I really dont like labels. But if I had to classify myself as a fisherman, I would say I was a Pike fisherman. I enjoy Bass fishing. I enjoy trout fishing. But I love Pike fishing. In the winter I love catching Pike on a tip-up. I love bringing them in by hand…feeling the weight of the fish. At first I was fascinated by their appearance; forward facing eyes and razor sharp teeth. Later in life I began to appreciate their adaptability. They can survive where others cannot. Pike fishing is much different than trout fishing. For one the environment is different. The rivers and lakes in Lenawee County are too warm for trout. It’s a harsh environment to live. Rivers here are rarely used for recreation. They are a place to drain a field to maximize crop production. Many are inundated with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers. It’s a miracle anything survives in our rivers. But incredibly fish do survive..and E. Lucius is one of them. Secondly, Pike fishing requires hardware. The flies are BIG and meaty. Leave your 4 wt at home. You’ll need a powerful rod to cast big flies and land monster Pike.
Getting to small creeks like the Bean can sometimes be a challenge. There are no trails or walking paths, no TU signs pointing the way, no benches to rest or public accesses. Along the Bean there are waist high stinging nettles. I tried to stomp them down to protect my bare legs. I climbed over a fallen cottonwood to get to the river. I jumped in and flushed two Kingfishers. They scolded me as they flew upstream. I looked down and noticed muddlers and crawfish darting away. I pulled out my flybox and tied on a conehead muddler. The water felt cool on my legs in the 90 degree heat. Wading upstream was impossible…too many downed trees. So I worked my way downstream. The sandy bottom made it easy. I cast into every deep pool I could. I had a few Pike chase my fly but none would take it. Other pools were covered by fallen trees or overhanging vegetation. After an hour of snagging branches on my back casts I gave up. I waited at the bridge for my friends to return. Sherm caught one Pike. Stuart got skunked. I managed to land a decent sunfish while I waited for them.
Bean Creek runs through Hudson, MI in southwest Lenawee County. For more information about this beautiful watershed visit the Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition Website.