Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

Archive for the tag “Baldwin”

Big Leverentz Lake

Heading west on 10 out of Baldwin I asked Feral to keep an eye out for any sign of the Baldwin River since we would be driving directly over it – but alas, there was no sign of the river. Michigan has been in a drought for most of the summer and after this weekend I can report something new about this phenomenon. We camped at Big Leverentz and it started raining while we were out on the lake (fishing for bass and pike). It rained for a good half hour. We could see the rain dapple the lake and we could feel a cooling of the atmosphere.  There was a thick overcast blocking out the sun completely (a huge relief since we had been baking in the sun). Here’s where it gets interesting.  We didn’t get wet. After half hour our clothes were still dry. When we pulled the boat back in for the evening – the camp was dry. It occurs to me this might make a good Twilight Zone episode.  For added drama substitute desperate farmers for fishermen.

As usual the folks we met camping and fishing were friendly and three guys who waited patiently for Feral and I to launch the boat were treated to a comedy of boat launch errors and may they live by the adage that what happens in Baldwin stays in Baldwin. They were out for panfish and we understand they had around ten though I didn’t get a picture, except for a group photo as proof that they were at the lake.  I apologize for the quality of the picture since it is so fuzzy it could be just about any three guys. If called to testify I’ll vouch they were at the lake if they vouch for my seaworthiness.

In spite of the intense heat and murky lake with strange gunk floating about we did pretty good on the bass and caught one decent pike. Feral tossed a weedless mouse on the pads and had some action but mostly we fished power worms, culprits, and some top water baits late in the evening. Total bass for 2 days around 20 with a few three pounders. For those who know how hard that lake gets fished – I suspect we did alright. The bad news of course is we don’t eat bass. If we get a real rain maybe I can post something for trout fishermen and eat the proceeds.

Guitars and Trout Fishing

Bray Creek campground was empty except for Mike and Denny. They were gone but we recognized Mike’s pop up camper. Feral and I pulled in late afternoon with our tents and set up. This was a couple years ago.

Bray Creek campground is on the Baldwin River in Lake County, Michigan. At the upper end of the campground Bray Creek feeds into the Baldwin making a pool that is slightly warmer than the rest of the river, and almost deep enough for a swim. As kids camping with our grandpa, we fished Bray Creek for chubs as the water was too warm for trout. I caught my first trout on the Baldwin.

Feral and I brought guitars, including my Les Paul Studio electric and my battery powered Fender Amp Can which looks like a coffee can on steroids. I also brought my zoom pedal which provides a variety of guitar voices including some pretty ragged distortion that sustains till Monday. Feral brought a jumbo bodied acoustic of unknown brand that sounded sweet with plenty of volume and low end.

Mike and Denny showed up toward evening and we still had the campground to ourselves so we pulled out the guitars. Feral and I have been playing together a long time so we dug into some of our old stuff, and, as happens most times we get together, I handed him the electric. Since Denny was there, maybe Neil Young’s most devoted fan, we decided to try “Down by the River,” a classic mostly in E minor though I’m no student of music theory. It’s one of those songs that you can do a short version or you can do the long version with a lot of “out there” lead guitar. Feral was up for the challenge. We started out slow with Denny and I trying to reach those high vocals that Neil Young can manage with ease but in my case leaves me hoarse for the next few days. Feral soared on the guitar going places I didn’t know he could go – triple picking leads in a wall of distortion at decibels that would have stopped cars on Highway 10.

We did some of our other standards too but Down by the River was the standout. I know we’ll never do a better job on that song.

We knocked down a few beers that night and slept well. I suspect we fished the Baldwin the next day but for some reason the only thing I remember is the guitar jam and Feral treading new ground on a song played to death by bar bands in the seventies. Feral’s also pretty good on a trout stream. Maybe it helps he’s a musician.

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