View Full Version : FFF, TU and Local Clubs
04-11-2004, 09:50 PM
I'm new to fly fishing and have lived in Michigan for 4 years and have never fished anywhere in this state. I believe that I may have stumbled onto something with this flyfishing stuff that is going to provide me with tons of enjoyment - its also remarkable that I'm living in a state with arguably some of the finest trout streams in America.
I've taken a beginners fly tying cl***, bought lots of equipment and have joined both the TU and FF. I have just discovered that I'm far away from any FFF local club - West Michigan Hacklers is closest but is almost 2 hours from Holland, MI. TU has a local chapter in Grand Rapids (Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited) but it appears that they do not emphasize fly tying, regular meetings, etc. Obviously, I'm in a "learn mode" and the more exposure to experienced fly tiers and fly fishers the better. I guess my question is - should I be so concerned with trying to hook up with a local club or would I be better off just going it alone?
04-17-2004, 05:06 PM
I truly believe that attaching myself to the local FFF club is one of the best things I could have done as a Fly Angler. I submit to you that you would benefit from aligning yourself with a local club. However, you don't have a "local" club. The next best thing you could do, then, is become a "shop rat." I love going in shops and hanging around. Lots of them have tying demos and classes as well as special events, speakers and demo days. You can learn a lot from these. Take advantage of them.
The FFF has a Flyfishing "School" in June at Higgins Lake. I would highly recommend you look into it. My club is doing a work outing on May 22 on the PM to do some river restoration. We don't mind if other Great Lakes Council members join us and help out. This is a great way to federate with your fellow members of the Federation. And, we go fishing when we're done. You can't beat that now.
Good luck and welcome to the addiction.
04-18-2004, 10:05 PM
I agree. Go into your local fly shop and ask alot of questions. I have learned quite a bit talking to the guys behind the counter, asking someone to show me a certain pattern, etc. Don't forget to buy something too. Even if my local shop is a little higher price, I still tend to buy from them, it is worth it in the long run.
05-04-2004, 09:53 PM
I appreciate your efforts to respond to my concerns about not having a local FFF or TU club to participate in. Since the time that I originally posted this thread I've been out fishing a few times - once southeast of Holland in the Rabbit river near the dam in Hamilton and twice north of Grand Rapids in the Rogue river. Huge difference between these two rivers - the Rabbit river's bottom mostly consists of sand/mud, varies greatly in debth and seems to be hopelessly clogged with fallen timber. I really liked fishing in the Rogue - its bottom is mostly made up of gravel (pebble size upwards to boulder size) and is much easier to wade in. I even managed to catch a couple of fish on flies that I tied myself - a 6" smallmouth bass on a Whitlock Fox Squirrel Nympth and an 8" or 9" brown trout on a Black Wooly Bugger. Catching these fish was pure luck - they took the flies almost as soon as they landed in the water.
I'm a real comedy of errors most of the time. I spend endless wasted time recovering from hanging up in trees, sunken logs, etc. Slowly I'm learning to pay more attention to my surroundings and try to use the proper casting technique - not that I can properly execute them very often but I seem to be able to stumble my way along and learn a few things in the process. One things for sure, I'm definetly hooked on this stuff!
I have frequented my local flyshop every chance I get and buy stuff most of the time. Bought some goose quills last weekend for biot tails on some Early Brown Stonefly Nymphs that I'm trying to tie. I've studied the Michigan Hatch charts and know that Black Stoneflies are supposed to show up soon - my assumption is that the Early Brown Stonefly nymph is a close enough pattern to entice a trout with now before Stoneflies start to emerge. But what do I know - even if I'm wrong at least I've extended my fly tying skills in the process of making the mistake.
I'm out of State the third week in May so I won't be able to join the Lansing club on The PM clean-up. I'm sorry that I will miss this opportunity but hopefully there will be a next time.
Again, thanks for taking the time to help me out!
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