|The Au Sable River|
Mieo, now Mio, Michigan was a couple hours north of where I grew up...only because there was no direct road and you had to loop around on the Lake Huron shoreline to get there. It was a favorite place for my father for some reason; partly because Gulf Oil supplied fuel to the big Air Force Base in Oscoda (nearby) and that one of the Gulf Oil distributors had a cabin on the AuSable River and my dad could use it whenever he wanted to fish for brown trout.
Mieo was the wife of one of the town's founders and was just a bump in the road. We used to eat breakfast there, having left Bay City at 5am or some God-awful hour, and drive west out of town. Somewhere out near the county line we headed north on a dirt road and then turned right down a sandy path to the cabin. It was on the south bank of the river on something of a bend. It would be cold at this time of the year and, fire lit in the cabin stove, off we would go to the stream, fly rods at the ready.
We had waders on - hip boots in rubber overalls - he would head west, upstream and I liked the sandy part that ran east. I couldn't see him but we would call out to each other now and then just to make sure the other was still alive or if we caught a fish. I was a terrible fisherman...well bad luck fisherman anyway. I never caught much of anything but it was exciting to be there and the smell of the cabin stove, the wind moving through the pines and mixed forest areas - there is a difference in the way wind sounds in each - the cold water and in particular the lash of a fly line having reached the far point of the cast...well I can hear it all now.
Lunch was whatever we caught if anything. The only thing my dad brought with us was Crisco Oil for the fry pan. No veggies, no starch, just trout. We always left right after we ate so my dad could get back to the office and I, having taken a sick day from school, would have a rehearsal or something I had to get to so the time machine (my father's company car) transported us out down that sandy road back to Oscoda and south to our town.