Posted on September 28, 2016

We finally have had a day or two that feels like fall, although they’ve been few and far between. It's been a hot September here in the mitten but I hope we will be transitioning to cooler temps soon. Other than the first rush of salmon that came in with the lake flip, the run has just been a trickle. So I've put my gear away and focused on other things.

One thing I've definitely learned about all these runs and just the outdoors in general is that when it's right, you better drop everything and go. If you've waited until an army is out there doing it, you are too late. Playing the forecast and being the first one to be in the know is going to lead to some spectacular days. Sure there are lots of times where the hunch it's going down is wrong. But that is a small price to pay for the crazy days when it is on. I feel very fortunate to have been out there on the few good salmon days.

Anyway I put the salmon gear away and really spent some time cleaning the Skeeter. Which is now gone, it actually sold within a week of putting it on craigslist. Was sort of crazy to see it pull out of the driveway and be left with an empty garage. I’ve made a lot of good me memories in that boat and transported a lot of big fish to the weigh in with those livewells. I hope it will be as good to the next owner as it was to me. Now the fun begins for shopping for a new one and looking for a bigger duck boat too. I’m hoping to order a new bass boat for the spring, but I obviously need the duck boat now. However it’s going to have to be a crazy deal and the right boat for me to make a move on that.

But what really has me excited is duck hunting with Hutch! He finally got his first taste of it during the youth hunt. I've never done the youth hunt before, but this year I had the opportunity to take my buddy Trevor. I was hopeful the birds were going to be pretty naive to decoys and Trevor would get lots of shooting in. Both turned out to be true as Trevor shot his limit of wood ducks and a mallard. He still could have taken 2 more birds but the mallards or ducks other than wood ducks were nowhere to be seen.

It was pretty exciting when Hutch brought the first wood duck back. Although I was extremely confident after all the training we had done he would do his job. I was still kind of nervous to see it all happen. Although his retrieves weren't perfect, he fetched every bird no problem and got better every time. It will be interesting to see how much it clicks over the course of the season.

I also got him out for geese a couple times, I knew these hunts were going to be long shots for success but I really wanted him to get a goose on water. My friends, who are more experienced at this dog training thing, said it is way easier for a dog to get used to handling geese if the first one is on the water. So off we went and Amanda came along shooting with the camera. We did end up fooling some geese and Hutch was off to make the retrieve. He was a little unsure of the big bird flailing around, but he got it figured out and brought me the bird. That was a mission accomplished and I don't have any worries about him picking one up in a field now. It has also been cool watching him pick up on some of the little things that are going on out there. The regular duck season should be exciting!

I'm also looking forward to the D&R Sports Classic on Lake Charlevoix this fall. That and the annual Portage Chain tournament in November will probably be the last 2 times I bass fish this year. I'm going to be spending a lot of time with the dog in the marsh and especially since I am boatless. I am really looking forward to an all smallmouth tournament and it will be interesting because I won't be sightfishing. I've got a bunch of new goodies on the way from ClearH20 Tackle and Nemesis Baits so I should be able to find something those northern smallmouth want. I am worried we will be there in a transition time since this fall has been unseasonably warm, I guess we will find out in a few weeks!

That’s all I’ve got for now, it should be an interesting fall!