Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

Spring Trout Camp 2015

Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette

Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette

I need to start calling it fish camp or just drop any reference to fishing altogether because when my buddies and I meet up in the spring it can be hit or miss. This year we caught some good northern pike out of Big Leverentz but the trout streams were so low and clear I quit after a half hour. Natch pulled a small brown out of the Little South and that was a miracle. Mike and Denny arrived the evening before Feral, Natch and I broke camp (wet camp, it rained that night) so they had the advantage of rain and caught some steelhead out of the Baldwin. OK, “Fish Camp” is sounding reasonable.

Mike's Steelhead

Mike’s Steelhead

Feral with a Northern Pike for Dinner (Big Leverentz Lake)

Feral with a Northern Pike for Dinner (Big Leverentz Lake)

“Beer Camp” may be a better name since it’s the only constant. Feral, Natch and I drink Labatts Blue and just before heading up I saw a new Labatts TV commercial. It starts with a guy in a black bear suit carrying a six of Labatts and suddenly he’s surrounded by beautiful women and a song starts playing which has absolutely nothing to do with beer or the happy guy in the bear suit. The song is “These Eyes” by the band Guess Who. Pretty killer song and totally irrelevant to the commercial which adds a coolness factor. So I learned the chords before heading to camp. When I started playing the chords on my acoustic guitar Feral jumped right in singing. Wow. So if we change the name to “Beer Camp” it would have it’s own theme song.

Keith, Natch and Feral enjoying the lake and telling stories

Keith, Natch and Feral enjoying the lake and telling stories

Or maybe “Guitar Camp” works. We had a couple good guitar jams over the long weekend. Keith played some great acoustic and then switched to the Les Paul and played some absolutely killer lead on Adios Amigo by Ween and also over some Tom Waits songs. I played rhythm and Feral belted out the lyrics. Live music at camp doesn’t get any better.

Keith jams on my 000-16 RGBT Martin

Keith jams on my 000-16 RGBT Martin

Keith pulled out Sunday morning and Denny and Mike came up Sunday evening. Denny had his Martin D-35 and played some very interesting obscure songs. He’s a walking encyclopedia of songs so we never know what he’ll play. So we had a great jam Sunday night too. Natch auditioned as bongo player for Rock Bottom and the Out of Tuners and I’m waiting to hear from Feral if catching the only trout disqualified him from band membership.

Denny warms up his 70's D-35 Martin

Denny warms up his 70’s D-35 Martin

Feral and Mike discuss world affairs

Feral and Mike discuss world affairs

Finally, we could call our spring get-together “Luther’s Car and Trailer Repair Camp.”The starter went out on the Slownoma and I managed to crawl under the vehicle and install a new one Sunday afternoon with the help of Natch and Feral. They drank beer and encouraged me. On the way home a wheel bearing went out on my 1961 Apache Chief camper so I did a roadside repair on that. Fortunately I carry tools, spare wheel bearings and grease in my rusty tool box so I didn’t need to leave the camper on the roadside. All told, I’d rather have mechanical problems at camp or on the way home. Main thing is getting there!

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5 thoughts on “Spring Trout Camp 2015

  1. wow that place looks familiar! Long time no see you two. Just haven’t really had time to get back up to that campground the past summer! Well tell “feral” I did get use outta that glass slide now and again,,,,see you around boys!!

  2. Beautiful place on the South Branch PM. Looking forward to heading to the Big South Branch next month. Sorry you guys didn’t have too much luck with the trout, hopefully with all the recent rain the fishing picks up.

  3. Good luck on the Big South – heard there were big browns in there! Been fishing the Little South since we were kids – rain helps. Kayaks on Big Leverentz for pike is a pretty good backup plan when the streams are so low and clear.

  4. Thanks, yes many big browns in the Big South. I will have to try the Little South someday. I bet the kayaking was fun. When trout fishing is not so hot we usually try bass or panfish, but it seems somewhat easy compared to hurdling over dead fall trees to get to the trout spots. Have you tried the Rogue River north of Sparta and further up between 17 and 20 mile? Many nice browns in that area as well.

  5. I fished the Rogue off Post Drive years ago but the river was flooded and muddy – don’t think trout were seeing my lure. Need to try further north – thanks for the tip!

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