Long before the time of Trout Unlimited, the Great Spirit appeared before an assembly of Michigan’s coldwater fish to warn of the Intrusion. The Intruders, the Spirit foresaw, would harvest the grand white pines, sully the clear waters with silt and debris, and obstruct and warm the rivers with massive dams. Most important, the Spirit proclaimed, the Intruders would possess an insatiable appetite for the fish’s flesh.
The leaders of the coldwater tribes — the grayling and the brook trout — asked the Spirit to send the mighty grizzly to protect them from the Intruders; the Spirit said the Intruders would kill the bears with powerful thunder sticks and use their hides for shelter and warmth. The fish asked to be protected by the venomous snakes; the Spirit said the Intruders would kill the snakes with knives and use their skin for belts and shoes. Frightened by the proficiency of the Intruders, the fish asked the Spirit to create new creatures that were too small to be killed by the thunder sticks and too agile to be killed by the knives. They asked for creatures that could fly with the skill of a hummingbird and jump with the strength of a puma. And most important, the fish pled, the creatures should crave the blood of the Intruder. And so it was that the Great Spirit sent the mosquito, the black fly, and the wood tick to thwart the Intruders in their pursuit of Michigan’s coldwater fish.
© 2011 Timothy Schulz