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23 Aug

Ya Don’t See This Every Day

CO Jason Wicklund of Iron County sent me the photos with an open invite to title it as I choose. There were (and are) all sorts of temptations, but we’ll leave it at Ya don’t See this every day. Over.

Our Michigan COs certainly encounter some unusual sights.

22 Aug


54 days on da road, 52 of them in the Yoop. Bears and wolves, snakes, northern lights and aurora borealis,  visiting friends, making new friends, a triple-rainbow, smallmouth, brook trout, Lake Superior storms, agates, high wind, heavy rain, lots of good work done — cartoons, poems, some shooting with a 30/40 Krag (180 grain) carbine used by Teddy Roosevelt’s Roughriders. Pretty strange and thrilling  to look down the sights of a rifle made in 1896 and still being used for UP deer hunting up till two years ago.  The bolt actions is as smooth as it came off the production line yesterday. That’s quality we don’t often see any more, folks.  Also signing- readings in Newberry and Boyne City, edited a book manuscript, and kept a journal. Details to follow after photos get unloaded. Hope everyone’s  summer is going as well as here. I’m looking forward to being in the field with officers this coming fall.  Leaves are changing color already and the Eastern UP was at one point, according to the Soo Evening News, “experiencingthe wettest summer on record.”


28 Jun

A Message from Limpy Allerdyce

I got an email this morning from Limpy Allerdyce.  Who knew the old poacher could even use a computer? He’s very concerned about how I portray what he insists is not his slaughtering of the English language, so to show me he knows dem rules, eh, he attached the following. Read and enjoy. This is our last post until sometime in latter August. If you see me in a town in the UP let’s talk. If you see me on a river, ignore me, and press on. Hope everyone has a fine summer.

For 75th birthday, dis man  he get dat gift cerkafickett  fum da wifey. Dis cerkafickett pay  visit to mendasin  man living over dere  dat Hannahville regsernation. Dis mendasin man rumored have mirrorcal cure for dat pokey pecker problem hit some old timers.

[Limpy he added in an aside, "Me,Holy Wah,  I ain't got dat problem, eh"]

But back to story, eh. After being persuaded, he drives  regsernation, hands his cerfkifkett to the mendasin man .

Old In’din, he turn around slow,  methodickally mix up  a potion, hands it to him, and with a grip on shoulder, tell old coot, “Dis is powerful mendasin and it must be respected. You take only a teaspoonful and then say ‘1-2-3′. When you do that, you will become more manly than you have ever been in your life and you can perform as long as you want.”

Da man  t’inks, dis sound  bloody good.  As he walk away, he turn, ast, “How I stop mendasin fum working?”

“Your partner must say ‘1-2-3-4′,” he said. “When she does that, it will not work again until the next full moon.”

The old gent he’s all worked up, see, chomping at bit see if dis stuff work so he drive da truck home quick-like, shower, shave close, put on Canuck fo0-foo juice, take spoonful of the mendasin and invite his wifey to join him in bedroom. When she came in, he took off his clothes and said, “1-2-3!”  Just as mendasin man promise, boing-boing,  inkstandedly old timer’s da manliest of men [Da chief Green Bay Pecker....]

His wifey, seein’ dis mirrorcal, she ’bout faint, get all flummoxorated an’ excited, began t’rowing off her gear. Then she askt, “What was that 1-2-3 bit for?”

And DAT, all youse kittles and germs , iss why we shun’t  never end no sendenses wit no propositions, onnaccount could mebbe end up wit a dat dangling parkiciple.

Tight lines and over. I’ll keep an eye on Allerdyce this summer, make sure he doesn’t stray too far off the legal regsernation


24 Jun

Forrest Gumpdom

General Stanley MacChrystal’s  gaffe ended just as it should — with his resignation. Remember the episode of Truman and MacArthur?

Stan the Man

over in Afghanistan,

shoulda hung up the phone

not yak out his guts

with Rolling Stone.

Since this was not his first


off the reservation

this time made him tender

his resignation.

