Siciliano's Market News, June 4 Edition

A morning of fly fishing on the Big Sauble River

Barb coaxing in a brookie

By Steve Siciliano

The Little Manistee has been running high lately, a tad too high for a guy with two fake hips and a gal who doesn’t have much ballast on her bones to wade safely, so Barb and I have been spending some quality fly fishing time on another stream in close proximity to our cottage—the Big Sauble River.

Why this northern lower Michigan stream has “big” in its moniker is a bit puzzling. It’s not very wide, it’s not very deep and compared to many other Michigan rivers it’s not very long. It rises in the area of the Sauble Lakes and meanders through Lake and Mason counties until flowing into Hamlin Lake near Ludington. A dam between its mouth at Lake Michigan and the outlet at Hamlin Lake prevents anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead from making spawning runs up the river. That, coupled with the fact that three of Michigan’s most popular trout streams—the Pere Marquette, Manistee and Little Manistee—are in the general area, is probably why many anglers give it short shrift.

Barb and I usually fish a lovely stretch not far from the source. It’s normally pretty shallow but when the water is high there are plenty of log-strewn holes and a good number of small runs and riffles that hold fish. The water is always gin clear so stealth is the name of the game. The native browns and brookies that smack our offerings are feisty and beautifully colored. Most aren't very big but I once spotted a lunker rising at the head of a pool. After spooking it with a clumsy cast it held steady in the current for a few moments before darting off to the safety of the bulrushes.

We work our way upstream until we come to a tail-water below the vestiges of an old narrow gauge railroad bridge that I like to think dates back to the lumbering era. To the left is a crude dock that you can use to hoist yourself on to the bank (we have permission from the land owner) and attack the pool from above. There’s also a bench (thank you Mr. landowner) where you can sit and rest before working your way back downstream. One morning last week I sat on that bench and smoked my pipe and watched Barb play a nice brookie. It was a wonderful couple of hours on a beautiful (Big) little river.

Featured Wines of the Week

Barker's Marque,The Loop, Sauvignon Blanc,2019, New Zealand, $14.19/750 ml - "Rich, textured and lifted on the nose with light biscuit character that layers over rich lemons and limes that don’t quite make it to origins (sorry, oranges). The citrus aromatic is fragrant and blossom-like and there is an almost nutty twist. A lot of secondary characteristics here but the fruit core is amazingly dense and intense. And there’s that familiar smokiness again. A little time in the glass focusses and intensifies to give the wine an almost liquorice character – Nuts, I know but try it and I hope you’ll see it. An opening that is, all at once, light and bright while being dense and heavily textured. This is a serious wine with a powerful mid-palate showing rich candied citrus and warm lemon curd flavours. The finish is long, big and textured but with a fine acidity that drags it on and on…" (Source)

Crios, 2019 Malbec rose, Argentina, Dominio Del Plata, $10.39/750 ml - Susana Balbo founded Crios as a tribute to her children, Jose and Ana. Together, they craft wines to be enjoyed across generations and to represent values they strive to instill in their own families. Crios Rose of Malbec prompts us to look at life differently, as Susana did while imagining premium roses as a new way to enjoy Argentina's flagship varietal. Fresh, dry and delicate, with aromas and flavors of strawberry and gooseberry leading to a balanced palate and crisp finish." (Source)

Tiamo, 2018, Chianti, Italy, $12.49/750 ml *Organic* - "Tiamo Chianti is estate grown and is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. After hand-picking, the grapes are sorted and crushed. Fermentation takes place at low temperatures over 15–20 days before a gentle pressing. No oak is used. Our Chianti has a deep garnet color and has an intense bouquet with hints of licorice and spice and red fruits. It is fruity but soft. It pairs perfectly with roasted/grilled meats, stews, pastas with red sauces, pizza and firmer cheeses. Ideally serve at about 60°F." (Source)

Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.

"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices."

Featured Spirits of the Week

Stolen Spirits, Smoked Rum, $23.19/750ml - "This is Stolen Smoked Rum. This rum is inspired by wanderlust, one of our favorite lusts. It’s the world’s first smoked rum. It’s made in Trinidad from locally sourced sugar cane. It’s column-distilled and aged for at least two years in ex-whiskey barrels made from American oak. Additional flavor is imbrued into the rum using 100% Arabica coffee beans from Columbia, fenugreek seeds from Morocco, and vanilla beans from Madagascar. To finish, the rum is smoked in America using American hardwood. It’s roasty, caramelly, and pleasantly but not overbearingly smoky." (Source)

Ha'penny Rhubarb Gin, Ireland, $29.49/750 ml -" Ha’penny Rhubarb is a refreshing, distinctively pink small batch pot distilled gin featuring the finest rhubarb alongside 13 expertly selected botanicals. Named after the iconic Ha’penny Bridge, the Ha’penny range features Geranium, Dandelion, Lavender and Blackberry, all botanicals which would have been growing in the nearby Phoenix Park in Victorian times when the bridge was built. Fresh rhubarb bouquet with discernible notes of juniper and citrus followed by subtle hints of botanical spice. Initially fresh rhubarb with a bright botanical mix, roun