The plan was to roll into Traverse City early to do a little pre-fishing with Brother Matt Dunn. Beaver Island was the main objective of the trip, but Grand Traverse Bay is no slouch either. After a quick lunch and license purchase, we rolled up to the tip of Old Mission Point. First mistake of the trip, I left my polarized glasses in the truck back at the hotel. Oops. Luckily in crystal clear water, it is fairly easy to locate fish under bright sunny conditions. I somehow spot a shadow in the water and tell Matt to cast to it. He successfully hooks up with a beautiful golden bone and we think the day is getting off to a great start. We proceed to find hundreds of fish cruising around the flats. Cast after cast, some of them so on the money that you can't write up a finer presentation in a text book, but no takers. Every single one of these fish had a case of the lockjaw. No worries, though, I grab a Hurricane High Gravity on the way back to the hotel and settle in for the evening.
The next day was a complete 180 from the day prior. The wind shifted direction, picked up in gusts, and brought clouds and rain with it. As we scouted the flats, we could not find a single fish where we had found hundreds the day before. We regrouped and headed back to the hotel where the mouth of the Boardman entered the lake. I rigged up a new pattern I whipped up the night before, the Mustache Ride, and proceed to swing my flies along the bottom at the mouth of the river. I was surprised as I managed to dredge up a few smallies off the bottom in relative short order. Now, I was in my element. Matt and I hooked up several decent smallmouth, a white sucker, and one corpulent lake run brown who looked like it was about to pop. The day was salvaged.
Some new blood arrived and joined up with us in Traverse City; Caleb Reinhold and Bill Konway were joining us on Beaver Island. We grabbed dinner and headed to an Irish pub for some local flavor. Third Coast was responsible for the entertainment that evening, half price stouts courtesy of "Guy's Night" (I didn't know there was such a thing), foosball, and a late night run to the border, involving more burritos than you could load a ferry with. Good times...
Coming up next: getting to Beaver Island.