Two weeks ago my wife and I took off on a 3,000 mile round trip to Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario and Michigan. Our favorite part of the trip was our day at Niagara Falls and the last 3 days in Michigan. The fall colors where almost in full display, the Chinooks were running and the Steelhead were just getting started.
On our way through Pennsylvania we stopped off for a couple of days in Warren, to visit with my good friend Patrick Jordan and his family. Patrick has the distinction of being the fastest fly tier in the East. An honor he won a year ago during a fly fishing consortium in New York. Patrick has a great imagination and can be very creative with his flies. He takes custom orders and also ties for several shops in his part of the state. He has tied flies for Lefty Kreh, and Donald Trump Jr. Give him a call at 814-723-0778 for some custom tied flies for your next trip. Or contact him at 125 Pleasant Dr. Warren PA 16365.
After talking to Patrick, we decided to not fish in New York because of the projected crowds. We were planning to fish the Salmon river for a couple of days, but after hearing the reports decided against it. We did take in Niagara Falls for a day while we were there. I think anyone that is ever in that area should not miss the opportunity. It is just spectacular to see, hear and feel the enormous power.
We stopped off at Houghton Lake in Northern Michigan for 4 days to fish for Walleye. We only came up with one Walleye, a few small Northern , one Red Ear Sunfish, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed and a little Yellow Perch. On the last day of our Walleye fishing we were told that the winter and summer fishing on the lake was about as poor as anyone has seen it. Nice to know after the fact. If we had known ahead of time we would have fished another location for Walleye. We had a good time despite the poor fishing, and we had a great place to stay at the Sands Beachfront Resort. Good people, great prices. You can contact them at 989-422-5295 or visit them at www.sandsbeachfrontresort.com .
We spent the last three days of our trip fishing for Chinook Salmon on the Pere Marquette River. This was a new experience for us and we didn't know what to expect. The first day I went alone to try to find us a good location, as few fishermen as possible and hopefully some fish to catch. Finding such a location on the PM this time of year was difficult. The river is very well known for the fall salmon runs and it draws people from all around the world in September and October. After about half a day of driving around I decided on a spot where we would be able to have room to cast, just a few fishermen and there were plenty of fish. I landed the first fish I caught on Monday and it only took two casts. I thought this was going to be easy. I went 0 for 12 the rest of the day. I hooked up with 13 fish total on Monday and only landed 1. I had lost every egg sucking leech I tied up for the trip in one day. My 10 pound tippet wasn't holding up too well and my leader had taken a ton of abuse. I decided to change my leader and tippet for the second day with much stronger line. Switching to a heavier leader and 13lb tippet the next day was the key to our success. The change allowed my wife and I to land several fish. The largest one we caught was 37 inches. Despite breaking one rod, burning up the drag on one reel and destroying a couple of leaders we had a great time. We found out that these fish required some heavy gear, and a lot more respect than we were lead to believe. Our next new adventure is going to be for steelhead and we can't wait.
If you look closely you will notice eggs falling out of my fish.
The river was a little off color, but we could still see fish about 4 feet down
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the gracious people from the state of Michigan. Everywhere we went and everyone we met in Michigan was very helpful and very kind to us. A special thanks to Ray Kade for all of his help and advice.