Stream fishing in Ottawa National Forest

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Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, our family took a ride to Agate Falls and Bond Falls down in Ontonagan county in the Ottawa National Forest. Calvin and Brucey, 2 of my sons with “fishing” in their blood and I fished the flowage and the river for most of the time that our family spent there.
Our day started out with a plan to attend church in Painesville in the morning, have lunch there, as they serve it after services, then tour the area in the afternoon. Calvin suggested that we bring fishing rods, which I agreed it would be a good idea, but that he would have the get them from my boat. He did as instructed, but forgot to bring tackle, so we did not have single hook with us.
The first place we stopped after lunch was Agate Falls, but were un-able to fish with no hooks… all we could do was look into the river and imagine all the hungry fish waiting for us to pitch in a line. I told myself I’ll have to return some time soon.
Later on, at Bond Falls, we found some tackle at the outpost… number 6 hooks and spit shot lead sinkers, plus I bought a #3 copper Mepps spinner. I told Calvin that I will use the spinner, since I only bought one and I’d only have myself to blame if I snag up and loose it, so he and Bruce used hooks and sinkers.
I caught a 9 inch brookie almost right away at the bottom of the falls and continued downstream, leaving the boys at a good hole to fish while I explored.
About 1/4 mile down, I hooked onto an active fish, that I thought was a brown. It jumped out of the water several times, trying to shake my copper spinner and I played him in slowly, keeping him out of the overhanging bank. I had no net, but thought I’d be able to flip him on the bank as I had the specked trout earlier. When he finally came in, I was surprised to see that it was a 2 pound small mouth bass!
After releasing him, I again casted into the same hole, snagging up near the shore about 30 feet below where I stood. This snag was not coming out as I pulled towards me, and I realized that I’d have to get below it. The bank between me and the snag was completely brushed in and there was no way I could get around the brush with my rod in hand, so I flipped my bail and threw the rod like a spear downstream into the trees below the snag. After working my way through the tangles and recovering my rod the snag came out easily. All this to save my $4.56 spinner, but it was worth the effort, because now I could fish some more.
Later, back at the road I caught a small crappie in the spillway. This made one brookie, one small mouth and one crappie all on a #3 Mepps copper spinner, a good old standby lure that will catch almost anything! The boys also each caught one brookie, so we cooked them over a fire to supplement our supper.
A good time was had by all.

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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