Friday, June 28, 2013

No hex hatch means no large trout

   Roscommon-Here and in Grayling and points in between the talk is about the lack of a hex hatch and night time feeding trout.
   Hex, also known as the Michigan Mayfly, is a large bug that usually makes it's appearance in mid June. It's always a guess as to when the hatch occurs.
   But when it does and should you be on the river you'll understand why anglers come from out-of-state and all over Michigan to fish this bug.
   The fly used is large so it's easy to tie on. And it's easy to see after dark on the water. That's when think type of fishing takes place.
   If you head north for the AuSable or Manistee River systems and want to try night fishing for trout here's some suggestions.
   Get on the water while it's sill light and pick the spot you intend to fish. Gauge how far you'll have to cast to get your fly in the zone you want to fish.
   Then find a spot to sit and wait quietly. You're waiting for darkness, bugs to begin hatching, and the slurp big trout make as they feed.
   Believe me. If you are there at the right time, it's an experience that will stay with you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Longtime Detroit News writer has passed away

   The last time I fished with Dave Richey was on Bay de Noc out of Escanaba. We shared stories about other trips, writing, and the funny things that happened to us along the way.
   I didn't have near the experiences or travel that David had. He had travelled the world hunting and fishing for many species of game.
   Probably his closest friend was his twin brother George, who proceeded him in death. George wrote two very thorough compilations about antique lure collection.
   The two spent many hours fishing from AuSable long boat with the late Frank Love and Same Surre.
I actually met Dave when I joined the prestigious outdoor Writers Association of American (OWAA). This is both a national and international association for outdoor writers and photographers comprised of many of the best in the business.
   After receiving my acceptance letter from OWAA, I received a very personal letter from Dave Richey welcoming me to the organization, pointing out the benefits of being a member, explaining it's history and how it came to be, and some personal information about himself.
   He closed by offering to be of any help to me he could be at any time, then again welcomed me to the organization.
   In later years, Dave's eyesight began to get real bad keeping him from doing all the outdoors things he enjoyed.
   That didn't stop him from being a speaker at the annual Woods N' Water Outdoors Show in Imlay City.
   For years, I would introduce the speakers and their topics, give a little biography to the crowd then step aside for the seminar.
   One year Dave showed up on time but couldn't remember what he was supposed to talk about. Not deterred, he pulled a chair up in the middle of the crowd an asked, "What would you like to have me talk about?"
   From then on it was quite a question and answer program with Dave spinning many of his stories as different topics came up.
   His admonition to me one that "I'm in the field every day," was over. Like many of us that knew him personally, we'll surely miss him. Enjoy the peace I'm sure you'll find.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Local parks offer plenty to do

   From disc golf to BMX, fishing, canoeing, biking, hiking, swimming, camping, bird watching, roller blading, and about anything else you can think of is available in area state parks and recreation areas.
   Add in the ever evolving Oakland County Park system and Huron-Clinton Metro Parks and the decision isn't going to be I don't know what to do, rather, what will I do?
   There is so many activities to choose from, the choices are overwhelming. For instance, if you want to camp but think you need a luxurious motorhome or travel trailer, think again.
   Holly Recreation Area and Groveland Oaks-to name two parks-offer "primitive" camping. Primitive meaning there is no electrical or water hook ups on these sites.
   This is where the tent campers gather. They sleep on the ground or on cots, live out of their tent for a few days and enjoy simple things like sitting around a campfire at night.
   For a little light adventure, rent a canoe and take a trip on the Huron River near Proud Lake out of Heavner Canoe Livery.
   They've been in business since before I was a kid. If you have your own canoe or kayak, Heavner's will allow you access to their launch. Call Heavner, (248) 685-2379 for more information.
   Get outdoors. The choices are there for you to make.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dad's day-take time to enjoy being with your

   Sunday is father's day. Most of us will hand dad a shirt or necktie he doesn't need and probably won't ever wear.
   But the real importance of this day is spending time with your father. Whether you throw the baseball around, play golf or just sit around in the backyard and enjoy each other's company.
   You'll never know how much your father means to you until you lose him. My dad has been gone 23 years and I still think of him every day.
   Father's day used to be difficult for me to get through because of all the memories. But that's what we're left with is plenty of memories.
   Some of them funnier than others, but it's really all we have left. That and some pictures and perhaps a few odds and ends that were left to us.
   So if your dad is still with you, be sure and spend some time with him not only Sunday, but every other day you have a chance.
   Someday you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Backyards made for more than cooking out

   Every summer, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) promotes camping by encouraging families to pitch a tent in their back yard.
   When you think about it, it's a pretty good idea. Those new to camping won't have far to go in case of    a storm that my erupt during the night. The same is true with restroom facilities.
   And if you don't care to cook breakfast outdoors, the kitchen is just a few steps away. You don't even need the ice chest. Just use the fridge and everything will stay cold.
   But cooking over a fire is all part of camping. If you can work the two in, you're in for a great experience. It can be as simple as hot dogs or burgers, or more elaborate like marinated steak or chicken.
   The event across the country is set for June 22. But really, anytime is a good time to pitch the tent and roll out a sleeping bag.  

   For more information visit and Staying home and setting up camp in the yard can be fun. And if you have little ones, so much better the adventure.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Critters are alive and well even in your yard

   Probably due to the loss of habitat we're seeing more wildlife in and around our yards. We have a pheasant, some wild turkeys, an occasional deer or two, and rabbits galore, come through our yard from time to time.
   While our bird population doesn't seem to have changed; we are still seeing robins, finches, sparrows, blue jays and cardinals.
   It's the latter bird, a pair of cardinals, that holds our attention every day. The male bird always sits nearby as his female partner goes to work.
   From sunrise to dusk, the female cardinal pounds on our glass door wall. Once she tires of the door wall, she and her male companion fly around to the front of our house whee she starts attacking one of our bedroom windows.
   Sometime later she'll move over to our bay window, pick her favorite side and begin attacking it. At first we thought she was seeing something in the house that was attracting her.
   She just doesn't peck at the windows.
   Rather she flies head on into them with both her beak and head making contact about the same time with the window.  As soon as one charge is over she begins another.
   This goes on all day long and is very loud. In fact, she hits the windows so hard we first thought she had injured herself.
   Checking with Cornell Lab of Ornithology they agree that she sees her reflection and think that represents an intruder.
   If you have a similar problem visit and scroll down to "Why birds attack windows."
   Several suggestions are offered to prevent this from happening or from birds injuring themselves. Two of the three species mentioned that use this behavior to defend nearby nests are cardinals and robins.
   See this Sunday's Oakland Press for more information on bird strikes.