Thanks for the positive feedback Hal, I've learned so much from this forum its my plan to give a liitle back when I can.
The avatar is one of my pike flies, actually its a replacement I got for one that was destroyed by chain pickerel. Caught so many that the fly disintegrated- only the head and one eye was left and they were still hitting it. Only reason I left the water that day was because of darkness. Have a happy holiday season.
Sounds like we had very similar childhoods as far as fishing goes. All the species you mentioned are abundant in central new york. Lucky us to grow up on the northern tier of the country. New York State is a fishermans paradise, I can imagine that Michigan is similar in that regard. Both states have highlands with rivers and brooks that are fed by meltwater from heavy snowfalls. The lower lands of both states are strung with beautiful glacial carved lakes. Both states border more than one Great Lake. Throw in healthy populations of multiple species of gamefish, panfish, and catfish...who could ask for anything more. Sorry to hear that you don't go out on the ice, its a wonderful experience. I stay out overnight and make it a 24 hour thing. I have friends that stay out for a week every year.
I don't go outside anymore when there's ice about. I try to avoid snow as well.
I used to fish small lakes in MI when I was a kid. Blue-gill, Crappy, Large mouth bass, Walleye, Bullheads on multilead hotdogs. And the Lake Huron Perch runs every season (who needs bait?). Got out of the habit, when I found out about cars and girls.
I'm not a great photograher. Mediocre equipment. But I am a ruthless editor of literally thousands of shots