The main branch of the Escanaba River — or the Big Escanaba — begins at the confluence of its East and Middle Branches just south of the town of Gwinn and east of the small settlement of Princeton. From there the big river flows south and east spilling over four dams before it surges into Lake Michigan. Below the first dam the river splits the small community of Cornell, and along the 36 miles of river between those two Ivy League cities many fishermen have obtained an elite education in trout fishing.

Whenever the day is dying and I find myself sitting on that particular high water-gouged bank on the Big Escanaba waiting for the evening rise, the brave words of that gallant old fisherman keep echoing and ringing in my ears — and lending them color, too. “Listen, young fella, I’d sooner sit on my prat on the public dock at Lake Michigamme and plunk night crawlers for bass than ever fish a wet fly!”

Robert Traver
The Old and the Proud
Trout Madness

© 2011 Timothy Schulz


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