Ann Arbor keeps popping up. We moved to the west side of town over the summer and maybe it keeps popping up because I am a lot closer to the town than I have ever been. I think that it is something else though, maybe it has this underground fly fishing culture. A culture where 20 inch browns, cartwheeling steelhead, feisty bronzebacks, and slurping carp all come together to make a sort of fly fishing fabric.
Truth be told, I have avoided Ann Arbor for most of my life. I avoided the west side for most of my life. I was born and raised in the Detroit area but crossing Mound Rd. made me nervous and I got downright twitchy if I had to cross I-75 for any reason. I first ventured west when I met my wife. We moved to Dearborn Heights. Her parents and brother, with his family, lived there. I didn't venture out a lot at first but after some time and travels I found that the people in that area were just as nice as the people on the east side and everything is really easy once you learn the major crossroads.
The neighborhood sort of went to pot, it wasn't the neighborhood really but more the schools and we had a daughter ready to start school this past fall. That is when we moved even further west and where I have had a really great time exploring my new home town and all it has to offer. Again, the people have turned out to be great; we have the best neighbors, the kids have good friends, and everybody has been very welcoming in general. Then there is the fly fishing ..... wham! There you have it, and Ann Arbor seems to be producing some pretty good stuff.
Here is a link to a story at Midcurrent. This dude won the 2012 Traver award from Fly Rod and Reel. He also maintains a blog that you can check out here.
If you start thinking about shops, guides, rivers, writers, filmmakers, species, events, and culture. I think Michigan is right up there when it comes to fly fishing. And that is why I publish a Michigan fly fishing lifestyle magazine. It just keeps getting better.
Live Free, Fish Hard