A light yet cold rain fell as I pulled into Willard's drive. It was 10am and I worried he was prepared. He had spent the previous evening at the Hosedragger's Ball (aka fireman's annual casino night), and would typically have the urge to over serve himself. But, not on this day... He was packed, ready and we quickly loaded him up and headed north.
Willie at the Corner Bar, Rockford, MI
We stopped in Rockford for some bacon dogs and to visit friends at Great Lakes Fly Fishing, then headed up "Trout Route" 37 to our destination, The Pere Marquette Lodge. The Meat Gazer and Big Bob were standing outside their vehicles sipping beers. They informed us that our cabins were ready, but Rat had all the keys, and he was fishing... And so were we.
Slick with his first salmon of the slam
We drove only a few miles from the cabin to Fishermen's Access, just off 72 street. Willard and I moved quickly through the trails to the steam and up a quarter mile to our favorite spot. The fishing reports were accurate. These fish were huge and plentiful. We had no problem hooking up, but landing these monsters proved to be a challenge.
The sun began to set beneath the cedars and we decided to head back to camp and see the boys.
FOErik had some amazing pulled pork stew and cornbread waiting for us. We ate, drank and laughed more than we should, but that's the norm when at the slam. Around midnight we headed to our small but warm cabin just down the trail. A few more pops and off to bed... After all, Willie and I were to meet Chris Martin at his place at 6:30 am for a steelhead trip in the Manistee. Hard to imagine that tomorrow could possibly be a better day than we had just had!