In our way of doing things

(it’s called the constitution)

civilian leaders pick the songs

and expect our soldiers to go along.

When generals start to sing

a different lyric

it makes civilians

leaders quite hysteric.

PS. If we had just stayed in Afghanistan and taken it to the finish this OBL crap  when this all began (i.e., did not divert to Iraq). All this crap might be over and troops might be home. Strategic errors always stretch downstream, the only issue, how far, and for how long.  Forrest Gump said it best: Stupid is as stupid does. And like that. Over.

20 Jun

Junque Art Runnerup in L’Anse

Sweet art is made from things you find when you are outdoors. C'est bon. Well done and congratulations, Elaine. You was robbed of first!

Ms. Elaine Dougovito took second place in the Baraga County Trout Festival, Junk Art section. I don’t classify driftwood as junque. I think her fish is tres cool. Thanks to Chas Marschke for sharing. Over.

18 Jun

Manistee Notes

This “rackelfrackle” Word Press software couldn’t serve as a crapper for snakes. I lost my narrative, so here tiz for previous post. Jambe Longue and I got back late yesterday from Grayling. Tuesday night we walked into the Deward section with a nasty east wind and few fish rising, and sporadic sulfurs popping, but it is a beautiful stretch and we enjoyed the quiet and solace of a beautiful river.  That night we enjoyed the sound of a deluge on the Gates Lodge roof. Meanwhile, our friend and guide Joe Guild was down toward Parmalee on the main river with gorgeous girlfriend Casey and behind them followed  Casey’s dad and two pals, who somehow got sideways to a tree and swamped their drift boat at 1 AM or so.  Joe and Casey saw stuff the men had been wearing come down the river and charged back up the bank to find the men wet, cold,  bruised, and shaken, but otherwise  good to go.  Next morning was spent recovering the boat.

Many of us enjoy night fishing, but sometimes we forget how precarious it can be and how quick you can go from ecstasy to a near-death experience — or  even further south. It often seems placid, but night fishing is not for the timid, and if you’re afraid of darkness, stay home. Please.

On a happier note, Joe reported Tom Izzo will stay at Michigan State for the rest of his career and I felt great about this decision.Izzo is the sort of college coach who makes a difference in lives. The pros don’t need him. College kids do.

Wednesday we floated with from Hole-in-the-Fence on the Manistee River (below M-72) to Yellow Tree, this  float and  lodging  a wedding gift from Robochef and wife J.P.  We had fine overcast conditions (a trout sky)  and amazingly, Hexagenia limbata flies hatching at 3 PM and continuing to hatch sporadically all afternoon. Unfortunately it’s real hard to trick a big trout into eating a large fly in full light conditions, so we downsized to a #12 or 14 Robert’s Yellow Drake and caught fish on that and a yarn-body isonychias all afternoon. Yarn bodies ride right in the film and fish seem to like this dressing.

We stopped in a gorgeous cedar grove and Chef-Guide Joe  grilled marinade steaks and opened a fine bottle of Cab to wash it down. It was a great day, 30-40 fish and all sorts of interesting sights, like the mind who happened onto a family of ducks and created an absolute ruckus and I was lucky enough to capture a photo. We also saw a scarlet tanager feeding on airborne hex flies and in the evening we had burring nighthawks, whose wings make a sound sort of like someone who had taken in a mouthful of big flies and is trying to gag his windpipe free. Something along that line.  And we also had a coyote serenade. Often the things you see on a trip are what make the trip, not the fish you catch.

Animal count for the trip: 16 great blue herons, 14 deer, 13 turkeys, 12 eagles, 12 dead deer, 3 sandhill cranes, 2 mink, 1 red belly woodpecker, 4 kingfishers, 1 scarlet tanager, 1 porcupine, 1 muskrat.  I wrote the following poem the morning of the float. Enjoy and Over.

Suiting Up

Fishing is life’s metaphor,

preparation for ifs and whens,

neither guaranteed,

a test of commitment

to possibilities

imagined and hoped for,

in full knowledge these things

are in our minds alone.

