doing this. I love to get people out and experience new things. My goal for the trip was to get them their first trout. We caught some fish except the two guys that we wanted to have catch them. Not a bad morning but the rain had put a damper on things. Off to the cabin for brunch.

24 eggs, 5 lbs. of taters, 2 loaves of bread and a whole ton of bacon and all eight guys in camp were happy. Then Dave needed to go to sleep. (pattern?) We went out in the evening to the "Drop Zone" and i enjoyed running camera when the boys made their way down the steep hill. Especially catching Art loosing his footing and sliding quite a ways down. (This can be seen in the latest episode of Beyond the Wild)

We had a great time and enjoyed the pristine scenery. I worked with Mike for about two hours and finally we got his first brownie! That made my weekend a big success. To me that was more important than getting all the video footage, pics and personally catching all the fish I caught. We all had a great time that evening and caught quite a few fish. The thing I will remember most though is the time spent on the stream with these guys and enjoying the peace and quiet.

Well unfortunately that was the last time for the weekend we were able to be in the stream fishing due to bad weather. We ended up having breakfast with the crew and then made our way home. Art mentioned that everyone we saw driving didn't look so happy. Of course not, they were heading back home and already thinking about the stress of everyday normal life. For me I started thinking about the next trip five days later.

Nuff Said.


  1. Man, I fell left out. That sounds like a great time. I cant wait until I can hit the stream with you.

  2. Chico that was a Great story. I am starting to think Dave likes the smell of Sharpies.