Wednesday, September 30, 2009

World Record Muskie - Torch Lake Sept. 27

On Sunday, Sept. 27, Kyle Anderson caught this 50 # 8 oz Great Lakes Muskie in Torch Lake.  Torch Lake is just NE of Traverse City, Michigan.

The muskie was caught on this 9" Musky Magnet.   The 50 #s Maxina green kline had a 3 foot leader of 100 #s Trilene.  The fish hit 50' behind the prop wash at 7:30 AM.

The old World Record was 48 #s was from a fish caught in Lake Skegemog, which is just downstream of Torch Lake.  Torch Lake is 18 miles long and has a depth of 300'.

The fish had been tagged by the DNR before and their picture shows it was same length but 5 #s heavier.  This female had just spawned and wasn't weighted until 7:30 pm when they could find a certified scale large enough to weigh the fish.

A World Record Brown Trout was recently caught in the Manistee River.  Michigan is for fisherman!

*you can check it out on Field and Stream website!

Canadian Trip - Part 2

OK, that last picture was a gross shot.  We did have some visitors scurrying around in the night so we set out the trap line.  Every once in a while during your deepest dreams, you would hear a loud snap! It usually took a moment for it to register.   Every morning  the trap line had to be checked.   After a few days/nights, we only had to avoid stepping on the traps as we headed off in the dark night to find the back porch.

 I wonder why the grass was so dead right around that back porch!

We decided to have our meal out on the veranda this day.The maid had set a fine table of good china and the cook was .....ah!

These pictures are from Chris's DVD.  Why are there 4 tomato shots, Chris?  I think he was messing with his camera at the table and took this shot.  My pictures were on film so I have to make do with what Chris gave me.

OK, enough of this nonsense.  Let's get back to fishing.

Look closely!  What do you see?  Something strange is happening here!   No, it is not the small fish being caught.  It is how the small fish is being caught! 

Jim is taking a picture of a fish he is catching. Only true outdoorsmen want to capture every moment of the fish at the end of the line.

Now, Jim, that pike is not much larger than the lure.

Now we have a small walleye, a medium walleye, a large walleye , and a nice pike!  Whose catch was that?  Since this is my blog and how I remember things.... they must be my fish!  Any way, it's supper!

Some people ask what do you do all day up there. No TV, no electricity, no store, no women      .......... (except for six-pack Mary...again another story!).

Well actually, you are forced to observe nature, the things you take for granted some times.  One of the fond memories of being up here is in this picture.

That sound at night or during the day, cements itself into your brain.  You can hear the call of the loon and you are transported!

Enough of this stuff.  Let's go fishing.

Jim is practicing his surgical skills.

About Wednesday, I noticed tension in the cabin. Something was wrong.  Jim and Chris were acting strange.  They didn't seem to be their selves.  Something was bothering them.  The rest of us tried to figure out what was going on.  By afternoon, we learned of the serious threat to the cabin.

Before the trip, we knew that our cell phones wouldn't work up here.  What would we do?  Nothing.....then we found out that for $75 we could have a satellite phone for the week.  It would cost like $4 a minute to use but in an emergency, it could bring help.  Now the need arose and the phone was used.

We heard the roar of an engine and our call out had been answered.  The emergency had been avoided!

We were now safe.  Immediately Jim and Chris were happy and smiling.  That $75 phone and a 4 minute call brought the plane to us carrying the only thing standing between sanity and insanity.   Yes, $90 bought us two cases of beer!  Special delivery and right on time!  Now assured that Jim and Chris would make it to Saturday, we all rejoiced.

The plane returned to base and we returned to manly things.  The things that men do away from home, up in the woods, and away from it all.  We went fishing, again!

Next installment will include fish, food, danger, and a wild woman in camp!   Will Bill and Don retain their legendary fishing status?  Will Mikey earn a new camp name?  Will Jim &  Chris make it until Saturday?  Will a dangerous situation cause injury?   Stay tuned for Part 3!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Canadian Trip - Part 1

A couple of years ago my brother, Gary, and his two brother-in-laws, Chris & Jim, were going on a fly-in trip to Canada.  I joined the trip with my PA buddy, Bill.  Mike, a WMU roommate of Gary's, was coming also.

