Cy with a fresh steelhead from the Big Two Hearted River.
The landscape along the way was severe. It seemed almost otherworldly with great burnt over stretches of forest that alternately stood with all the undergrowth gone and charred spires reaching towards the sky, and then was laid flat by the logging operations that were removing all that remained for wood commodity products. In some places stands of smaller Jack Pines, without value for logging, looked like some sort of Halloween version of an apple tree, bare black branches bearing the enlarged cones that had blown open in the intense heat. This was the result of the Duck Lake Fire in late May that burned over 21,000 acres of the Upper Peninsula, stopping its march to the north when it reached the shores of Lake Superior.
The adult Jack Pines hold their cones closed, sometimes for years, until the heat of a forest fire causes them to open and thus reseed the burnt-over ground. With that the forest comes full circle. I also felt like I had come full circle, for the location I was about to fish had been planted in my mind for more than 45 years. This was the road to the legendary Big Two Hearted River at the point where it enters the waters of Lake Superior. Let me take you back (way back) to the beginning.
White Lake - Slow, a few anglers are targeting steelhead close to the narrows, no reports. For the latest info on White Lake call Johnsonís Great Outdoors at 231-893-6688.
Whitehall/Montague - Surf and pier fishermen are targeting steelhead, no whitefish yet.
Muskegon River - Has more steelhead moving up into the river even though water levels are low. Anglers are floating spawn and wax worms, casting small spoons or fly fishing.
Grand Haven - Pier anglers and those surfcasting continue to target steelhead. Not much on whitefish as catch rates were slow.
Hamlin Lake - No reports. For up to date Hamlin information call Hamlin Grocery at 231-843-2058.
Ludington - Steelhead were caught in the surf and off the piers. Fish early, late or when the weather is nasty.
Pere Marquette River - Water levels were low and clear and could stay that way for a while. The low and clear water conditions require light leaders especially if fish are on the gravel. For now, try fishing the deeper holes.
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