In fishing we declare our intent

to walk the talk,

see it through, no matter

what happens, never

to bemoan what didn’t,

only to cheer what did,

neither real life nor angling

ever about catching.

18 Jun

The Magnificent Upper Manistee

Jambe Longue liking lichen art.

"Uh, like I need to uh, like go in the woods? Go away!"

Looks like this spider captured a Vitamin E capsule...

Teamwork in landing a big brown.

Big grins

A large fish ate noisily just on the bank and to left of the trees as we look at the scene. Joe back up the riverboat and a couple of casts and drifts later, the fight was on as the fish immediately ran under the boat to get the tussle under way.

Joe and Lonnie pose with the result of the tussle. 19 7/8-inches of fighting brown trout.

hex flies like this won't fool fish in daytime hatches, but at night during spinnerfalls they're just the ticket. My hand gives you and indicadation of the fly size.

Nature's loom. When you look closely you see some amazing visual things, like this branch tucking under a lichen carpet.

No spinnerfall tonight, it's time to haul the boat up to the truck trailer.

Back yesterday from Grayling, where Tuesday night we hiked into the Deward section of the Manistee, and wednesday floated from Hole in the Fence to Yellow Trees. This trip was wedding gift from Robochef and spouse J.P. and our friend Joe Guild was our guide and chef.  Another great float: We had Hexagenia limbata flies (Michigan Mayfly) hatching in spurts all afternoon, but in daytime you can’t trick fish with a full-size fly, so we switched to a small Robert’s Yellow Drake (size #12 or #14), found a feeding fish, and bingo! We also watched a mink run onto a log and create chaos for a duck family. We had night hawks, whose burr is like someone inhaled a mouthfull of big bugs and is trying to hacking them out of their windpipe.  We also not only had a scarlet tanager, but also got to watch HIM eating hex flies, and as dark fell we were serenaded by coyotes. Lunch were steaks and fixin’s and an excellent cabernet at a scenic stop. We caught fish all day long and had hex spinners in the air at the finish after 10 pm, but the temp dropped and the spinner went back into the trees to await a more propitious time to have their once in a lifetime orgy. The phenomenon of daytime hex hatches on the Manistee is from it being too cold the night before to hatch, so they hatch under overcast conditions the next day. Very strange and wonderful to observe. Fish ate RYDs and Isonychias all day long. Pix follow. Enjoy. Over.

Purple iris on the bank mean it's hex time.

Closer look at beautiful purple iris

Launching the Au Sable boat -- downhill of course.

Starting the float at Hole in the Fence

Three in the afternoon, and hex are a popping!

All is well in duckland...

..then the minkie shows and chaos ensues!

Jambe Longue with a nice brookie taken on an isonychia yarn fly

Dinner Among Cedars

Chef-Guidw Guild prepping dinner.

Steak flambe

Jambe Longue upriver the night before the float, dangling a soft-hackle Steak in a bag

Scenic stump on the upper Manistee

Manistee Trout hotel in Deward Section

The Old Guy Winches home a nice brown on a Robert's Yellow Drake

Wine time.

18 Jun

Big Water Mio Fishing

Years ago I hooked Bob in the lip with a rattlesnake streamer and to make amends created a mask for him to use, complete with painted streamer hanging down. The mask is now in his shop in Mio.

God the bottle opener.

