Fichigan

Small stream Trout fishing in Michigan

The Dog Dialers

Matt Hilliard, Dog Dialer

As Feral and I headed back to civilization from trout camp we passed over the Sturgeon and saw a couple fishermen on the north side of the road and both of us thought the same thing – good, looks like road fishermen wearing Cabella outfits. Not much chance they were hauling out large brown trout. (An observation born of years of experience). We pulled into the gas station/party store in Vanderbilt and cashed in a large cache of Labatts bottles and when I stepped outside I was surprised to see Feral conversing with one of the guys. They had just finished up a long stretch and did pretty well on trout and that just goes to show the value of angler profiling.

Feral mentioned fichigan in his conversation and Brett Sanders of Midland wrote to say hello and left an email so I followed up. Brett, along with Matt Hilliard, get together with a crew of devoted spin fishermen like ourselves for the closer, or “ender” as they call it. They go by the name “Dog Dialers” meaning they Dial (hook/catch) Dogs (good sized trout). They obviously know what they’re doing. Brett related their day on the Sturgeon in his email.  I’ll let Brett tell it:

“When Matt and I ran into you guys we had just gotten off of the upper Sturgeon and were heading to the West Branch. We had fished it once before, but it was quite a while ago and the water levels were a bit high. We hiked back into National Forest off of E Sturgeon Valley Rd and fished for about 4 hrs back to the road. Fish were active and decent sized. Matt landed the 17″er and shortly thereafter, I got bumped by one that size or bigger.

Then we went to the West Branch and just put in at a pull out spot just outside of Wolverine. We had similar luck in the West Branch. A decent amount of action and one bump from something 20″+. We had about 6-7 hours of fishing on the day. Totals were 4 7″-9″ each, 3 13″-15″ each, 1 17″er (Matt) and 2 missed that were or were pushing 20″. We’ll definitely be heading back up to the Sturgeon and would like to explore the Pigeon and the Black as well if you guys have any spots you’re willing to give up.”

Spots we are willing to give up? Whoa. (If they wanted to learn about some of our spots they should have pretended they were Cabella’s road fisherman). Too late now.  Here is a picture of Brett with brown trout measuring 23-1/2 (and more proof I should keep quiet about where I fish).

That said, it was great to hear from you guys!  If we run into you camping next fall maybe we can share some stories over a Labatts.

Brett Sanders, Dog Dialer

 

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