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Fish Farmageddon Update

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Let’s face it, the national political scene is about as entertaining as a never ending Nascar crash.  As a result, local issues seem to be easily set aside.  About a year ago Michiganfly, along with a number of far more credible sources, reported on the Grayling fish farm and their pursuit of a permit to operate the largest fish farming business in Michigan located in the East Branch of the Au Sable River (Michiganfly Piece).

To bring everyone up to speed, here’s what’s happened over the past year or so:

Trial Update

The Sierra Club and Anglers of the Au Sable weren’t able to win their case.  On February 1, 2017 Judge Daniel Pulter upheld the MDEQ permit with modifications including requiring Harietta Hills to conduct additional water quality monitoring and install settlement basins at the downstream end of each raceway where fish waste would be collected for removal.

The Permit

TDEQ Director Heidi Grether will reportedly make a final approval on the amended permit on March 8, 2017.  If so desired, Director Grether has the authority to deny the permit although this isn’t seen as a significant likelihood.

When will the facility be operational?

The facility is reportedly able to begin ramping up operations at this time.

Can anything be done at this point?

Yes, there is still hope as Anglers of the Au Sable plans to take the case into the judicial court system.  Those of us interested in supporting their cause can do the following:

1. Get educated

MLive piece Read This

Anglers of the Au Sable Trial Recap Read That

NY Times piece (hint: if you have anger management issues DO NOT read the comments) Read if you’ve got the time

2. Those active on social media are encouraged to share updates from the Anglers of the Au Sable website: https://www.ausableanglers.org/

3. Anglers of the Au Sable has spent several hundred thousand dollars and anticipate several hundred thousand more.  Funding comes from the general public Get wallet and click here

4. Take a look at Congressman Dan Kildee’s legislation and write your congressman.  So, new legislation was proposed by Congressman Dan Kildee on February 9, 2017 to ban fish farming in the Great Lakes and all federal “Wild Scenic Rivers” including the Au Sable.  The legislation is called the Ban Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Act.  Mlive has a nice overview of the proposed legislation (MLive Link)

This massive fish farm is a bad idea and needs to be shut down.  Get educated and get involved by voicing your opposition and supporting those who are willing to fight the good fight.  The national political scene is a mess, we all get that, but let’s not become complacent about what is happening in our back yard here in Michigan.

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Travel Ban Invoked Against Michigan Anglers

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This week marks the midway point of the annual migration of Mitt Monkeys to the northern Arkansas White River watershed and, as expected, tensions with local residents are at an all-time high.  From the bloated Cotter Courier police blotter to boat ramp protests at the Bull Shoals dam, it’s clear that Michigan anglers have once again worn out their welcome.

With local officials at their wits’ end, area officials reached out to inquire whether the new administration’s controversial travel ban could be invoked.  After hearing testimony from local restaurant and hotel proprietors and reviewing selected 911 recordings, the administration quickly became sympathetic to the plight of Arkansas residents and committed to adding Michigan anglers to the travel ban under an executive order.  “We think this is best for everyone” tweeted POTUS, “these Mitt Monkeys are really bad and totally stupid”.

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The area has a long history of Michigan angler distaste.  Tensions boiled over in 2015 when Mitt Monkeys were suspected of starting a fire at the Bull Shoals dam (link to article).  In 2016, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission issued an invasive species alert for Michigan Anglers, a tongue-in-cheek campaign with limited success (link to article).

A rapidly growing group of area politicians are advocating additional tactics to supplement the ban including the construction of a wall said to be paid for by Michigan anglers at the Arkansas border.  Others have put forth a plan to post “Welcome to Buckeye Country” signs at the border meant to confuse, disorient, and deter Michigan anglers.

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With the expectation of an executive order, residents may finally get permanent relief from their distant neighbors to the north.  Will the impending travel ban keep Michigan anglers from venturing south or is a massive wall in order?  Michigan anglers may finally realize that they aren’t welcome back in Cotter.

* Tuesday Bananas is a once a week satire column intended for entertainment purposes only.  No fish were harmed in the creation of this post.


Fly Fishermen Ponder the Approach of Peak Beard

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Although few would argue that the steady rise of beard fanaticism is sustainable, many were taken by surprise this past week when Dale Dobak greeted his clients at Green Cottage on the PM Monday morning with a face as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  Dobak has long been considered a leading indicator of peak beard not only due to his use of beard fibers as dubbing in many of his unique steelhead patterns but also because his wooly mammoth beard covers a number of ill-advised face tats.

Michiganfly reached out to several local bearded fly brah’s for comment on this momentous event:

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“Once I saw a small pair of hands shoot out of Dale’s beard to help with a client’s tangled line”

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“I heard that brah’s beard got him in tight with a pack of local Sasquatch.  That shave is probably some kind of Sasquatch hazing ritual”

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“What’s next, are you going to tell me that Dobak took up golf?”

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“No way.  Dobak’s beard has some kinda forcefield around it.  One time at a tying demo I saw his scissors get too close to that beard and they just flew out of his hand”

Is peak beard in sight, will the Dobak doctrine hold true, was Dobak duped into shaving his magnificent beard?


Friday Update

Happy Friday, for us 9-5er’s that are essentially caged animals Monday through Friday another respite is nearly upon on.  Weather looks good in the Mitt this weekend, hopefully things don’t blow out with too much water.  A couple of interesting things going on right now I wanted to make everyone aware of:

MYSTIC RODS (Friends of Mitt Monkeys and all fish heads everywhere) has new hats and they are sweet.  They have free shipping from now through Sunday if you place an order.  I know that supplies are limited, so get in while you can. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

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Nomad Anglers has a great lineup of fly tiers at their 3 Locations this winter, whether you are a beginning or an expert that is always something you can learn.  I’ll be tying giant junk for trout on Feb. 22nd at the Grand Rapids location – I promise to tie mediocre flies but tell spectacular lies.  Facebook SIgn Up <— Facebook signup here.

Have a good weekend, get outside and do awesome stuff.


We’re Back…….

 

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The very first post written on MichiganFly was published on Jan 9th, 2014 – 3 years ago today.  That Michigan winter was especially brutal, temps that reached a high in the single digits for several days in a row and snow that was measured in feet instead of inches.  Dan and I started this as a coping method as we searched for any crutch available to maintain the level mental sanity we both had.  Luckily for us, jumping on the internet and acting like clowns worked to the degree that we didn’t have to resort to our final plan that involved tons of drugs and booze.

We decided at the time that we would operate the blog through the winter months, then bail out of it when time no longer permitted, usually signaled by the polar bears and penguins migrating back to more permanent arctic lands.  So……..we’re back for the next couple of months.  Who’s ready for Tuesday bananas?

2016 was a good year – they are all pretty damned good if you have a group of friends that you spend time with on the water.  Here’s a the start of a brief recap:

SPRING

Instead of typing some BS that nobody wants to read here, a video recap is probably better.

A few trout a few steelhead, nothing wrong with that.  Then towards the latter half of spring, something happened that….that changed everything forever.  In our circle a 20″ trout is usually referenced as a “good fish”, anything over 24″ becomes a “giant” and if you topple the 27″ mark, something that has been done once by Jeff (see his work at  Fly Fish the Mitt) its legendary status.

Well, Dan (MichiganFly co-founder) didn’t just set a new bar this year, he took the old one, broke it and shoved it up everyone’s rears.  Never in my lifetime did I expect to witness a 30″ resident brown trout being put into the net – but it happened.

The fish ate a fly of Dan’s own design – the Mitt Fiddle.  Guess what bug got fished by everyone else a lot for the rest of the year?

