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Port Austin



Marshall Reames

MFFC Smallmouth Outing!


They aren’t trout. They don’t have flashy colors, spots or worm like markings on their backs. They’re plump, green and bronze and they can hit with the force of sudden thunder …or they can be as subtle as a pickpocket.

Of course I’m talking about smallmouth bass.

The Michigan Fly Fishing Club held its annual smallmouth outing in Port Austin last weekend and 50 plus attended the event.

Todd Schotts and John Pattee organized the outing and as usual, made it seem simple. Everything went off without a hitch. Some got fish, others didn’t, but all put on waders and stumbled their way over rocks to waist deep water in Lake Huron.

Some brought kayaks, some had float tubes and the rest waded. The most successful were those able to go deeper in the channels mostly because a cold front came in the days before the outing. In fact, there was snow in Grayling and Gaylord. Brrrr!

I hadn’t been in Port Austin since the 80’s and figured the town had changed. So the Sunday before the outing, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” and I took a ride so I wouldn’t have to spend half of my first day of the outing trying to figure where I needed to be and where to fish.

At this time of year, smallmouth come into the shallows – rocky shallows- to spawn. When they’re on their beds, the males can be seen darting in and around the rocks, protecting the nests. If you hit it right, it’s quite a sight and an unforgettable fishing experience. This was the case on the exploratory trip the Sunday prior to the outing. The first days of the outing was a different story.

Each day after arrival, the weather got warmer, the sun came out and fishing improved, but not to the level of the Sunday before. Still it was great.

Some members got nice fish and were surprised where they caught them.

Marshall Reames took a nice smallmouth casting from the small dock in Grindstone Harbor. It was one of those times when it just seemed like the thing to do, so he did, and it was. Nice fish Marshall.

Things seem to be a week or so behind this year, but nature doesn’t abandon its need to replenish. The trick is for us mere mortals to figure out when it will happen and where. But that’s why it’s called “fishing” not “catching.”

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