This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
September 4th, 2006

Wrap-Up Michigan Fish-In '06

It was a winner! A very successful week - and more for those who came early.

Hosts and organizers for the event were Jack Hise and Mike Flanagan (ohiotuber). They met a few times before the Fish-In at Cabela's in Dundee, MI to work out details. Whatever they discussed, it was all good. Jack arrived early and set up camp at Kneff Lake campground. Because another event was in process at Gates Au Sable Lodge, folks were a bit spread out until Tuesday, but overall this was one of the most successful Fish-Ins to date.

Jean DeSavage welcomed everyone at the registration tent, name-tags had been pre-made, and a Registration book for all to sign. Nicely done. For those who missed it, plan ahead. Jack and Mike are already working on a Michigan Fish-In '07 to be held at Gates Au Sable Lodge early in July.

There were a few 'organized' events over the week, a casting demonstration and instruction from Castwell himself, a slide presentation by Jim Birkholm on the Thorax-tied flies and how the fish see flies, a tying demonstration by Eric Austin, a leader furling demonstration and a great cook-out potluck. Mike and Bill Horner ( Fat Bill) did the honors on the cook-out, and cooked up 40 pounds of smoked beef brisket. A 'formal' distance casting competition was held. Thirteen people competed, and the winner was Brad Sherrick with 82' 7". Kaboom1 (Brad's screen name) did confess he actually had been practicing at home. Congratulations Brad!

About half of our group at the Casting Competition

JC and I helped some folks with their casting, and the old reliable pack broom was put into use as well. The upstairs "Board Room" was available for the swap-table, fly tying, leader furling and the slide-show.

I do need to mention the dining room at the Lodge provided great meals - everything from home-made cinnamon pecan rolls and fresh blueberry pancakes for breakfast to a great steak for dinner. Several of the group camped at Kneff Lake found the dining room before the rest of us arrived and had lunch there daily. The Fly Shop is very well stocked and no-one went without anything they needed. Great facility all the way. Our special thanks to Rusty and all the crew.

Some of the folks fished the Au Sable, including the north and south branches, the Little Manistee, Sturgeon Rivers and Wakley Lake were also destinations. One of the younger attendees, Aaron Weaver caught a nice 15 inch rainbow trout right at the dock at Gates Lodge. There were several float trips on the river by our group, and while no record fish were caught, everyone who fished did have a great time.

Lots of photos below, thanks to Mike Flanagan, Jack Hise, Jean and Bill DeSavage, Mark Lishchynsky and Betty Hiner for sending in their photos. ~ LadyFisher

Here's some from the cook-out.

Brad demonstrating the furling set-up for furled leaders.

Casting competition and just casting.

The Winner Brad Sherrick (Kamboom1)

Eric Austin was one of the winners of the Atlantic Tying Contest held on FAOL. He was given his awards at the Fish-In during his tying presentation. The following photos are from that evening.

There are more photos, check back, I hope to have the rest up soon. DLB

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