Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trout & Grouse 2011 Menominee River Trip

NIFT Member Paul Melchior wrote;

NIFT member Darwin Adams joined me on my annual Trout and Grouse Menominee River trip. This was Darwin’s second visit to this sensational fishery and my sixth. It was not disappointing.
While hot, sweaty days may not be the most comfortable for the angler, they are what you hope for when contemplating slamming the bass on the Menominee. The soaring temps crank up the smallie’s metabolism, increasing not only their hunger but their aggression and fire for their next meal. Wakes slicing the surface behind poppers and savage surface blow-ups are the stuff of our pre-trip dreams, and in this case, they were often reality of our fishing as well.
Darwin had the hot hand our first day, landing bass throughout the day, easily surpassing thirty by the time our float was finally finished. Menominee bass average a fat 15 to 16” and we had many that went well past that mark, including several that were in excess of 19”, though we could not tweek them past that magic 20” mark. On our second day, temps began to cool and although the morning started strongly, fishing slowed considerably by mid-day. Our guide switched tactics, tying on a heavier, weighted streamer and moving our drift boat away from the shoreline a bit. The change payed off handsomely, with renewed action for both of us. As the afternoon wore on, the winds calmed and we fished long stretches of placid shoreline, inviting territory for our surface poppers. At times, the bass slammed them and at other times, the take was more trout-like and gentle. But take them they did. At one point we hooked twin 18 inchers at the same time. The resulting Chinese Fire-Drill had us all laughing by the time both bass were safely in the net. By day’s end, our totals probably echoed our previous day, though it seemed we had to work much harder to get to the same number.
Our final day dawned clear, but significantly cooler, with winds howling down the river. Casting was difficult and the fish were reluctant to break the surface, though Darwin was doing fine on large streamers dead drifted, their Flashaboo backs fluttering enticingly in the current. Towards the end of the float he hooked and landed a fat, handsome 20 ½” trophy, a great bookend to a wonderful three days of fishing.
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