2018-04-12 / Outdoors

Fish Report

Ret. Sgt. John Walker

Well, for all you people that came home from Florida thinking spring has arrived are about to wish you had stayed a while longer again this week if the weather reports hold true. If what I hear is true there could be up to a foot of snow in some areas just when we think it is leaving. I told the people at the Soil Conservation meeting this week if this keeps up we will have to issue snowblowers and ice spuds at our tree sale the end of the month.

Speaking of the yearly Soil Conservation tree sale, if you plan to order some trees to plant this year you will have to get your order in quickly or you will miss out. There are tree catalogs and order forms at the District Soil Conservation office on the second floor of the court house. I don’t really know if my little tree planting projects do a whole lot of good for the wildlife but I would like to think planting crab apples and other trees for food helps out. So get out there and order a few trees to plant on your hunting property and create a little food plot for the wildlife.

It is really hard to believe how busy this time of year used to be for the game warden compared to what you see out there in today’s world. Back in those good old days this time of year everybody was hitting the streams running off Lake Michigan looking for those smelt that always seems to run best going into the middle of April or as I always told people the third week.

Then you were also out there looking for trappers because the beaver trapping season was always in the spring of the year back then. On top of this the game warden sold the trapping license from his home and he had to tag the beaver and otter back then.

On top of this you were watching the steelhead streams watching for those checking them out with a spear. For some reason it seemed when they would not bite no matter what you tried certain people figured to cut down on the odds of getting some steelhead by using a spear.

This time of year working as a game warden was some of the busiest and when you had some of the most fun and enjoyment in doing your job. When you throw on top of this the fact that your area of responsibility went from Thompson over to the Black River then up to White Fish Point then over to Grand Maris and back down to Thompson.

Then if you add to this the time lapse between when the activity started and happened along the southern edge, the Lake Michigan area, and worked its way to the northern Lake Superior area. Needless to say this meant you put a whole lot of miles on some back roads and through the mud.

You have to remember that some of the best rivers spring fishermen liked to hit for steelhead were running into Lake Superior between Munising and Paradise. Can you believe that a person can be paid to travel though all these pristine parts of Michigan have someone provide the vehicle, and pay for the gas as you do it? Life sure could not get any better as far as a job goes for a boy who grew up in the U.P.

Can you just imagine getting paid to go out on a nice sunny spring day and find, where a few steelhead are laying side by side in the shallows of a little stream, then find a nice place up on a ridge overlooking the spawning area where you can sit against a tree in the sun and wait for someone to come along and go after the steelhead.

Life sure was good back then and even now I enjoy getting out in the woods and checking things out in the spring of the year. But I have to admit my steps may be a whole lot slower and the distances I walk somewhat shorter but the enjoyment is still there.

So if I can say anything I would encourage you to make it a point to take advantage of all we have up here and go out and enjoy life for all its worth. Of course I will say remember to leave those spawning steelhead that won’t bite alone, in other words leave your spear at home and make sure you get your 2018 fishing license before you go out.

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