Michigan has many outdoor recreations camps. Annual traditions have a special place in my heart. Whether it’s deer camp with my dad or annual camps with my buddies. Camp is a special place for many reasons. We get to spend several days in the outdoors with very little commitment to anything else. Us guys get to be adventurous just like we were made to do. It’s good for the soul to have these opportunities.
One camp that I try to make every year is the Bakker steelhead camp my buddies Dad puts on. The camp is a beautiful log cabin they had built on their own. The cabin is in the perfect place on an unknown creek in the middle of a bunch of tall pine trees. It’s the perfect camp! To be part of this camp every year is truly an honor for the amount of effort that went into the camp.
This year’s camp was a little different, though. Usually, we all rock the steelhead and trout pretty good. One year back in 2012, the fishing was so good we stayed down there from sunrise to sunset for 4 days straight. This year, we had several fronts blow in. It started off with a rainstorm that day before that brought up the water levels. Then the weather became really warm and was snowing 2 hours later. It was really the perfect storm of making the fishing horrible. As the days progressed, the water became very dirty. Very few adult steelhead were caught. This lead us to analyze every reason why the fishing was so bad and then find us back at the cabin.
These groups of guys are some of the best fishermen I know. But this trip shows how even a great fisherman can get shut down due to weather. It’s a humbling experience that lets you know that your not in control. The fishing was so bad that we actually spent more time at the cabin. We talked politics, business and of course, fishing. Some frosty beverages were consumed and amazing meals were made. It wasn’t about the fishing but just hanging out and being guys. The music was cranked up as we prepared for the next day hoping for a different outcome in the morning.
One of my favorite parts about this camp is when Mr. Bakker brings out the fishing journal. We remembrance about the years past, who was around and how the fishing was. To me, it’s fun to remember what made that camp fun from years past and bring back memories of fish and good times. I especially like to listen when Mr. Bakker talks about the fishing back in the days. He has many years of fishing knowledge and fishing wisdom that any fisherman would find interesting.
Saturday was a touch better for some but the fishing was still extremely tough. The weather was bitterly cold. The winds were blowing in each direction at times. At times, the snow was so bad you barely could see across the river. You had to wonder if we were still in February or if it was April?? Garret who doesn’t get to fish often ended up being the man of the weekend and hooking up with eight steelhead in extremely tough conditions.
We finally called it a day and headed to the bar for the annual Final four March Madness game. Sometimes we are lucky to watch our Spartans make it. This year was a little different as most of Michigan state fans know, but we won’t get into that.
After the game, I made the decisions I was headed home to beat the next front coming in.
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