What do Birthday Trout, Bumper Stickers & Dirty Jerky all have in common? Nothing really. We figured the title would draw you in and dupe you into reading our blog. Can you blame us? But in all seriousness, all three have been photographed and officially documented within this acknowledged digital layout of funny quips and witty facts that we call our humble abode of a blog. Don’t believe us? Well, if you read this blog post in its entirety, all the way to the end, without skipping anywords, dwelling on each picture and its caption for at least a minute at a time, and adding a comment at the end…then you will know for sure. Ha, we did it again! A marketing degree really does come in handy. Ok, we’ll stop at that. We don’t mean to COKE with your minds and GATORADE you into continually reading this blog with subliminal messaging. We truly appreciate your RED BULL and hope that you enjoy this blog on a weekly basis not because you are TEQUILA too, but because you take pleasure in reading about our riverbumming experiences and look forward to learning more about BUSCH LIGHT. Hey, anyone thirsty?
So as fall was officially rung in on Friday, we found ourselves in search of some decent trout fishing. We rented a black buick and headed to the beautiful state of Michigan..
Saturday- Day 1
The Riverbums were a bit hazy on this particular Saturday morning popping aspirins and sucking back V8 tomato juice (A full serving of vegetables in every swig). Let’s just say Dad was the bell of the ball at his co-workers’ wedding and AC had a little too much fun with the locals and a bottle of Don Julio in Pilsen. Despite the licquor up and lacquer down, no hangover would silence these bums. So we packed up and headed out to the Pere Marquette River in Baldwin, MI.
With an average water temp of 50-54 degrees, the Saturday was a perfect day for salmon and trout. Known to be stocked with brookies, browns, steelhead rainbows and of course salmon, the PM is one of the most popular and crowded trout streams in Michigan. Our mission: Steelhead, Our choice of weapon: Casting rods, Our choice of lure: Rainbow patterned hollow bellies with black jigs. We have had success with these lures in the past with steelhead in the Milwaukee river. The lake run steelies love these realistic looking treats and they range in all sizes and colors. Therefore, they are a great lure to use in any steelie creek, streem, or wide river.
Steelies love these hollow bellies on casting rods
We accessed the river at Gleason’s Landing off of 62nd ave and we’re we shocked or what? The parking lot was packed with every kind of fisherman and boater you could find… fly fishermen, bait fishermen, canoers, kayakers, even skinny dippers! We knew right away that this was going to be a tough day. Despite the fact that this river is one of the most famous in Northern US, it also was the last weekend of regulation trout season in this river. The last day is September 30th and everyone wanted one final taste of the Pere Marquette’s generous taleful. But, with clear skies and a bearable temperature of 55 degrees we waded out into the artificial, non-fly zone area, sporting our hope high for a big steelie (or two!)
AC Plugging for Steelies in the Pere Marquette
Within an hour or so, we waded past dozens of fishermen and dozens of boaters. In one chance encounter we ran into a father and son walking along the path that was carved alongside the river. This is one reason we choose rivers that are hard to access and pathless..because that means less people. The son was dragging behind him about 6 salmon in a net singing some sesame street song and screaming to his father to slow down cause the fish were too heavy. The father noticed us and pointed out a log jam that was harboring 20-25 salmon just around the bend. “The log jam is just full of them there,” the man pointed, “Just stick a bobber on and an orange egg sack and wait.”
Bobber? Egg sack? Wait? Just wait there? This was like listening to nails scratch on a chalk board or watching Elaine dance on Seinfeld or seeing Charlie Sheen’s surprise appearance on the Emmy’s or being locked in a chokey filled with scorpions as water fills up quickly…PAINFULL! That was the last thing we wanted to hear. The idea of just standing in one place, trolling plastic egg sacks for hours on end to catch one of the slowest fish you can possibly catch in a river. Not thank you. Just cause we’re RiverBums doesn’t mean we only beg on one river corner my friends? Hell no! These are RiverBums that make an appearance in every nook and cranny of a river, casting thousands of times wherever there is water, in hopes of catching more than one fish. We were not going to waste the day away “snagging salmon” as they say.
So after realizing that we were too early for lake run steelies and the river was just too damn crowded, and we didn’t want to sit in one spot and snag a salmon and we were sick of seeing people and we couldn’t stand we decided to wade out after 5 hours on the river in search of some ice cold beers!
Of course, AC never leaves a river without first running into some type of animal or insect. And this time it was a wolf spider that hopped out and greeted AC with a friendly eight legged hello…
Wolf Spider that crawled on AC’s waders!
After spending an hour playing with the creepy crawler, AC joined Dad on the wade out and they headed to the town of Ludwig to the famous Brewing Company Inc for local beer and homemade reubens. On our way to the restaurant we stopped by the harbor and shot photos of the SS Spartan…
That’s one big LakeBum
So after a night in iconic ludwig of AC wooping Dad’s butt in air hockey in the hotel’s “Game room”(Yes, this hotel had a game room!) we headed off at 5 am for the Au Sable river in Grayling, Michigan. Another famous trout river of Michigan, the Au Sable runs nearly 130 miles across the state. Did you know that Au Sable means “the sand” in french? Well, it does and no surprise why this river was named such. A nice sandy bottom with beautiful curves around forest preserves and farm land.
So we grabbed our fly rods, popped on some ant and hopper patterns and fished just above the fly only zone in Grayling. After 2 hours casting, Dad and AC caught 4 HUGE brookies…
AC’s GIGANTIC Birthday Trout!
(Hey, big or small, it was a trout worth 23 years!)
Another HUGE Brown Trout!
We know what you are thinking? Man, can these fishermen reel them in or what? Ok, ok, so they weren’t the trophies we were hoping for, but cut us some slack line here… they were our first trout of the season and don’t worry… their are bigger ones where these don’t come from. And we can say this with confidence as we learned right there on the river (From a local fly fisherman fishing the Au Sable) that all the biggies had been fished out. Damn! Didn’t they get the memo that the RiverBums were coming? Guess not… So why was the local fishing, knowing the big fish were all gone, fishing anyways?… he says his wife doesn’t know the big fish are gone and that gives him a few peaceful moments on a beautiful river… ALONE. Amen to that!
Birthday Girl’s first cast on the Au SAble
And the last… for now…
Fall Colors above a RiverBum
So we concluded our Michigan weekend with 2 new rivers under our wader belts, 4 tiny trout and AC one year older. Of course our Bumming travels wouldn’t be complete without a little highway humor. So let’s us introduce you to a new segment of the RiverBums blog… ROAD RANTS…
Imagine you are driving down a peaceful farm road after a beautiful
day of fishing with your daughter. The Vapors come on over the radio with
“Turning Japanese” and this sign appears…
It’s official folks…jerkying your meat is now socially acceptable year round!
A Birthday Bum present from Dad
So as an official team, we have decided to put our name down in writing and create bumper stickers… We hope to see a BUMper sticker on every BUMper in the nation. So, if you like what we do and see what you like, let us know your favorite colors and you could be the next Bum to own a RiverBUMper sticker!
AC Modeling near our new removable “RiverBums” BUMper sticker after fishing the Pere Marquette.
(Orders are now being accepted)
Until next time…we’ll see ya on the other side of the river!
AC & Dad