Here is Gary, Chris, Mike, and Bill  I was taking the picture and we were waiting for Jim! Note that the cargo trailer is full of fishing gear that will be needed for a week in the bush! 

We stopped on the way and bought $300 worth of groceries in 30 minutes without a shopping list.  That many hands throwing in favorite items insured we wouldn't go hungry.  Remember that we can't run to the corner store in the middle of the week.

This is the main headquarters on Lake Ivanhoe. We arrived here in the afternoon and rented a beautiful room for the night.  A great meal and then we are 1st on the list for Saturday take off.

This is the  de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver.  This is the bushplane that is used all over the world.  It was first produced in 1948 and production ended in 1967.  1,657 Beavers were built and hundreds are still in operation.  It has a 450 HP Pratt & Whitney  7 cylinder rotary engine and a short take off and landing ability.  It can carry 6 passengers..  Empty it weighs 3,000 #s and has a gross weight of 5,100 #s, so it can carry 2,100 #s.  That is why everything is weighted and you are limited to 200 #s per person!  The Beaver has maxium speed of 158 mph and a range of 455 miles.  It can fly to 18,000 ft. at a rate of 1.020 ft./min.  There is an oil reserve reservoir in the cockpit and can be filled during flight!

A 1950's Beaver bought for just under $50,000 would be worth $500,000 today.

This is a view from the plane shortyly after take-off.  We are still over Lake Ivanhoe.

 There are no roads up here and it is pretty desolate territory.  It is fun to look out the windows for a chance sighting of a moose.

It is a bit nerve racking to see a few broken guages and switches on the dashboard.   No wait, that was the other trip with a drunken pilot....another story.  Our pilot was in his early twenties and the son of the lodge owner.  These kids are flying up here before they get their auto drivers license.

The cabin is pretty basic. It had a bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower but no electricity or running water. That means you didn't use this room.  It was set up for use when they brought up generators.  Maybe next year.

The cabin had three bedrooms with bunk beds.  We had one big main room and a screened in porch with picnic table.  We ate at the kitchen table.

The boats were 14' Lunds with a 15 hp motor. The boat seats were nice to have after fishing for hours each day.  We explored the large lake and ended up motoring about 4-5 miles down to the other end of the lake several times a day.  The bay down there was always good to us so a 30-45 minute ride down!

Fish on! We were after walleyes and this was a nice one.  Note the rain gear.  We had some rainy days,so we left the cabin prepared for any weather.

Jim was great at finding the smaller walleyes.  Chris &  Jim, being brothers, fished together a lot of the time.  We could always hear them when they were fishing from any part of the lake.  The tinkling sound of aluminum cans in the bottom of an aluminum boat...ah music to the ears!

You might think all we ate up north was fish every meal!  You would be wrong!

Well, there is more to this story....stay tuned! Next installment in a few days!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Culture Tour - Up North Style!

There are only  a couple of things that are must see items when you visit me in Wellston.  This is a very small town with a population of about 1600!  I even have to take you outside of Wellston to see the 'culture tour'.

From Wellston, we drive up High Bridge Road and cross over the Manistee River.  High Bridge was the name of  a magnificent bridge constructed during 1888-1889 to span the river.  The railroad bridge was 1,170 feet long and stood 97 feet above the water.  The bridge opened in 1890 and was the highest and longest bridge in Michigan.  Because of the height, the bridge was known to sway, so a 5 mph speed linmit was imposed.  Longer trains had to have two engines front and back.  This allowed the train to divide and reduce the sway and load.  Passengers in the train looking out the windows could not see the rail deck so the train seemed to fly in air.  After 65 years of service, the High Bridge was dismantled in 1955.    The bridge was located 1,650 feet East (upstream) of the present High Bridge road.  You can see a scale model of the bridge in the Brethern Museum on summer weekends.  Maybe there are three cultural Sites!!

