Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tricos, hammocks, and a bad ass new net

Made it up to Michigan for my annual Trico pilgrammage over the weekend. This year I had two buddies come along with me and both of my brothers up for atleast a day to hang out. As always there was plenty of laughter, beverages, weather, and of course fish. This trip the second year ina row that I had a person come along for the fun who decided that their fly fishing education should jump straight from streamer fishing to the most demanding and technical daytime fishing there is...Tricos. Each morning I woke up at Shupac Lake Campground and rolled over to quite a sunrise.

Since we arrived at nearly 2am this was the first view the guys had of the North Branch of the Au Sable, as we headed south to our chosen spot. Needless to say this view brought smiles to all our faces.

Mariano dumped down in to the river and gave a few rising fish everything they could handle.

Nate started fishing with me around the beginning of the year and until this weekend hadn't fished anything under a few inches more than a handful of times. Once the Trico spinnerfall started we got him in to position and, after a few missed shots and a pulled hook, he was able to master a tricky drift to get his fly to this fish...his first on a dry fly! Definitely a well earned smile.

Of sourse I got in on the action as well...

I decided this year to try out the TrekLight hammock system, and I can say that it is without a doubt awesome. This was not tough to set up, exceedingly comfortable to sleep in, and stayed perfectly dry through the deluge we endured Saturday. By sleeping at a slight angle you flatten out almost entirely, and the bug netting surrounds the hammock so you do not have to worry about getting eaten up. I can not wait to get it back in action again soon.

The weapons of choice for the weekend were a pair of Mystic 2WT rods and a 3 weight Redington. I have to say, again, that the Mystic 2WT is very impressive and has become one of my favorite rods to chase fish with. It may be on the light end of the scale but in spite of it's sensitivity it has the backbone to handle fish with bad intentions. Check them out at the Mystic Outdoors website along with the rest of their series.

Here is the reason I head up there each year to camp during the hottest month of the year. These little flies bring up every fish in the river. They can be alternately fantastic and maddening. If you like technical fishing and have not tried fishing a size 26 fly across multiple seams on a 12-15' 8X leader then you are really missing out on a great hatch.

On a final note today, I stopped off on the way home and picked up my new custom net by Dr Sam Lacina. Last year at the shows Sam commented that he would love a mess of my streamers, and I told him I had been eyeing a net from him for a few years. I told him exactly what I was looking for and this it; the net measures 17"x22" in the hoop and totals 39" in overall length. It uses zip ties to attach the ghost bag, which both retains the full integrity of the hoop and allows me to easily change out the bag if anything happens to it. This net can handle a 30" fish and some serious weight...this is a MAN NET! I will be stalking the rivers now with a net that can handle pretty much anything.

Dr Sam really knows his craft, this net is a functinal work of art. Check out more of his stuff on his site: Nets That Honor the Fish.

-mike schmidt


  1. beautiful trip. great catches.
    the Man Net...
    nice workmanship.

  2. DUDE!!! Sorry I haven't been around, I'm off FB for good, more on that another day. Great posts, and pictures too. I want that net. When you get a chance email me the info on how to obtain one. Major kick ass fish lander.... must have now

  3. You would love it up there man. Technical fishing, lots of laughs, great time! Definitely will have to hear our death of FB story. Email on it's way.