Fudgie’s Man-Cave

To belatedly continue with previous post, last week we drove to Mio and fished with “Captain” Bob Linsenman, accompanied en flotilla by angleteros Godfrey Grant, Lew Carlson, and Bill Start. Want to see interesting? Watch a trio of septuagenarians operate their own drift boat and wade like 20-somethings– only a whole lot smarter. As a real surprise we stopped at Detroiter Steve “Fudgie” Scott’ s cabin below our launch point at Comins Flat, where the lads prepared a steak lunch with all the fixin’s for Jambe Longue and yours truly. Then it was down river and a post deluge stop at Taiga’s Pool for champagne to celebrate the first day of spring wedding officiated by God, the float a gift of God  and his spouse,  the Lovely Laurie.  Carlson and Stout were there for comic relief.  Great time. We got ten fish, all small, browns, rainbows and brookies.  The trio caught a lot more, especially closer to McKinley.  For the trip to Mio, river float and return trip the animal count was : 28 deer, 18 turkeys, 17 blue herons, 11 kingfishers, 8 dead deer, 6 bald eagles, 3 redtail hawks, 3 red belly woodpeckers, 2 woodchucks, 2 snapping turtles, and one coyote.  Great trip. The tasty  dinner was a huge surprise and Champers on Taiga’s pool hits the spot, especially since a humongous brown fed on a smaller trout as we sat anchored, driving the smaller fish out of the water, the bigger fish skying behind the prey. Later we saw this event a second time and during the trip we also watched swallows actually lifting hatching bugs off the river’s surface.   Usually they  are buzzing around in the air eating spinner forms. Jambe Longue fished nymphs under a bobber most of the day and I threw streamers — including a 7-inch Ditch Pig for a long time. Fun time. Photos follow. Over.

Jambe Longue casts, night before the float.

Bob's barge at the Comins launch.

Want to catch big fish on the Trophy Water below Mio? You'll need streamers, lots of them, and nasty weather all day. Big streamers equal big fish and it's a lot of work, and strikes rare, but worth it. This day the big fish didn't want to play with us.

Humping the Lunch Cooler Ashore

Bargeman's fanch oar decorations

Our host, Steve "Fudgie" Scott

Coordinating the flotilla.

Ran across this deal driving north. The Bibles have been 50 percent off for years. The sale on children is relatively new and apparently a better deal than discounted Holy Writs.

Champers libations at Taiga's Pool. From Left: Loosianaflaged God, Cap'n Linsenman, Ish, Lew Carlson, and Bill Start.

Attention Entymologists: This diminutive specimen of the Au Sable Deer Fly is on display at Bob Linsenman's Au Sable Angler. Buy bug dope while you are there.Nothing grander than theater fishing -- that is, watching trout predation as it happens. Note that only God is prepping to go get the gorilla fish!

Switching flies below Comins

11 Jun

Zipline Alaska

Friends Mike and Sue Webster recently took a cruise to Alaska and of course they had to try zip-lining.   Mike  describes the  experience: “In case you don’t know what zip lining is I’ll explain [it]We did this near Juneau. It involves a kind of a ride hanging on a steel cable. In our case we rode the wire in a sitka spruce canopy. It involved rides of over a 1,000 feet and heights of over 200 feet at speeds of over 40 mph. After a few zips I got ‘comfortable’ and stopped screaming like a little girl when I jumped off the platforms.” I doubt Sue made even a whimper when she launched from platforms. She’s by far the tougher of the Crystal Falls brace.

NOTE: No offense to little girls is intended.

Susie shares a couple of photos of Big Mike “way up dere in da pure-blue Alaskan air.

Back last night from two days of fishing the Au Sable Big Water below Mio. The fishing and company were great, the catching…not so much. I’ll post pix when I can get them downloaded. I had a grand slam on Wednesday: a brown, a rainbow and a brookie (USP ). To be sure we are clear  on this: USP does not refer to United States Pharmacopia. It means Under Six Pounds, which is trout angler code  (prevarication) for itsy-bitsy, hinky-dinky fish.


Note nary a sweat line.

Geez, helluva way to travel!

07 Jun

Gearing Up for Fish

Jambe Longues is retired officially now and today I started organizing for a kupla up-north days with the River Nazi and God, which sounds like an odd combo, but really isn’t. Never got all the fishing gear squared away last fall, so finding flies, tippet, Gink, reels and spools has been royal pain, and of course the dog is giving me a dirty look because he’s figured out he’s not going this time. Last Saturday we went to an art show and the Memorial Day Doodah Parade downtown. Sitting on the mall I saw these feet and thought for sure I was about to look up and find a leprechaun, but nope, just a person with too small a feet in too large shoes and a poorly fitted silk suit. Sheesh. Back with fish pix in a kupla…. I hope. Over.

Feet of a...regular person. Shoot!

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