Upper Midwest.......


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The post below is something that I just wrote in the "Rocky Mountains" forum. I wanted to place it here as well to get the thoughts of those still in the area.

I am torn on locations and would like to eventually get back to northern Wisco, the UP or upper Michigan. I just do not know if it will happen. The one thing I have noticed, everyone from the Midwest the travels west to fish absolutely loves it. So I guess I am asking, would you folks rather be west or in the upper Midwest?

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Every one of us fantasizes, dreams and looks forward to the day when they can pick up and stop the truck in their "dream" destination, for the remainder of their days.

Growing up and spending life through my 20's in the upper Midwest and NW Ontario, Canada, I naturally have an affinity for the area. Often over looked, under rated and just now gaining attention, the area offers the sportsman everything! From a fly fishing stand point, there are farm pond Largemouth, river Smallmouth, spring creek Trout, Great Lakes tributary Salmon, Steelhead and Browns, Pike and the northwoods legend, Muskie! Add to this the bowhunting, upland bird hunting and waterfowl hunting and it is a hidden paradise! The problem.......the better half REALLY likes the mountains and would like to stay west!

That being said, the other considerations are western Montana or central Oregon. Both places are special, both places offer most of what we are looking for (four seasons, fly fishing, hunting, camping, etc.). Montana has the Trout fishing, no question. There is also great hunting and the scenery from Missoula to Helena to Canada to Yellowstone is flat beautiful! My only concern is variety in terms of species. I also love Bass, Pike and Muskie (I could live with a trip or two for Steelhead) and I am not as knowledgeable on these fisheries in Montana. After talking to some folks also, they say Montana is over rated and that there are better options. This I am not so sure about!

Oregon is kind of like my current location in terms of the varied landscape; high country, high desert and then the ocean (which I do not have currently). There are places I love, such as the rivers and streams in the pines, however I simply do not know about the high desert areas such as the John Day and Grande Ronde (not as appealing to me). Yet, there are four season, there is some great fishing and hunting and there is the variety in terms of species (Bass, Trout, Salmon, Steelhead but no Pike or Muskie).

I simply can not decide, not that the decision needs to be made immediately. Love the idea of Montana, the scenery and the Trout. Love the idea of central Oregon, some of the scenery and the variety. Really would be exploring the Smallmouth rivers!

What are the thoughts of the board?


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Sorry to say, yet there is NO end all dream destination upon this planet.

Fact of the matter is, every single spot round the world can be absolutely amazing, magnificent and beautiful if you simply look for it and enjoy it for what it is and has to offer....I'm not speaking of one nation, state, city, location. I mean right down to you could park your butt at the base of a tree or in the back corner of some back slum alley and be amazed for the rest of your life. But you must look, and enjoy it for what it is not what it doesn't.

When younger I routinely made plans to live here, move there, change my profession to this, do this that or the other to live and for recreation for the rest of my life and all I was doing really was excluding the infinite other things and places that are equally wonderful.

Thus I always suggest the following to those young, and even those old.....Travel. Travel constantly to new places. When you go to work take different routes, back roads ideal. Have free time at night go visit the next town over, or drive down that back road, or walk some obscure trail. Weekends are for distant destinations a hundred miles away....anywhere, just simply some random spot on a map.....and longer vacations offer you the world.

In late July my wife and I took what you're suggesting as a "dream trip" for close to a month with only two set aspects in mind. A general route meant to have the scenery change dramatically every hour at best (no planned places to stay except 1) and my promise of every single day I would show her something amazing.......The trip included Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, S. Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 99% of the trip once to Wy., Mt., Id. minor roads, most dirt and many 2-track....and my promise wasn't broken.

We did have problems though;
1. We were supposed to fish.....It was so amazing of a trip we fished perhaps 4 hours of it (as in casting time), and we wanted to fish every second yet just up the road kept calling to us.
2. We were wore out each day in that 250 miles = 18 hours of exploring and were lucky to find meals or rooms in that only bars would be open (If I see another burger and fries I'll shoot myself).
3. Each minute of each day we shoud have stopped where we stood and stayed there for a week...Each place we had been we should have gone back to...Each place we bypassed we should have stopped.

......and when we got home? The fishing and sunset off our dock was amazing.

It's up to you. It can either be there is someplace better (which it is), or where you are at is perfect (which it is).....What is up to you is, is it seen as a win-win or fail-fail. If you choose the latter, well buddy, you just ain't lookin hard enough :shades: