Just got back from Demo Days weekend at Schultz Outfitters and all I can say is wow. The whole SO crew put in a ton of effort leading up to this weekend and once again pulled off an excellent event. Mike and Allison had the exhibitors and presenters out to their beautiful home for a barbeque and Eirik Vitso was able to herd us all together and get this great shot.
Saturday was the day of the event that I had a presentation so I got there early in the morning to see things get set up and to hang out with a very fishy group of people. In case you have not been there yet, Schultz Outfitters is located on the banks of the Huron River in Ypsilanti Michigan and there is a park conveniently located on the other side of a foot bridge on the side of the shot. The reps and vendors started showing up at about 8 and got the tents set up for the day.
Orvis super rep Doug Bear had all the newest Orvis goodies along for the trip and enticed people to check them out by throwing out the vibe.
Midmorning I took an opportunity to get out and chase a few fish around with good friend Pat Turberville. It was very sunny and a pleasure to be out on the water for a bit.
Just a few casts in my rod doubled over with what I thought was a hefty smallmouth. Just a few seconds in to the fight though I could tell it had to be something else as it was just bulldogging deep. After a bit I got it up close and saw that it was a surprise walleye! This time of year they have generally come and gone already, but this healthy fish was very well fed and super clean.
Matt Phillip and Scott Hullinger, from Fly2Frame, were set up on the side of the building. Part way through the day they could no longer stand the blank wall and got down with some urban beautification. The result was a rad mural of a smallie chasing a Swinging D.
Chris Willen was one guy that I was hoping to be able to catch a little more of as he ties some sick bug fish bugs. His tying presentation was right before mine so I got there a little early and watched him knock out a Double Nickel.
Another very popular draw was to have April Vokey there doing a few womens and casting workshops as well as an on stream demo. It was good to be able to catch up with her as once her existing scheduled workshops are done she is out of the game for a bit to concentrate on achieving her casting masters certification. I was only able to catch part of her demo after my presentation but in just a short time I was able to learn quite a bit. Her fiancé was along on this trip so we got to hang out a little bit...he is, as expected, one very cool guy.
Mike was only able to make it out of the shop for a few short stretches during the day. He'd make the quick walk over the bridge and around the park, then would head back as it was pretty busy.
The other half of the Schultz Dynamic Duo, Allison, came through sporting the new look for the season. Nothing says comfort like wet wading in boots and jean shorts!
Sunday I did not have any presentations so I made the call to take off and head further north for a night. On the way across 72 I made the obligatory stop off at Gates to pick up a few things, and then continued on to the meet up with my brother on the South Branch of the AuSable.
New on the right, mine in the middle and John's on the left. Based on this shot I think it is safe to say that John has spent more time on the water than me lately. Something that needs to be rectified.
We headed to the river and jumped in just to stretch the legs for a bit before heading off to stake out and wait for the Drakes.
We patiently waited and watched. There were a few different mayfly species and caddis flitting about, and then at 8:45 the drakes started coming down out of the trees in swarms.
This pretty brookie was my first fish on a dry this season...and it felt oh so good. I went on to land another dozen over the next hour ranging from six inches to about double that without moving more than ten feet. I was hoping to get in to a nice brown but couldn't bring myself to leave rising fish and try another. By about 10 the show was pretty much over for us so we headed back to the camp and got the bonfire going. Great way to spend a night...and a weekend.