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Fly Shop News - April 2014

by Amy MacEachern
Schmidt Outfitters

Could it be? The sun has returned to northern Michigan!  I spent the polar vortexed winter listening to my favorite Jack Johnson albums on repeat, hoping that his music would channel some warm weather memories. However, there were only so many times I could listen to In Between Dreams before I realized that I was still cold. With the snow finally melting up here, I will soon be back on my favorite hiking trails and planning camping trips. (Hello, hammock camping!)

Spring always makes me happy. Not only are the snowbanks melting, the grass is getting green, and the songbirds are chirpy early in the morning, but the spring anglers are back in force. I love seeing all the familiar faces who come in the shop and also meeting all the new friends who come in for the first time. (I'm a talker and will chat your ears off if you give me half a chance.) 

The steelhead are here, and our fly shop is fully stocked for you. Last week we got our spring shipment of Temple Fork Outfitters switch and single-hand rods, and we also have racks of Redington and Mystic sticks as well. Our fly bins are stuffed full of all the round eggs, rag eggs, and steelhead nymphs you could want. Do you need a box to put your flies in? We have three different sizes of clear, double-sided, slotted foam fly boxes that will be perfect for putting in your boat bag or wader pocket. If you're on your way to the river and need anything, terminal tackle, waders, boots, fly tying materials, and hooks line our walls.

We still have guide availability for anyone who has been thinking of booking a steelhead trip. Remember, our guides also serve as instructors, so if there are any skills or techniques that you would like to work on, they can teach you.

Our spring and summer are shaping up to be busy with activities planned.  Last year, Paul Transue started a new tradition of having a cookout behind the fly shop for Trout Opener. This year will be no different. On Saturday, April 26 Paul will be cooking bratwursts and making pulled pork sliders. If you'll be near Wellston that day, stop by the shop and have lunch with us.

This summer we will be hosting Bob Clouser again as he holds his annual Smallmouth Fly Fishing School here. This year, the Smallmouth School will be held on May 30, 31, and June 1. Honestly, this is one of my favorite weekends of the summer. Bob's jovial personality and personal attention to each of the participants makes the school a fun and engaging program. After the first instructional day of the school, the participants spend the next two days out on the Manistee River watershed to put their new skills to practice. Last year, Gary Melzer told me to grab my camera and we headed out to the backwaters to take pictures of the participants with their guides. (Did I ever mention that I have a really cool job?) I felt a bit like a fishing paparrazo, but everyone liked getting digital proof of their adventure. The Clouser Smallmouth Bass School is $1,000 per person and includes three nights lodging and all meals. Give us a call at the fly shop at 231-848-4191 if you'd like to sign up. We still have a couple of openings left.

We'll be keeping you up-to-date with everything we have planned for the year. Stop by the shop on your way to the river to say hello. I'll be looking for you!