In 2012 The Fellows Chapter embarked on a new project. A few of our board members are teachers and started brainstorming a way to get a new generation into the water. These men came up with the idea of a fishing trip that would not only have kids catching trout but also understand fly tying, fly casting, trout habitat, the bugs trout eat, river conservation and river stewardship.
Our trip started at The Rainbow Resort in Mio, Michigan. The first night of our trip was a meet and greet of our participants. The second day started with lanyard making for our tools we need on the river. After that we talked about wading safety, got our waders on and headed to the river.
Once at the river we talked about many of the different aquatic insects that live in the river, which trout eat. We waded into the river to pick up rocks, turn over logs and screen kicked up gravel to see what we could find. We found many different bugs that day and had a hard time getting the kids out of the river.
Once we finally got the kids out, we did a quick clean-up of the area. We then headed back to camp for a little time on the vice to tie some of the bugs we found while picking through the rocks. Iso's were the bug of the day, so much of our time was spent tying them.
We took a break for lunch and rest before the remainder of the afternoon events. After lunch we had a short talk about drift boat safety and boat courtesy. This discussion included where life jackets could be found, what to do if we came across another boat, and how to get in and out of the boat safely.
We were then met by a DNR officer. She stopped in to talk about her job and why she choose the career she did.
Once our talk was over we were able to pass out rods and reels that the kids thought were on loan to them for casting instruction. They later found out that the rods they were practicing with were actually theirs to keep.
After Casting we were met by Josh Greenberg from Gates Lodge in Grayling, Michigan. He talked about the different flies fish were eating at that time of the year, the different fish we would be chasing and techniques for catching them.
We took a break for dinner and then headed to the river for a little walk-in night fishing. When we got to the river, fish were just starting to rise and we knew that we were going to have fun. We were first able to get the kids into the fish, followed by their parents and then it turned into an all-out fishing frenzy as the kids, parents and TU members were all wetting 7 lines! We were catching fish, telling stories, giving advice and most importantly HAVING FUN!
The kids were having so much fun that we fished past dark and again actually had to DRAG the kids out of the water, we began to think we had created monsters!
The next morning we packed up our cabins, had breakfast and got ready for our floats down the river. It was a beautiful day - we were able to enjoy the company of each other, fish on the way down and enjoy a WONDERFUL stream-side lunch. After our float we parted ways and headed for our respective homes. The kids, their parents and all the TU members had a wonderful experience and could not wait for our 2013 F.A.M trip to do it all again!