Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

Spring Trout Camp 2023

Feral downstream from camp

We centered our trout camp on the first weekend of May which worked out well. We had the Pine River to ourselves. Jake, Feral, Natch and I met up at our remote spot on Thursday. Natch brought his new trailer, the first use for him, and he had set-up figured out like an old pro. It’s pretty large (compared to my Scamp) and has lots of new technology including solar panels, a TV with antenna, wireless booster, hide-a-bed, full bath, etc, things to sell a wife on it but not practical for the low tech camping experience we typically enjoy. We generally don’t spend time in campers – it’s all fishing and campfires. Except for breakfast which I took over when I bought the Scamp. I should mention Natch went from a 1964 Apache tent camper last year, a slightly new camper than Jake’s, to this. Natch is a technology wiz so in a sense this makes perfect sense. His tent camper went to one of his boys.

The fishing was good, no big trout but several 16-17 inchers. I cooked up a trout dinner on Friday night which was good since Jake and Feral, who rode together, mysteriously had to leave on Saturday. I’m still scratching my head about why they had to go considering they were both so anxious to camp. Jake brought the Apache Chief camper. They set it up on the edge of the hill. They had breakfast and Feral said something about his legs were sore and they packed up. The regular plan was head home Tuesday. A sad moment for Natch and I who were counting on their company.

Jake’s Apache Chief

Natch and I sometimes fish together but with so much river and good stretches to fish we sectioned off the river and went for it. Fishing alone is really the ultimate experience. Each bend and piece of cover, logs, holes, are a playing field to explore. Figuring out the best cast to a new piece of cover is a science. Where are trout likely positioned? Where to stand to make that cast? What type of cast will drop the lure in the right spot? Should I put on a bigger lure? (big lures for big trout) Frankly, you are too busy calculating to miss having company on the stream. Counterpoint: Sometimes it’s nice to have some dialog while fishing and see the other guy catch a nice trout. It’s all good.

Natch walking the stream back after fishing the first turnaround

The locals (at the Tustin Store) said no one was getting Morels. We had to try. Natch found a few and I found one. Maybe it was the weather. It was pretty cold at night and after the back and forth spring/winter weather this year the Morels may have come up early and froze or maybe they’ll show up this week. We did have one Morel to split four ways with the trout dinner. I dropped it into a puddle of butter next to the trout fillets.

A Morel Mushroom with
Waders Drying

Natch and I camped until Tuesday. Played some chess and scrabble. Had a great time fishing and Morel hunting. Some great campfires. Too much beer and brats (gained 3 pounds). Ready for this new year of fishing.

The Scamp and 4runner

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