Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Fishing the wall

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS editor

Between the weather and getting up the nerve to be seen as a newbie, I've still yet to tackle fishing off "the wall" for steelhead this spring along the St. Clair River in Port Huron.

The day I set to head over there -- last Sunday -- was met with a scoff and a "now I'm REALLY not going" muttering after I peered out the kitchen window in my sweats and saw giant pillowy snow flakes screaming down from the sky.

I'm sure I might look like a lightweight to most outdoorsmen and women but I had my fill of chilly hunts during the late firearms season for doe in December. I can hang in single-digit to below-zero hunts with the best of them. Usually I'm the only one among my circle of hunting pals that even gets out during that time of year.

Now's the time to embrace the coming of the more moderate seasons such as spring gobbler and trout and salmon fishing. Then in summer, full-on bassin', baby.

I'm patient because I know it is April and somewhere in this month, is a few 50- and 60-degree temperature days. Yes?

The other obstacle is rubbing elbows with the "pros" that hit the wall pretty regularly.

And looking stupid.

Comes with the territory and I've been there before many times over the years in the outdoor world.

I didn't come from a family that hunted, so most of what I learned I read about, asked questions from other experienced hunters and then by trial and error.

For the most part, I've accomplished much of what I have wanted to do, although some goals still haven't been met -- mainly a monster buck with a bow.

In fact, I noticed a condescending look the other day from another customer in a gun store after I asked the proprietor a question about a firearm.

The smug one was carrying a stack of unopened boxes of Brownings he had just bought. (Must be nice.)

That was what was great about hitting Anderson's, a tackle shop on the north side of Port Huron.

I realized I wasn't going to complete all the items on the "do-everything" list on my second day off, so I decided to make that Monday a logistical day and pick up gear for a future outing.

So as I mulled over a few spoons, I began to ask some questions on what colors were best to use and how to rig my gear for the wall, and the guy working the counter at Anderson's -- sadly I didn't get his name -- totally hooked me up.

I brought in the pole I purchased several years ago specifically for that type of fishing, and he showed me how to use it with the 1-pound weight and two different leads off of it.

And even told me to come back if I had any other questions.

Yeah, if you're wondering, I did spend some money. But not a ridiculous amount.

Enough though that I decided to pass on the $13.95 pole holder "that most of the guys use."

Hmmmm, I guess I'm gonna wait now until I get the pole holder, I wouldn't want to go out there without one and look stupid.


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