"Nothing." I said. "Not a nibble". We knew he would be there. Katie called my net-man* Sean on the cell while we were on the river. She told us he was there, and that he said we should not be fishing on this river.
He checked my license, then said - "Here's the problem. It is illegal to have fishing gear on a closed river. This is a closed river."
"That's not the way I read the regs." I told him. "I read the guide and have it in the car."
"Lets take a look." he said.
I grabbed the 2009 Michigan Fishing Guide and we walked back to his pick-up. I pointed to page 20 where the Laughing Whitefish is identified as a category 4 river. "Yeah". he said - "This river is closed after September 30." Then I pointed to page 32 that showed the while the river was closed for brookies, browns, and Atlantic salmon, it was open for coho, chinook, pink salmon and rainbow trout. He looked at the page for a long time.
"I can see how you might find that confusing." he said. "What are you fishing for?"
"I'm going for chinook or coho.A friend of mine caught one here."
"Really?" he said. "I never heard of anyone catching salmon in this river." After a pause - "I'm not going to give you a ticket."
"Can I throw a few more casts?" I asked.
"Sure. Go ahead." And with that he turned on the ignition, spun up some road gravel and was gone.
That was how the expedition ended.
The summary of the expedition is this: I caught no fish and the reel broke after only about 30 minutes on the river, cutting the excursion short.
This is the rest of the story in pics and vid:
After arriving at the river, the fisherman and his loyal net-man head into the forest and ply the waters.
We had some equipment problems. A broken reel cut short the fishing effort.
*The "net-man" is a new trout fishing innovation I invented. It is inspired by the caddy in golf, who follows and assists the golfer, carrying the golfer's clubs and offering them as needed. The net-man follows the trout fisherman on the stream, carrying his fishing net and beer supply. A good net-man stays out of the way but close at hand, ready to assist the fisherman with a net or beer as needed.