August 28th, 2006

What a Fish-In!
By James Castwell


I had planned on a big report on the two 'Fish-In's. The one in Quebec, Canada and at Grayling, Michigan. But, right now I am still at a lose for words. The reason the words don't seem to come is the feelings I still have from the two events. Probably one of the words would be gratitude. It was a surprise. Completely a surprise. I (we) had been 'wound so tight' leading up to the trip that when it actually happened we were both taken totally by surprise by how wonderfully we were treated.

Oh, here is a picture from the Michigan one. A couple of young fly-fishers heading out to hit the 'evening' rise. I snapped this as my wife and I were siting on a stream-side bench in front of 'Gates Au Sable Lodge'. We watched these boys for quite a while. Fascinating. Oh to be that age again. Either grandmother or grandfather kept an eye on the kids at all times.

Young Fly Fishers

As you know we burned the 'midnight oil' to get things done before the two week vacation; took the red-eye (10 pm) Sunday evening and didn't return until two Sunday's later. We had some problems on the air flights. Big deal, who cares, everyone does. The days spent in Quebec were sensational. In three days of casting my friggin' arm off I had one small salmonoid thing rise to my fly. It missed it on the way up, leaped over it and missed it on the way down. My wife caught a brookie of about five pounds. We will never know for sure as it engaged itself with a small branch as she was reaching to land it. Good-by.

We pigged-out of one of the same size, Chris caught and weighed it, first time I ever had my fill of brookie. The three of us ate him for dinner. Him and some sides that Chris cooked up on his camp stove. Guys, it just doesn't get any better than that.

But, perhaps equaled. Fishing for sea run brookie's on the fjord with who had to be the worlds greatest hosts and two of his cohorts. One English and one French. Faruk Ekich was our host for a most memorable day of friendship, fishing and food. Authentic cuisine prepared by the host himself at his beach cottage. What a place. Located above a wide and pleasant shoreline, perfect for casting a fly from the beach. What an adventure we had. Pictures will follow.

After a week in the great Northeast we flew back to Detroit and up to Traverse City, Michigan, then drove down to the lodge east of Grayling. Got there mid afternoon on Monday the 'something or other'. Relaxed on Tuesday, gave a casting program Wednesday noon and a slide program that evening. Played with various fly rods each morning in front of our unit except Thursday when we drove to Rogers City, summer home of Deanna's during her childhood. It was a good day, lots of things were still pretty much the same.

The boys moved 'The Dinner' up to Friday evening. Several thousand pounds of smoked/cooked/grilled brisket. Secret recipes, you know how it is. If I told ya, I would have to... Another pig-out was in store. I won't mention I ate pan-fried perch almost every other night we were at Gates Au Sable Lodge. There is no way, there are no words quite right, for me to describe how well we were treated. I was not expecting it and certainly not use to it. We are just regular folks who work our butts off trying to keep this web site going. I was in the company of fine people. People I can call friends. They were the special ones.

Oh, here is another picture.

Canoe attack

We were still sitting on the bench. The little guy had gone in and that is his brother out there in front of the canoe. Dedicated kids. He survived and continued fly fishing until dark. I would like to comment on the last picture but the beer company might not like it.

Saturday was our 33rd wedding anniversary and that evening we went upstream to Keystone Landing and just watched the evening rise. This was exactly where we met and were also married. Brought back good thoughts. We did not disturb the fish. They seemed to be contented with the way things were; as were we. It was good to get away for a while.

We will get you some pictures soon. Still coming in. I just loaded about 150 on this PC.

The Maestro

Oh yes, I did some casting too. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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