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Personally, I was on the struggle bus a bit streamer fishing this past spring.  I had a number of opportunities at good fish maybe even a few giants in there – but usually I had my head up my ass and completely blew the chance.  Definitely, something that will be addressed this year.  I don’t know – is there some surgical procedure or something to remove craniums from rectums?

Rest of the year recap to come soon.  Tune in tomorrow for the 1st Tuesday Bananas of the year!


2016 B1F – Chase for the Duke & Lily Cup

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Unpopular Fishing Blog Announces 7 Month Vacation

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Likening the task of pushing out two or three posts each week to repeatedly placing a man on the moon, wildly unpopular bolggers at Michiganfly announced today that they will be taking 7, maybe 8 months off to recuperate, fish, and try desperately to catch up on American Idol before the series finale.

Just when site traffic finally began to surpass most pre-2012 inactive DIY project blogs, the guys predictably decided to “take a bunch of time off before people’s expectations get way out of whack” according to Michiganfly’s Chief Rocka.

Response from their tragically low readership has been mixed.

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“It’s obvious they’ve been coasting the past few weeks and to be honest, I don’t think I could bear to see what they’d post if they were to try even less” commented Rich Youngstein.

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“Avoiding work is pretty much what they do best so it’s no surprise they’ve decided to take a 28 week vacation” commented Ryan “Pulled Pork” Riggins.

Unsurprisingly, many appreciate the break.

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“I just wish I could get back the four or five hours that blog sucked from my life this past winter” commented Cole Beardsley.

When asked if actually planning to return later in 2016, Bob and Dan commented that they’ve been thinking of opening a mall kiosk selling replica designer sunglasses and motorized scooters with all the click-through proceeds from their site. If for some reason that fails you can expect to see them back at it this fall.

 


Fly Tier Accused of Being a Adult Video Addict

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Everyone knows that your Internet browsing history can be awfully incriminating if brought to the public eye.  However one man feels he was unjustly dragged into a domestic argument with his wife over the contents of his Firefox history and bookmarks folder.  The man is a well known fly fisherman in his social group and an avid fly tier.  He prides himself with his ability to tie some of the sports most exotic and complex streamer patterns that often have equally exotic and complex names.  However it is these suggestive names that have landed him in the hot seat with his wife.

“So, I just HAPPENED to stumble into his browsing history looking to install an extension or whatever and the list of YouTube videos and websites I saw just disgusted me” says his wife. “He claims they are instructional videos for the flies he ties, but I wasn’t born yesterday. He clearly has a porn addiction.  I heard about this on Dr. Phil!”

The man claims that it is all a misunderstanding and that he has just been working on developing his skills tying various streamer patterns that are  known to be top trout producers.  When we inquired about what patterns lead to this dispute, the following list was provided:

Articulated Butt Monkey 

Sex Dungeon 

Barely Legal

Double Screamer 

Big Hole Bug 

Butt Sump 

Pearl Necklace 

Stacked Blonde 

T&A Bunker 

Trophy Wife 

Girl on Girl Action 

Skinny Dip

Even with links, that list seems sketchy. But a trip to a local fly shop confirms these gaudy globs of feathers and synthetics toting sexy names are in fact real streamers that SUPPOSEDLY catch fish.  After our interview, we’ve been unable to contact the man as his wife informs us he is in therapy.  Which leads us to the question; are pro-fly tiers just having fun when naming their creations?  Or are they a cover for the online pornography industry and creating a new breed of porn addicted sportsmen?  We may never know….


Brah’s Annual Steelhead Weekend

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Preparing for the annual weekend of “hot steelhead action” with Sam, his high school best friend, Dale Unger has a pretty good idea what to expect. Sam, a tantrum-prone 35-year-old, predictably goes through the same rituals starting with a healthy dose of pre-trip boasting about all of his new gear, secret bugs, and YouTube prep for an average of 12 weeks prior to the outing culminating in the purchase of a top shelf rod, reel, or waders, typically a brand name he’s spent years criticizing. About one week out Sam’s focus and attention is directed to heavy internet analysis with hourly USGS updates, Facebook puffing, and sarcastic forwarding of fishless outing reports from acquaintances with taglines like “not gonna be us pal”.

