The Orvis Michigan Fly Fishing School returns to the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa just east of downtown Traverse City. Orvis Michigan will once again offer both one and two day schools. Conveniently located only a few minutes from downtown Traverse City, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa will offer dedicated classroom facilities, private trout pond, and luxurious accommodations at special rates for Orvis one day and two day students.
Overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan, the Orvis Michigan Fly Fishing Schools combine northwoods beauty and classic elegance at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. After matching the hatch on Michigan’s famed Manistee, or Boardman Rivers, you can choose to relax at the beach, play some golf or tennis, or explore the beautiful sand beaches of Grand Traverse Bay. The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is home to our two day fly fishing schools which include wading the famous Boardman River where the Adams fly was invented. Miles of streams are available after class, or take in the sun on the Resort’s private Lake Michigan beachfront.
Schools utilize private trout ponds and classrooms, as well as serene stretches of the Boardman River only a few minutes away. Orvis Michigan is designed to introduce the intricacies of fly fishing to an absolute novice, but even experienced fly anglers will find personal and advanced instruction tailored to their level of experience. From knots to entomology, casting to tackle, the instructors at Orvis Michigan will fully prepare you to step into the stream.
One of the attractions of the Orvis Michigan Fly Fishing School is the variety of rivers that surround the resort. While the Manistee River’s "flies only" water lures most of our float and wade trip anglers, the Boardman River and public access is only minutes away. (Note: The famous Adams fly was invented on the Boardman River in nearby Mayfield, Michigan.) The Manistee is nearly a mirror image of its sister river, the AuSable River. Miles of easily waded gravel and sand bottom and easy access makes the Manistee River the river of choice to set out on your own. The river is approximately thirty to sixty feet across in most stretches and boasts prolific hatches. While the Boardman River is a little narrower (twenty to forty feet across in the upper reaches) it too has open stretches that are especially inviting for the novice angler. Both rivers have easy public access, are two to four feet in depth, and are only twenty to thirty minutes from the shop. Spring runs of steelhead and fall runs of Chinook
The big bugs are nearly here. Sulfurs (both of the tiny pale yellow mayflies ephemerella invarias #16 and ephemerella dorotheas #18), yellow stoneflies #12-14, brown drakes #10, isonychia bicolor #10, and of course, the hexagenia limbata (hex #4-6). It doesn’t matter that you know the Latin names of the insects that will be hatching over the next several weeks, but it will certainly matter that you match the size, shape, and color of them with your flies to fool the feeding fish. Size does matter.
This article appeared for the first time in Spring of 2003 as an article I wrote for Michigan Trout’s Shooting Lines. I suggested we reprint it in an effort to avoid a “silent hatch” this year on our favorite streams.
By Dave Leonhard
Many years ago, I wrote a fictitious article about two fly anglers fishing on a Michigan river during the brown drake hatch just as the hex were starting in late June.
The story revolves around two anglers who set out for a weekend of fishing. The two fellas had set up camp at a nearby State campground one Friday night in mid-June and hurried off to the river to find clouds of brown drakes over the water. Filled with excitement they found fish feeding all over the river. With nearly a dozen large trout feeding in front of them they each caught and kept two browns over 16 inches which they
The reach cast is a method of adding slack to the line above the fly to allow the fly to float without dragging in the current. (See Figure 1) Unlike other casts that add slack, the reach cast has the slack under control so that one can easily set the hook. It is accomplished by mending the line upstream of the fly while the line is in the air on the way to the target. This is referred to as a “mid-air mend”. For it to be successful though, all of the line must be above the fly when it lands on the water.
Two casting principles are in play with the reach cast. The first principle is: The fly goes where the rod is pointed when it stops. The second is: Whereever you move the rod tip after the stop determines where the rest
of the line goes. (see Figure 2) Because there is a short delay after the rod is stopped, some line fails to mend upstream. If I delay a little, a little line continues straight toward the target and the rest of the line goes upstream. If I delay longer, more line continues on toward the target and less line is mended upstream. Theoretically, for all of the line to be mended above the fly, one would have to mend at the exact moment that
the stop of the rod occurs. However, if one stops and mends at the same time, there is, in fact, no stop and the result is a lack of loop formation. The resulting wide loop often piles line in the direction of the intended stop.
How then does one consistently mend all of the line above the fly while in the air? Pulling the rod back gently as one mends upstream pulls the line that is going straight toward the target back in the same direction as the mend. Thus, all of the line lands on the water in a straight line from rod tip to fly with all of the line
One of the many casting techniques that our school teaches each year is the “haul”. As one begins to challenge their skills and attempt longer casts, one soon learns that it becomes increasingly difficult to add the increased amount of energy into the cast in a smooth enough manner to avoid tailing loops. The short wrist-and-elbow dominated stroke that sufficed for the twenty-five or thirty foot cast now requires more arm movement and a longer stroke to smoothly deliver the extra power needed for a forty foot cast. Once one approaches sixty feet, it becomes much more difficult to provide power smoothly enough to make the cast without a tailing loop. At such distances withou
Here's a variation of the great pattern invented by Dan Byford in the mid-70's. Replacing the mylar body with a conehead and dubbed Hare'e Ice body is a fantastic sculpin/leach pattern that should be tied in several colors.
This first night pattern is simple yet effective and students tied some very nice flies.
Sign up today for this upcoming Winter's fly tying at Streamside. There will be all new flies, new materials, new techniques, plus a special guest tyer, Mark Lord, will be tying his Extended Body Hendrickson. For covid reasons, we are limiting the class size to 9 students. So, sign up early to be sure we have room.