Bring on the veggies

Enjoying the fruits or should I say veggies of our labor. Some of the first produce showing up in our first garden. It has been a very enjoyable process, digging, racking, planting, pruning, weeding, watering and now finally starting the eating.
As the intent of the blog is to show the many joys of out door activities, my main focus will for the most part be water related joys. Here are a couple pics of what working the land can provide. More fish related pics coming soon, as the hopper shots are starting to come in. Hot weather not only helps the tomatoes grow, but gets our hoppers going as well.

Grand Traverse Bay Carp

Had the opportunity to film and photograph Ed McCoy today on the Grand Traverse Bay for the big boy carp that swim the waters of the great lakes. Working with Chuck Hawkins and Ed we are trying to put together a short 2-3 minute carp fishing video. So I shot a couple hundred pictures and minutes of film so that we can develop a carp video for the hawkins website. Look for it soon. Hope it turns out, if not I guess I’ll have to go shoot more footage, the things I must do!

Fishing crayfish patterns and other fresh water patterns very similar to bonefish flies used in the salt. There is something special about wading the flats of Grand Traverse that reminds me of fishing in the Caribbean . The crystal clear waters with three shades of blueish green water are a nice break from the river shorelines that I’m spoiled by.

Carp fishing this year is off to a great start, as the beasts from the deep have crashed the shallows after last weeks warm up. The first part of June should be prime to hunt these golden bones.

Now that May is here..

May is here and mother nature and trout fishing are rolling around nicely. Morels will be popping with warm temperatures and this past weekends thunderstorms. Most trees have buds popping, almost looks like fall in some spots with the multi-colors. Bright days have the sky line screaming insane colors of blue. Hard for me to choose which season I really do like more spring or fall? I’ll have to say spring for now, as the amount of additional life forms running around. Wish I could just carry my camera everywhere!

Upper picture is a shot of the Manistee River below Tippy. I so do love this river, especially outside the months of April and September. With nobody else on the river today, trout fishing was pretty epic. One can choose from skating caddis, to swinging wet-flies, to ripping streamers. Today our weapon of choice was the 2/0 streamer. With many nice trout coming to hand, and couple “oh my god, look at that” butter balls showing their sides, we had a great day on the river.

Enjoying our lunch riverside we had one of my favorite bugs join us, the Giant Stone fly. Or
Pteronarcys dorsata , better wise known as the Salmon Fly. I think most people only think this is a western bug, but here in Michigan we do have a pretty big hatch, you just have to know where to look. Also you have to know how to fish the bugger. But when you figure it out, as I’ve mentioned before, be ready. The strikes are some of the best in the game for dry fly fishing. The Salmon fly will continue to hatch sporadically over the next month. Triggering some of the best dry fly fishing of the year!

Beaver Ponds

Spring is a great time of year to reconnect with the outdoors, after spending most of Oct – April on the same sections of water looking for my friendly little steelhead, I am now on the hunt for the mighty brown trout. This past Saturday marked the opening of all waters in Michigan to trout fishing, giving me the chance to see some of best water Michigan has to offer. While floating down the river of the Manistee, I saw a small stream that I did not remember flowing from the bank. The countless times I had floated by this area, I never knew the beavers had been working so hard. The little pond I was about to find, would give this float even more intrigue. The question’s I had to ask, are there brook trout or brown trout already in this pond? Why did the beavers build a pond here? How many people do I share this information with? How long will it take for the pond to hold trout? How many people already know about his little gem? I totally have to come back in the evening to see if trout are rising!

What is so great about the outdoors is that all my questions will be answered with time. This little pond I hope to watch grow, I hope to find a couple trout cruising around in it one day. And the best part for me, as I enjoy the journey of the great outdoors, is how many more little presents are around the next corner?

Trillium and Black Caddis are early this year!

I do find it interesting the relationship between aquatic insects and wild flowers. How certain bugs and certain flowers appear at the same time year in and year out. The Black Caddis and the Trillium share this relationship. Trillium grandiflorum is often the first wildflower noticed by casual walkers; other spring wildflowers are much less apparent. ie the Trout Lilly (a very small yellow wildflower that is one of the first to bloom). Black caddis on the other hand are a smaller aquatic insect, and get far less coverage than the bigger Hendrickson. Black caddis usually range from size 16 to 18. With the females being the larger and also carrying around a little green egg sack.

Up to yesterday not having seen either a Trillium in bloom or a Black Caddis in the air. As I rounded the second or third bend in our float I noticed on the bank a blooming Trillium. Just as the first robin of the year brings memories of spring to mind, so do these three-petaled flowers. No more than a couple hours later I saw the tantalizing dance that all caddis share, as three or four caddis did there thing just above the riffling water. Now how does mother nature do that? The trillium and the black caddis are both known to share this time of year, but how do they plan their arrival for the very same day.
Thank you Ann Miller for sharing one of your amazing images, thank you for the use of your black caddis.