Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Cleaning!

It's been a while since my last post back in March, that is partly to do with just how busy I have been lately. The Michigan UNJ crew along with myself have been on the road hitting it hard trying to lay down some video on some trips for upcoming shows. I thought I would do a little spring cleaning and report on my recent trips I've been on.

Starting in Early April just after my youngest boy's first coon hunt, Chico and I made another trip north to hunt the elusive "Devil Dogs" or coyotes! We took Jake with us so he could experience what he refers to as "Big Boy Hunts" and he was more than ready to go after that night coon hunt from a few weeks earlier! We had one day to get the job done which really didn't leave us much time to layout a plan. We got to the hunting lodge well before daylight and got all our gear ready and hit the woods running to an area a buddy of mine told me he had heard yotes a few days before.

The Lodge In Northern Michigan

After setting up and calling for a while, then moving to a few different places and doing the same with no luck we decided to head back to the lodge for a little relaxing and getting a snack. Jake decided he wanted to wet a line in the lake to see if he could catch a fish or two but that was as successful as our morning hunt. We got ready for the evening hunt and made our way to a ridge line that my friend told me he had seen some yotes near recently. Chico split off from Jake and I and made his way down the ridge. After about a half hour to 45 minutes we moved across the two track to another ridge line. Just before we got to our destination we heard a pack of about 5 or 6 yotes break loose! All three of us hustled into position and Chico began to call back to them with the new Quaker Boy Chompers we had just gotten.

The pack responded back right away! Jakes eyes got big and he was ready to get the drop on one! Light was fading fast, but the pack was getting closer. Chico called again as light was almost gone with the yotes responding immediately only about 100 yards away! We couldn't see them yet and what little daylight we had was now gone and there wasn't any chance of seeing through the scope on the rifle. We did what we could but we just couldn't connect with them this time! This would be the last time we would get out to chase the Devil Dogs!

Our next adventure was a trip to Saginaw Bay to do a little perch fishing with part of the UNJ Michigan crew! Art, Chico, Kevin, Mikey and myself headed up to the cuts to get a little fish dinner one early morning in April. We stopped and got some bait on the way along with letting Mikey try his hand at milking a rather large cow at a local cheese factory! Don't ask!

Mikey Milking A Large Plastic Cow!

It was a cold moring with a few snow flurries flying about, but there were a lot of eager fisherman trying to do the same as us. We did manage to catch a few for dinner but we didn't slay them by any stretch of the immagination. It was a good time to be out and hang with the crew!

Mikey And I Doing A Little Perch Fishing

Next item of business for us was a few events that we attended. The first was the Turkey Extravaganza at Cabela's for Mossy Oak with a few good friends, then we had a meeting at Spot Shooter Archery in Holly Michigan to meet with PSE and shoot a few of their new bows in the 2010 lineup!

Me Working At Cabela's For Mossy Oak

I ordered mine and simply love it! The PSE Vendetta is the perfect fit for me and I can't wait to get behind it in the treestand this fall!

The New PSE Vendetta!

Our first big spring trip of the season was next in order! Trout Boot Camp 2010! Chico and Art warned me that this was going to be different from anything I have ever experienced and they were right. We spent our evenings at the little cabin in the woods with no electricity, running water, etc... It was rustic and that is the way I like it! We had some fun shooting our new bows and shooting some clays with the shotguns the day before the Michigan Trout Opener. We also had a tremendous amount of food that kept us fueled for what was ahead!

Art & Dave Hanging Out At Trout Camp!

Opening day came at Midnight Friday night! We spent a couple of hours fishing some deep holes on a nearby stream to try and hook into a big 'ol brown trout. Dave Hagen who was also with us was the only one who managed to catch anything that night. We hustled back to the cabin to grab about three hours sleep, then it was off for the morning to hit the streams with the spinning rods!

Fuel For The Hike On The Trout Stream!

We got to the parking area and then took a Boot Camp hike through the woods up and down hills through brush etc... to get started! I was WAY over dressed for this hike! I was wore out before we got started but once we got there to start, boy was it worth it! What beautiful scenery, I was in awe of what I was experiencing. I simply sat back and watched, listened and tried to take in as much information as I could that the boys were telling me. I tried my hand at it with little luck. It was then that I knew I might not catch one of these beautiful fish the entire weekend, it was WORK!

Mikey's First Brook Trout!

After a few trout being caught, the morning soon passed us by and it was time to head back to camp for lunch. After another tremendous meal by our camp cook Cy, we took back off to finish our day on what the boys refer to as the "Drop Zone" I found out why it was called that! The parking area was at the top of about a 150 - 200 yard drop almost straight down to the stream! I didn't worry about getting down there, I worried about how to get back up!

One Of Our Many Views

Once on the stream I knew why we came here! It was as if no one had ever been there before, not one thing to show that any human had ever stepped into that stream! The hard to reach places and out of the way places are the best places to hunt and fish and this was one of them! Mikey landed his first fish of the trip within a few minutes. It was a little 4 inch brook trout! It didn't take long for the rest of the crew to start catching a few fish either, except me! After about two hours of frustration, Chico told me that it was my gear I was using so I gave his a try. I noticed the difference immediately! Don't let anyone tell you that a good rod and reel doesn't make a difference, it does! I could cast exactly where I wanted to and the retreival on the reel was lightning quick!

Another Awesome View Of The Trout Stream

Within about 20 minutes I had my first trout! It was a thrill that I won't ever forget, I will always remember just how beautiful a place it truly was along with all the hard work that went into catching that first fish! What a rewarding experience! That was the only fish I caught that weekend, but I'm now hooked on it! I never was much into fishing but I did do it occasionally to satisfy the kids on a warm weekend day. Now I'm looking forward to the next trip on the trout stream!

My First Brown Trout!

Mikey's First Brown Trout!

It only took a week to get back out to the next stream. Chico and Art took me to a little stream in the middle of Michigan to chase the brown's again! This time I had quite a bit more luck on my side. We managed to land about 30 of them with most being under sized but boy was it fun to catch them! We did put a few in the creel for a later meal, but nearly all went back in including the biggest catch for me!

A Great View Of Weekend Two's Stream

I managed to land a nice 11 to 12 inch brown trout and I was pretty excited about it. I took it over to Art who had the creel which had measurements laid out on the outside of it. I wanted to see just how big it was and as I was getting ready to lay it on the side of the creel, the fish flipped and flopped right out of my hands and back into the water! I looked at my empty hands and simply laughed "Oh well, I guess I'm catching and releasing today"! It was simply another great morning spent with friends on the streams of Michigan and I can't wait to get back out again!

Out On Another Of
Michigan's Wonderful Streams

The last part of spring cleaning has to do with Turkey Season here in Michigan. As I write this, we are smack dab in the middle of it and I will post more as it becomes available. Keep your fingers crossed for me as I chase the elusive Tom's in Michigans woods! Shoot Straight and Be Safe!

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