Traveling past High Bridge, you go through Brethern.  A town that is 'the best town by a dam site'.  Tippy Dam, that is.  James Earl Jones went to school here at the historical building on the corner. Hold it, are there four sites on this tour? Just a few miles north of Brethern, we come to Kaleva. They have a small community camping park for visitng sportsmen/women.

Kaleva  was first know in the late 1800's as Manistee Crossing.  Two railroads had tracks to transport the white pine lumber from the area.  Finnish immigrants were lured here around 1900 by a newspaper advertisement that promised rich, cheap farmland.  When they arrived they found cut-over, barren, and desolate land.  They could not return so they stayed and named the town 'Kalevala' after the Finnish epic poem.  The streets still carry the Finnish names from the poem.

This is the first stop on the 'Culture Tour'.  This giant grasshopper was designed and built with a Service Learning  High School group and a local welder, who lives on my street, Tippy Dam Road.  It is made from car parts and represents the key character in the Grasshopper Plague that ruined the early crops.  The people prayed to a Saint to deliver them from this plague.  Evidently, it worked!  Today visitors have their picture taken beside or on top of this bug.  The lady above was in my fouth grade class in Grand Rapids over 43 years ago! 

Next on the culture tour is the world famous Bottle House.

The Kaleva Bottle House is a popular tourist attraction.  Built by John Makinen out of 60, 000 bottles from his bottling factory.  He completed the house in 1941 but never lived in it.  He died before the family could move.  It is listed in the National  Register of Historical Places.

This is the front of the house , which is a neat museum open on summer weekends from 12 - 4.  It contains a very interesting collection of early historical items of the people who lived here.

You can see the bottles layed on their side and cemented in place. People who live in glass houses, shouldn't..........................!

There you have it.  You have just completed the 'Culture Tour'!  So when you visit Don's Fish Camp, bring your camera, we just might stop at these sites.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fish Shots!

Wow.  I've had over 100 views/hits on this blog.  Thanks for looking!

I am hoping for some pictures of people with their pictures of fish.  As they arrive I'll post them here. 

For now, here are a few to start.

I was fishing in March for steelhead with flies and caught this walleye.  Not too big but fun to catch.  First walleye on flies!

Jim got the big walleye and wasn't happy about having to release it.  Season wasn't open yet!

Finally a spring steelhead.  Nice bright colors on a cool day in early April.

My daughter, Molly, fishing in Key West.  

A pike from Bear Lake while bass fishing.

Another winter steelhead on flies.

Greg with a bass from Bear Lake on a spinner bait.

Gary with a steelhead caught on the Manistee River.  Probably 2007.

A few reef  fish from Key West.  I also caught a crab on my hook and only kept the claw.  They grow back, you know!

This is the after photos of the fish above.  Fresh from the grill with veggies.

My brother, Gary, and I rented an ice shanty on Houghton Lake.  This perch only cost about $30.....that is 1/2 price for the day of fishing.

OK, was my dink bigger than Gary's dink?  $40 for the shanty, $15 for bait, out-fishing my brother by 1/8"....priceless!

Cousin, Tim, with a brown trout last spring.on the Manistee River.

Cleaning smelt in the UP!  Started at 10:00 am and just finishing up at 3:00pm.  That was 5 five gallon buckets!  We had fresh fried smelt for the next few days!

Drummond Island perch from the 1960's!  One of our first perch trips with my Dad and his buddies.

My brother, Gary, and Dad on Drummond Island.

8-24-09 - First salmon of the fall.  Caught it off the Manistee Pier with a Glo Little Cleo in the early AM.

Gary with a Traverse City Bay Lake Trout.  Gary caught a mess of those 'greasers' this year.  The season closes in 7 more days.  Get fishing, Gary!

OK, you've seen this fish before, but I had to show another fish!  Second 2009 salmon off the Manistee Pier.

Charlie caught a bunch of brown trout in Sept. in the Manistee River.

Scott with a nice Boundary Waters walleye.

Robb with a Boundary Waters bass.

That is a sampling of fish shots.  If I get any from you, here's where they will turn up.  So, go fishing!