Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

Refrigerator Bend

On one of our favorite streams, the Sturgeon, there is a very wide gravelly bend where the water level drops down to a foot deep that gives us a chance to relax a bit, mainly because the straight stretch leading to it is log filled and treacherous, and just above the bend the water is channeled so thin it can’t be waded because the water is over the waders. There is an old homestead on the outside bank, with only the footing remaining, along with the white shell of an old refrigerator. I am trying to remember if the fridge is still there or if I have become so numb to it that it doesn’t register any more. It could be someone dragged it away and I’ll thank whoever did it, even though we may need a new name for that spot in the river.

Wide flats like that one are pretty unusual in the Sturgeon – it may be forty feet across. The outside has some log structure and I normally pass right by it without making a cast even though the structure likely holds trout. In my mind, it’s a great spot for fly fishermen since it is so open, but not necessarily a good spot to find the larger trout I’m after. If it’s raining I can’t wait to pass by it just to get to the deep channel upstream where I’ve seen trout in the two foot class.

That’s Feral in the picture, taken back in 05. I suspect it wasn’t much of a fishing day with the blue sky. There’s a good chance we had a cold beer with us and that would have been the place we stopped. I can almost feel the cool breeze from the river, maybe even fooling us into thinking the sun was not a problem, only to notice sunburned ears later. I’d like to make that same trip again this year whatever the weather, if only because the Sturgeon offers such a great variety of holes, flats, deep bends and places where you just know a trophy brown will rise up and surprise you.

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