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Bryon Anderson

Nice long day on the river

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With summer waning, I decided last weekend that I wanted (at least!) one more long, warm summer day floating a smallmouth river. I chose a stretch of Michigan's Grand River that runs through the Portland State Game Area. This was my first real foray on the Grand, even though I've lived within 30 minutes of it and driven across it almost every day for the last 18 years.

This stretch of the Grand is truly beautiful and very productive. I'd estimate that I had a smallmouth chase and/or strike my streamer on about every third cast, and I lost count of how many I landed and released.

In almost 10 hours, I saw only two small parties of recreational kayakers, and zero other fishermen. There were long stretches of time when I could not hear a man-made sound. It was blissful.

I hope to get in a few more river floats for trout, bass or steelhead in this year, but if I don't, I can honestly say I went out on a good one. :)

 

 

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I did the same thing with the Delaware river. For years I drove over it, around it, and alongside it but never fished it. I'm less then thirty minutes from both the tidal and non tidal portions yet I would drive three hours to fish elsewhere. Then I had kids which forced me closer to home. Started fishing the river exclusively as I learned what a great fishery it was. That was almost thirty years ago and now I don't want to go anywhere else.

 

looks like a great trip was had. That's a nicely bronzed fish. I'm guessing the river is very shallow?

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. That's a nicely bronzed fish. I'm guessing the river is very shallow?

Yes much of the river is quite shallow; depths range (in that section) from less than a foot to may e 6-7 feet. That fish came from some partially submerged wood in a backwater. Whenever I could drop a popper into the little spaces between tree limbs poking out of the water, a bass would absolutely blow up on it. It was a blast. 🙂

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The only thing I miss from "up North" are the wade-able rivers. Nothing remotely like it here.

There are a couple of sand bottomed creeks that can, kind of, be waded ... but they're buried in forested areas that make it impossible to fly fish.

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Nice Bryon. I really like the looks of that spot where you beached the craft as well that looks like a peaceful spot. Seems like summer flew by this year again didn't it? We're gonna tryin' get out for one last 3 day trout trip soon up there before the season is done.

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Yeah this summer had wings for sure. Glad to hear you're going to get out at least once more this season. I hope to do the same. I'm in Traverse City this week for work, so I'm hoping to hit the Boardman one evening. I'm going to try and hit that stretch of the Grand once more as well. Almost time to think about steelhead...

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