Me a few years ago fishing Michigan’s Jordan River. Well, more than a few. About 20. Seems like yesterday. Friday I fished the south branch of the Au Sable — the main branch of which is referred to as the “holy water.”
I caught a small brook trout I released, but lost half a dozen, bumping and slurping my terrestrial fly but not grabbing it, could see them swimming by me as well. The day was hot, well into the 80’s, but I wasn’t hot in my waders because trout streams are cold. Never lost a fly, though I had to learn to negotiate my new wading staff–finally realized I needed to let it float in front of me instead of trying to fish with it tucked under my arm–it interfered with the tension I needed to keep on the line to cast properly. Unfortunately, the last few years have prohibited me being able to fish in a river you can actually back cast in at all. So I felt rusty. In the U.P. you mostly dunk worms into holes because there is so much structure and/or tag alders– or if you are lucky a roll cast when you actually fish with dry flies.
And I barely got any of U.P. fishing in the last few years with all the health crises — my son with testicular cancer, my dad with a lot of issues. But last year we made a trip to the Au Sable and barely fished from the bank as conditions were poor, the rivers too high.
But Friday was perfect. Maybe a touch of wind, but nothing horrible. Only one fisherman to compete for our water and he was finishing up. A kayaker or two. But mostly just a gurgling stream. Which is why I love the south branch. Years ago, a huge beaver or muskrat swam right up to me under water. Right by my leg. Got my motor running a little. And I’ve seen a snake or two over the years, headed my way. But I have memories of many peaceful days like Friday. Fly fishing takes concentration, but it’s so relaxing you don’t think of another thing and suddenly hours have passed–the biggest reason I don’t golf much anymore.
I’m never pissed off fishing–even if I lose a fly or two.
Playing the piano comes close, but even that is not as relaxing as fly fishing. Hiking is relaxing and beautiful but doesn’t keep your mind from wandering.
I know why people fish…
Brook trout. They can grow huge, but usually they run between 7 and 13 inches in my river and even in the Au Sable. They are the prettiest fish, even prettier than a rainbow. This is a little one about the size I released.
Today we are finishing up our kitchen project of transforming a coat closet that wasn’t wide enough for hangers into pantry shelves– and a little platform to make a coffee station and free up valuable counter space. I’ve ordered a lot of fun odds and ends like new black coffee cups with different colored insides to keep them straight, new wine glasses as ours have become etched, new kitchen towels as most of these are hideous and new oven mits and potholders. We turned a small antique table into a kitchen island by raising it to counter height and buying kitchen stools. And putting track lighting over it, moving an old antique fixture over the dining table to replace one I wasn’t fond of. Really transformed the kitchen.
We will be buying my parents’ home here in Elk Rapids soon which has been in our family since early 1900’s. (Dad had a reverse mortgage that served him well as he will be 89 this Nov. and never planned to live this long). The house was built in 1940 or so, yet it stands nearly on the property of my great great grandfather’s blacksmith shop. We’ve been here since 1850. My mother had an antique business and had fabulous taste–a little too country for my taste now, though. So some track lighting, less overall stuff, different rugs and furniture and art work, new appliances, an easy bathroom remodel, and a wall or two in the basement to make two private guestrooms with egress window–all in the works, yet my plans are to spend no more than $20K total. So the changes are not extensive still showcases my mother’s excellent taste, but will update and make the place fabulous, I think. Perhaps a blog on this again soon.
I have never posted my piece on race–too much went on here recently in terms of some business and health issues for me to focus. But it will show up soon.
Happy rainy Monday.