By Tim Callahan

Wouldn’t it be great if we could program our dreams before we fell asleep? I’d select a dream of trout fishing on a small stream.

I remember a dream I had of fishing and camping on the Peppermint Creek behind my grandparents’ home in Nesson City, a small ghost town southwest of Traverse City. I’ll never forget the sights and smells of that little stream. There’s nothing like falling asleep to the babbling, gurgling, and slurping fish dream-inducing noises.

Trout dreams are hard to come by.

Then there are trout fishing daydreams, which take up a good percentage of my waking hours. I tend to daydream of trout fishing while doing mundane chores like grass mowing, time-consuming commercial art jobs, or any job, and even while painting pictures of trout.

The Auger Creek crosses my road, M-123, just a ¼ mile away from headquarters here. Right after moving here, I had a night dream that I could hear a creek and walk to it from my house, and it had brook trout. After a short walk through the woods, I discovered the Auger was only 100 yards from my front door. Chuck Jerrick, the past owner and a trout fisherman himself, had made a path to the creek, also clearing a spot to fly cast. It’s a pretty thick creekside. He also built a bridge and did some stream work – thanks, Chuck!

So my first brook trout on the Auger Creek is really a dream come true!

To honor this fine trout, I sketched him, then painted bright colors on him and rolled him onto paper, leaving a detailed impression of him, adding a little color here and there.

One thousand years ago, the Japanese started that tradition as an art form and a way to prove the size of their catch!

I also enjoyed my first trout from the Auger as dinner, with a side of baked beans and wild rice– and to celebrate this trophy, a tin cup of Crown Royal on the rocks.

But I confess that I’ve released all of the trout I’ve caught since this one because, well, there’s not that many in there. So if any of the DNR fisheries folks are reading this story, could you please release a few brook trout into the Auger Creek–some rainbows or browns would be nice also–preferably right across the street from headquarters.