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Whispers of the Au Sable

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With the trout season of 2004 already underway, I came across this story written by my Dad, founder of the controversial weighted trout streamer known as Glen?s Deadly Streamer

I used to listen to him read this, putting all the emphasis where they belonged; it was a wild story back then especially when landing that trout. It was good then and I hope you enjoy it now. Enjoy and tight lines to you all.

Whispers of the Au Sable

Dear hearts and disgruntled sportsman, it is now my profound privilege to bring to you an educational clinic upon the intricacies of fly fishing. Some people may prefer to troll a lure from an airplane at 1,000 feet and others may even bait a tiny hook with a piece of rotten fish, both of which may be construed as fly fishing. However, the particular art I wish to discuss with you is the type of angling which is the ultimate of all fishing. I believe it only fitting that I give you first a thumb-nail sketch of the equipment needed to pursue trout. page_break

Firstly, let us briefly discuss the rod. I would by all means suggest that you purchase your pole, I mean rod on the layaway plan. That is buy it and lay it away in an unobtrusive place in the house until that time when your wife by chance happens to notice it, Then when she sweetly says ?Oh, a new rod? you can honestly say, ?No honey, I?ve had that a long time? Honesty is the best policy I always say.

Next the reel and I assuredly would suggest that you buy a real one and not one of those 15.00 or 20.00 dollar imitations.

Now the line, and should you be married as long as I, you need not trouble yourself about this item; you already have developed a good one. Flies should be of the finest workmanship and materials, in fact I dig some of my best flies from my garden. One in particular, the Dark Loam Hackle, I find to be excellent. Now we?re ready to go fishing.

Always, and the importance of this can not be exaggerated, pick a day when a storm is predicted, that way you will never be disappointed by expecting good weather.

The trip itself! Everything is packed, the electric razor, electric clock, electric blanket, electric boiler, electric coffee pot and don?t forget the electric dishwasher and fry pan. Oh it?s nice to rough it out in the great outdoors.

Hop in my car and we?ll get moving. Say, maybe we better take your car after all, the hubcaps need greasing on mine. At last we?re off and after several hours of mad driving, blowing the horn and hollering at the other road hogs, we arrive at our destination. Oh, that air, isn?t it beautiful, the woodsy scent of pine needles, fresh water and good earth. Into your waders now, hurry it would be a shame to let your buddy beat you into the water. Oh oh there?s your chance, slam the car door accidentally on his rod tip and by the time he puts on his spare you can be fishing. Too bad he remembered the last time and jerked it away. Oh well, what?s a fishing trip without a little fun.

Here we are at last on the stream and at my favorite hole. See that beautiful sparkling water merrily singing and bubbling its way over the moss covered empty beer cans and broken whisky bottles. Isn?t it grand to get away from civilization again? Oh, there?s a rise, careful now dress your fly, false cast, get your range, and let it drop like a thistle down. Ah, rise. Set your hook, you got him lookout, your gonna lose him. Haul him in, hey don?t horse him, give him line, watch out you?re gonna lose him. Here give me that rod. Ouch, never mind then poor sport. Play him, easy now, easy does it, Hold him, hold him. What a battle! The water along the shoreline is churned foam.

At last slowly, inexorably, the pace tells and the trout begins to tire. You begin to breathe again, the birds start to sing and the deer and field mice begin to creep out of their hiding places. The eagles on high again begins his still winged circle, all nature ceases from the hush imposed by the titanic struggle. As the net slides under the vanquished contestant, you note with reverence the red and gold colors of this Au Sable beauty. But hold it, wait a minute this fellow is only 71/2? long and the limit is 8? Now what? I?ll tell you, lay him on that rock over there. Now step on him. Here?s the tape measure, see! 8? right on the nose.

Ladies and gentlemen that is how to fly fish, I trust you have learned much from this dissertation of mine and I sincerely hope that you will by following my common sense instructions find yourself the peace, relaxation and adventure to be had in this great sport of fly fishing.

And now if you will please from the ridiculous to at least the rational. I wonder how many of us who take our measure of enjoyment from the fields and waters have been able to see our own cast somewhere in the scene that has gone before. Maybe a couple of those empty beer cans or a broken whisky bottle belonged to you, or maybe that pile of indisposed trash behind your campsite.

Could it be that you stripped that lovely birch for a souvenir that would probably find its way into the trash can. Were you the one that caused that terrible accident even though you escape without so much as a scratched fender? Did you precede your buddy to every good pool and rifle in the stream?

When you were drowning that Dark Loam Hackle did you honor the man you met fishing dry flies by getting out of the stream and re entering below him? Maybe you just plowed right through, showing him you were as good as he was. When a fellow angler asks you what you took your last trout on, did you say Royal Coachman dry, all the while you kept you buck tail submerged and out of sight.

God gave us these beautiful streams, hills and woods, and they were perfect when he presented them to us. Let us honor God by honoring his handiwork and leave our campsites cleaner then we found them. Maybe we?ll meet the man we saved by being polite on the highway, later on the stream. He might give you a specially tied Cahill that will mean the difference between a heavy creel and a light one. Let us through friendliness and good sportsmanship leave a clean taste in the mouths of fellow anglers we meet on the stream. Meeting a grouch on a trout stream is like biting into a wormy apple. Leave your impatience under the office blotter, file your self importance under it until you return, hang your vanity on the hall tree and lock you hangover in the office safe. Nothing looks worse then a beer can laying beside a crystal clear spring bubbling with iced nectar from the depth of the earth. You might as well leave your social position and dollar sign home too, for little speckled sides would just as soon rise to the fly of the poorest farm boy as to the riches man in the world. All you really need to get the most out of your sport is a ready smile, and a friendly word.

Leave your profanity at the corner bar, there might be a lady fishing next to you. Fish and hunt as though you expected to meet your Creator at the next bend and you won?t be cluttering up Gods good earth with the refuse of a careless civilization.

Glen 1910 to 1977 Founder of Glen?s Deadly Streamer

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My grandfather was a very witty wonderful writer and cartoonist  also ,he loved to draw funny pictures to go along with his writings , he died in 1977 as I recall, I was about 15 when he died and never got a chance to fish with him but he gave me my first fishing poles and tackle boxes full of wonderful surprises and his love for fishing is deep within me and I was the one who always grabbed my pole and ran for the water with it even  if I had nothing on the end of it to fish with! Lol he owned a taxidermy and fishing shop in downtown Fenton for many years and I used to love to walk up into town to visit him, his love for fishing and the outdoors was second to his love for the Lord and I'm so glad I came across this article! God bless you and yours. Kim Goforth

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