Fish-In 2007

Fly Anglers OnLine
Michigan 'FISH-IN 2007'
July 2 - July 7, 2007
Grayling, Michigan

By LadyFisher

Jack Hise and Mike Flannagan produced the first Michigan FAOL Fish-In. (They had a lot of help.) It was a big winner. By request, here is #2. It is timed in hope we can hit the big Michigan Mayfly - the Hex hatch. Night fishing with big flies for even bigger brown trout. This year's event is produced by Brad Sherrick, Bill and Jean DeSavage, Bill Horner, and Mike Flannagan.

The site is just outside Grayling, Michigan, split between the Kneff Lake State Forest Campground and the Gates Au Sable Lodge.

The Kneff Lake site is on a small, 14 acre, spring-fed lake with a sandy beach. The lake contains rainbow trout and has a planted population of grayling that reside in the lake. This is one of the very last places in the Midwest that an angler can still manage to catch a grayling on a fly. These are very delicate fish and the regulations are strictly catch and release, so if you do manage to catch some of these fish, please handle them very gently and release them immediately.

Between tent and non-tent sites, Kneff Lake has a total of 26 campsites, all with table and fire ring. There are flush toilets and water, but no other facilities. Plan to be self-contained. Jack has some portable showers which will be available.

Gates Au Sable Lodge will be the headquarters for those not camping. JC and the LadyFisher already have their reservations, there are only 14 rooms, so make your reservations early. Excellent meals and a full service fly shop are also on premise. The Lodge is located right on the river, about 6 miles from the Kneff Lake campground on the same road. There are two more good campgrounds on the rivers for those who may prefer them. Keystone Landing is on the mainstream of the Au Sable, and Canoe Harbor is located on the South Branch of the Au Sable, (Mason Tract).

The Au Sable river is famous for its hatches, and over 100 miles of water. There are also many other streams with trout in the immediate area. Plus the possibility of steelhead or salmon an hour or so drive away.

JC and I have also offered to do a free casting class one afternoon for those interested in improving their casting. (Most of the hatches will be morning and evening at that time of the year.)

Jean DeSavage highly recommends the Woodland Motel (800-966-3818), which has nice clean rooms, great rates and a wonderful staff. It's also an easy drive to Gate's for the fish-in activities. Jean's other suggestion is a visit to the Bear's Den. This is a nice family style restaurant which has great pizza and even greater Calzones!


    Monday: - The day is open but in the evening Bill DeSavage will be hosting an evening of sharing your favorite fly tying patterns. Join us for a convivial evening and learn something new.

    Tuesday: - Currently open-suggestions welcome.

    Wednesday: - July 4th-Because of the holiday we totally expect the AuSable to be enmeshed in an aluminum hatch and punishable. Therefore we have planned the week's main events on this day.

    The fun will start around 4PM with a casting demo/lesson by JC and LF.

    Then at 5:30 we will hold this year's feast. To make this more enjoyable for everyone, the committee has decided to provide everything. All you need to bring is your drinks and your appetite!

    The menu includes roast beef (buns and condiments will be provided), baked beans, potato salad and dessert. All tableware and paper goods will be provided. There will be a donation box available and any and all monies collected over the cost of the supplies will be donated to the Anglers of the AuSable for their current legal battle.

    After dinner at approximately 7PM we will hold this year's Distance Casting Contest. Since everyone would be together for dinner, the committee felt this was a great time to hold this contest, hoping more would be able to participate. Come pit your longest cast against your FAOL friends. (Rules are below.)

    Thursday: - Currently Open. We figure everyone will be wore out from all the fun the evening before.

    Friday: - New this year is the 2 Wt Shoot Out. This is NOT a distance contest. This one is to test your accuracy skills. There will be prizes awarded. Since this contest is being hosted by our Pirate contingent, heckling is to be expected, and encouraged.

    Saturday: - Currently Open

    Sunday: - Final Day Your fish-in committee thought long and hard on this schedule trying to ensure that more people would be able to participate in the great activities. If anyone has any activities they would like to see included, or they would like to host, please contact Brad Sherrick, Bill DeSavage or Bill Horner.

    Also, any donations for prizes would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Bill DeSavage.

JC & LF will be holding casting lesson's and demo's, open to all, no charge of course.

Plan on at least one trip to Spike's Keg-O-Nail's for their famous burger!

Gate's Lodge (Sponsor) also offer's float trip's.

I suggest a Google search for "Au Sable River, Michigan" to find place's to eat, visit, etc.

Thing's are filling up fast for the summer so don't delay too long.

Casting Competition

We did this for a NY Fish-In once and it worked out very well. One group (men, ladies kids, etc) Each use own rod and line. Rods no longer than 9ft. 1 inch. 6 weight or under. No shooting heads. Leader must be at least 9 feet with a fluff on the end. The object is to have fun with 'our' personal fishing gear. Timed event. Five minutes, as many casts as you can lay down in that time. The course will have a 'width' measured at the end. Casts must be within it. Your longest cast scores.

I strongly encourage everyone to attend, either to watch as their favorites tears his shorts trying for the longest cast which is indeed well worth the price of admission, which to watch is free. Or to enter, which will cost five dollars. Yes, five big smackers, but wait, there is more! The money will go into a 'pot' for any expenses incurred by the guys putting on the FI. Next, each person who signs up and 'must actually cast' will be given a number. The matching number will go into a hat.

When the event is over, the longest three casts will be 'recognized' with a cheap ribbon and we will draw ONE name from the hat. He will win, on the spot, a incredible suprise! (To be announced.)

The contest is not official in any way, just a fun event of the FI, but you will see some great casting. I know there are several shooting at JC in the contest. Should be a blast. Yes, we will need 3 or 4 guys to help. A long tape, 4 stakes, a 8 foot square of carpet or something to stand on and cast from, an old stop watch. This is will be after dinner on July 4th.

There's a rumor about some other 'fun' casting games as well. Stay tuned.

For more information of the AuSable including the flies, click on the book photo at the right which will take you to our Great Rivers section and excerpts from the book. You will also find a link on the Gates AuSable Lodge website for the hatches.

As with all FAOL events, everyone is cordially invited. There are no registration fees. Everyone is on their own, FAOL does not make reservations or arrangements for you. You are welcome to come for the whole week, or just a day. Whatever works for you. Families are welcome as well.

For those attending from out-of-state, you can purchase your fishing license on-line. Just click on the "e-license" graphic above.

While it is ideal for all of the Fish-In folks to be in the same location, it just wasn't possible last year. We hope folks will feel free to travel back and forth between locations. They really aren't that far apart.

It's a great time, and an opportunity to make new friends, and to put faces on names. The fishing should be great, there are lots of places to access the rivers. We'd love to have you join us.

If you do plan on making it to the Michigan Fish-In 2007, drop us an email and we'll put your name on the I'm Going List! Please designate MICHIGAN Fish-In. ~ LadyFisher


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