There are two dates that hold equal status in my love for nature and its bounty; opening day of trout season and opening day of grouse season. There is no ornamentation beyond the traditional garb and no iconic symbolism beyond the scenery, but, like Virginia, if you believe, they are special.
For the first time in more years than I can actually remember – for sure never since finding a home in the Michigan Fly Fishing Club – have I missed an opening day of trout season. This is the year I have to delay my pilgrimage to the cold, pristine waters where my favorite trout – the native (though not truly native) brook trout -abodes.
There is no reason to shed a tear for my plight …though an offer of “two fingers” of bourbon wouldn’t be refused, because, as I said, I’ll be delayed. On Wednesday, the Jeep will head north with the cruise control set at the appropriate speed to give maximum distance within the tolerance of most Troopers, LEOs and others who are watching for “rabbits” on I 75 and are probably in a foul mood for having missed their pilgrimage too.
Actually, this was my own doing, so I can’t blame anyone other than myself. But just in case anyone reading this plans on going to the gathering at Gates Au Sable Lodge on Saturday morning, a nice gesture would be to have a Bloody Mary for me when the MFFC toasts the new season and remembers those who passed on to fish the sublime waters with the Grand Piscator himself.
If you’re traveling north on I 75 on Wednesday, stay in the right lane.