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.