Troutless Trip AUGUST 4 2013

went up to Selkirk this morning to try my luck at some brown trout on the Rifle river. I got up there about 6 am which was just before sunrise. It was a bit chilly today for the time of year. About 55 degrees and the water level seemed higher than it has been in the past due to recent rain. I could compare this mornings adventure to a bad day on the golf course. Some days you should have just slept in. I did everything wrong. I think my flies spent more time being tangled or stuck in branches than they did on the water. Which would explain why I didn’t catch squat today. I was using a linger leader than I normally do of 12 feet by 4x with a tandem nymph off the end of that. I wasn’t paying attention to my back casts and ended up in the trees as a result. Lost a few flies before I gave up. Also I think it may be time to invest in some waiters, I ended up getting very cold this morning, I’m not sure what’s going on, but they don’t insulate like they used to. I am sure most of my issues were self caused and just had one of those mornings where you leave the river frustrated. Oh well

I started out with the same hopper pattern that worked so well for me on Friday. This was probobly the first mistake knowing that there are about as much in common between the Rifle and the Titt as there is between my wife and I. We work well together bit have very different tastes.


when I figured out that the hopper wasn’t working I added a nymph to the rig. When this didn’t work I switched to two tandem beadhead nymphs with a plastic indicator. When this didn’t work I tied on a dry fly to act as an indicator in case the plop from the indicator was causing me trouble. Anyhow, nothing worked but It was a beautiful morning dispute the cold weather. I witnessed a woodpecker pounding away as well as a few deer friends who were curious about my activities

lesson of the day was to start my cast closer to the water so that I don’t go to far on my back cast. Because I didn’t listen to this advice my like kept hitting my rod or itself on the forward stroke causing some impressive knots.






until next time,




tight lines.



Friday August 2, 2013 6-8pm

Spent a lovely evening on the Tittabawassee River near Freeland Mi, very close to home which was nice. It isn’t my ideal location to fish but, you do what you can with limited time. I hit the river south of the fishing dock to avoid getting tangled up by the retard bate casters heaving hooks the size of free willy around with no exact destination. I was however close enough for them to see me rock the Orvis Access 6 weight rod. Off the bat I caught a couple of small Smallmouth Bass. When I say small I mean I am surprised they could fit the foam hopper fly in their mouth. I decided that spot wasn’t going to produce anything that would bend the rod so I moved to a pool closer to the middle of the river. After about 10 casts I notices several large fish holding about 20 feet downstream of my location. I floated a couple of drifts by them and nailed the largest Smallmouth I had ever landed. The bastard was almost as big as my upper torso minus my neck and head. probobly a 7LB. Smallmouth. I made sure to hold it up and show the local idiot bate casters. I could hear them spewing all sorts of evil my way. I enjoyed the chance to show a few of them the art of fly fishing, I hope to convert some more over time.

My set up for the evening was the Orvis Access 6 weight rod with Scientific Angler weight forward floating line and a 12 foot x 5x leader. On the end of that I had a foam hopper pattern that is availiable at Little Fork Outfitters in Midland. If you haven’t stopped in there I recommend it. Very nice people, and willing to give advice.

Only one notable issue during the outing. I wasn’t letting my drift continue behind me letting the water load the rod. I tried to cast before the line was ready and this ended up causing a couple of knots in my leader which were a bastard to get out. I have found that I have a hard time letting a bad cast complete the drift. I tend to want to cast over again. However, all this tends to do is scare the fish out of the pool and ruin my chances in the location… I will work on this a bit.

That’s all I can think of for this trip.


Until next time,


Tight Lines.


Catching up

As some of you are aware, I should say none of you since this is my first blog post. That I have picked up an old hobby of fly fishing. I am going to use this blog to express my frustrations, successes, failures, locations, and as a fishing journal. I hope to find some people who are interested in following this blog as I will update it as often as I can get out fishing.

I have been tossing around the idea of catching the blog up with my trips thus far this year. However, that would take far too long and I feel that it would be unfair to any readers if I miss remember anything or leave out needed details. So I will Start from this point forward through the rest of the year. Instead I will just briefly summarize my experience thus far.

I have fished the Mason Tracks on the South Branch of the Ausable river as well as the Main Stream of the Ausable for Trout during the opening weekend in May. I didn’t have much luck beyond one 12″ brown Trout caught on a nymph. Although hardly a stellar trip it did spark a flame and ignite my hobby. I have to thank my brother Charlie for the reintroduction. On the mason tracks I was able to catch a couple quite small Brooke Trout on elk hair caddis dry flies. I cant recall the size but they were smaller.

My next adventure was out to the Pine River near Breckenridge off of 9 mile road. There is a canoe access point on the river and wading is fairly easy along the stretch for about 300 yards in either direction up and down stream. The first few times at the spot were unproductive but once I finally got my shit together I was able to regularly catch fish. During one outing about 2 in the afternoon I was fishing downstream with a yellow conehead streamer and hooked into something rather large, or so it felt anyhow. It broke the line and left me perplexed as to what the hell that was. Out of determination and curiosity I fumbled around to find another similar streamer, tied it on and tossed it out there. Sure as shit the same whatever it was ate the thing. Pulling my line like a freight train the fish realizing it was hooked tried to flea. I was able to play the fish close to me only to realize that I was unprepared to deal with what turned out to be a 35″ Northern Pike. I didn’t have a big enough net to safely land the fish. As it would turn out there were a couple of hikers walking by that assisted me in getting the fish and took a snap shot to remember the experience by. Since then I have not landed anything other than smallmouth Bass out of the Pine at this location but is still a great place, close to home to toss the line in the water and get away from the hustle.

I have also found a great place for Brown Trout that isn’t the AuSable, or Manistee rivers. Near Selkirk Mi there is a canoe access point off of M33 on the Rifle River. It is within hiking distance from Klacking Creek which has been noted by many sources as being a great stream. The creek itself is about a mile hike upstream and is on state land so fishing is great and there is very little fishing pressure. This is what I was looking for. A spot with low pressure, lots of fish, and in the middle of no where. I have caught Browns on this stream and the Rifle at this location every time I have been out. The largest being a 18″ Brown caught on a green or olive woolly bugger.

I have also tried some other small streams but haven’t found anything worth writing about them yet.

Well I plan to do some fishing not to far off so expect the first actual journal report later this weekend.


Until Then,

Tight Lines,


Chris Engelhardt

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