Knowing the impending events about to unfold, Dale endures Phases 1 and 2 like a pro realizing that this, by far, will be the most joy Sam will feel during the entire experience. Phase 3 starts in the parking lot where they meet Saturday morning when, while gearing up, Sam begins laying out a carefully orchestrated series of handicaps and disadvantages for use at some appropriate moment during the day. In a futile attempt to lower the odds of a meltdown, Dale often gives Sam’s gear a quick once over for obvious flaws.

During the walk in, Sam treats Dale to stories of his many successful outings in this river, often recounting events that Dale is pretty sure never involved Sam. Tuning out Sam’s tall tales, Dale recounts some of the more memorable blowups, fondly recalling the 2013 event when Sam spent 45 minutes fighting a “monster chromer” that turned out to be a despondent turtle. In 2014 it happened when Dale hooked and landed a large buck in water Sam had fished for over an hour. 2015’s meltdown resulted from Sam ripping a hole in his waders trying to step over a low barbed wire fence and snapping Sam’s brand new Sage 8wt that he’d nicknamed Excalibur.

Desperately trying not to trigger Sam’s impending hysterics, Dale fishes secondary water two bends down from his pal. After about an hour and when some of Sam’s gear begins floating by, Dale knows his buddy is upstream going ape shit.  Thankful for not having to witness this years meltdown, Dale quietly gathers his gear and prepares to call it a trip.

Reflecting on the galactic disconnect between Sam’s expectations and reality, Unger notes that it would probably help if Sam got out and fished on some of the 363 days between outings.


Man Ticketed for Indecent Exposure on Popular Michigan River

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Baldwin, MI – Northern Michigan resident Ryan Zeller has been known by his angling peers to employ creative means of warding other would be fisherman away from his secret fishing spots in the past.  However, this winter his antics landed him in hot water with the local authorities and made a lasting impression on passing anglers.

Originally bantered about with his fishing partners over a night of consuming large amounts of Fireball and Boone’s Farm watching Babe Winkleman reruns in his basement, little did the others in the group know that Ryan would follow through on a devious plan that everyone wrote off as a joke.  Friend Paul Sullivan, said with a still stunned expression plastered across his face, “you can’t do anything anymore without someone being offended, I guess this was just going to far.”

Tired of being encroached upon by other anglers, either letting their centerpin rigs drift through his run from 3 bends above or being “low-holed” by anglers seeking prime real estate on the Pere Marquette River, Ryan waited for the right opportunity to hatch his master plan to ward off intruders.  With as many as 15 other anglers within Ryan’s line of site he casually pulled his buff down from under his nose, proudly displaying a hideous Fu Manchu facial hair configuration.  All reports indicate that Ryan’s attempt at Hulk Hogan’ing people away from him drew a raucous laugh from the growing crowd.

But Zeller didn’t stop there.  Like a scorned exotic dancer working at a backwoods gentleman’s club, he began tearing off every shred of clothing that adorned his torso, tossing the warming layers far onto the river bank.  Zeller’s rage stripping concluded when he clumsily slid out of his neoprene waders revealing pair of pasty white legs and a pink banana hammock that appeared to be filled with a zucchini from last years garden.

Hearing the commotion from 2 bends above, MDNR agent Phil McCracken who was out investigating a Sasquatch sighting, had made his way down the bank just in time to see Ryan turn to the crowds and angrily gesture towards his man parts in a last ditch desperate attempt to scare them off.  McCraken stated “I thought I was going to have to draw my gun, it appeared he had a sawed off shotgun in his speedo.”

McCraken issued Ryan a citation for indecent exposure and instructed him to dress and return to his vehicle.