Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Adams Fly Festival Celebrates the World’s Most Famous Fly

Rick Coates - May 29th, 2012  

Most towns wouldn’t want to be famous for their flies, but the Village of Kingsley is so proud of theirs that they are hosting a festival to celebrate.

That’s because this isn’t a housefly or a deerfly, but the Adams, the most famous and important fly among trout fishermen in North America.

The Adams Fly Festival will take place Saturday, June 2 from noon to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Kingsley Public Library. The inaugural festival will pay homage to the Adams, celebrate the region’s fly-fishing heritage, and feature an afternoon of entertainment, a microbrew tent, food and more.


The Adams was conceived in Mayfield, just north of Kingsley, by Len Halladay during the summer of 1922. Halladay along with his wife ran the Mayfield Hotel, providing rooms to lumberjacks and tourists.

In his spare time Halladay was known as an accomplished hunter and fly fisherman and his fly-tying skills were legendary in the region. He was a popular fly fishing guide as well.

One of Halladay’s regular patrons was Judge Charles F. Adams. Legend has it that one afternoon Adams asked Halladay to tie a fly pattern that would be successful on the Boardman River that evening.

The next morning Adams came back and told Halladay that the fly pattern was a “knock-out.” When asked the name, Halladay decided to call the fly an Adams in honor of the judge who enjoyed success the first time the fly was used.

“Now the Adams has become the go-to fly. It is the granddaddy of all fly patterns,” said Adam Umbrasas, village manager of Kingsley and one of the festival organizers. “Anyone who fly fishes knows that when all else fails you put on an Adams or a Parachute Adams. There is a lot of history associated with the Adams.”

Even Ernest Hemingway referenced the Adams in some of his writings. The legendary author used the Adams himself when he went fly-fishing. Hemingway even visited the Kingsley region (prior to the Adams being developed) a few times as a teenager, fly-fishing and camping along the Boardman River, noting his success in one of his journal entries.


For many people, Kingsley is little more than a place to drive through to get to somewhere else. But Umbrasas believes that this festival will showcase Kingsley’s sometimes hidden gems.

“We have a little-known secret that we wish more people knew about, a 60-acre park called Civic Center South,” said Umbrasas. “The park features an 18-hole disc golf course, basketball and tennis courts, softball and baseball fields, and an archery range. We plan to add more disc golf and ball fields to the park in the near future. We also have Brownson Memorial Park, home of the Village Splash Pad, and play- ground area for kids.”

Another attraction Umbrasas points to is the Kinglsey Club, which continues to be ranked among the top golf courses in the world. The golf course is currently ranked #74 in the world by Planet Golf World Rankings and #23 in the U.S. by Golfweek Magazine.

“I didn’t even know about the Kingsley Club when I took the job here five years ago,” said Umbrasas. “Just after I started working here a friend of mine who works for the PGA called me to tell me that we have one of the top golf courses in the country here.” The efforts of several dedicated community members under Umbrasas’s lead- ership have given Kingsley a facelift in recent years.

“We have done a lot to beautify down- town Kingsley with a streetscape project,” said Umbrasas. “Plus the bandshell and green space right downtown that was com- pleted last year, that now hosts the Friday night Farmers Market and concerts.”

In addition to all the community improvements, Kingsley has a strong school system, making the village appealing to many and bringing with it a growing population. Kingsley does have a master plan to protect its small town charm.

“We would like to fill some vacant lots in downtown with a variety of essential businesses and add to what is already a nice walkable downtown,” said Umbrasas. “Our master plan focuses on smart growth so we continue to provide what residents like, a small town atmosphere and quality of life.”


Umbrasas and other organizers hope that the Adams Fly Festival will bring increased awareness to Kingsley.

“We have an annual heritage day geared more towards those who live here, but we do not have that signature festival like other communities,” said Umbrasas.

“So the Adams is something specific to us. This festival is something that we can be branded for and known for and we are hopeful that this will attract visitors to Kingsley from all over.”

The Adams Fly Festival is familyfriendly and will have several attractions.

“One of the originals, if not the original Adams, will be on display at the Kingsley Public Library. It was given to us by the great granddaughter of Len Halladay,” said Umbrasas.

“We are also going to have people on site, tying Adams and other types of flies.”

One of the most famous fly rod makers in the world lives near Kingsley and will be on hand as well.

“Bob Summers will be raffling of one of his world famous rods. Trying to buy one of his hand-crafted fly rods is virtually impossible. He is donating the proceeds to the library,” said Umbrasas.

“Orvis and Northern Angler will be on hand giving demonstrations and opportunities for people who want to learn the sport. It is great to see so many influential people getting behind this event.”

The afternoon event will include live musical entertainment, a microbrew beer tent, and food. Plus a few experts will be onsite from the dam removal project to discuss how the river will look after the project is completed.

The Adams fly and hundreds of other flies will be on display in the library.

Also on display will be handmade canoes. There will also be a live and silent auction, plus various activities for kids.

And for the most part, the fun and festivities are free.

“We are not charging for the Adams Fly Festival, though there is a charge to get into the microbrew tent where you will get one of the collectable Adams pint glasses,” said Umbrasas. “Of course, this is a fundraiser for the Kingsley Library so we want people to buy auction items and raffle tickets and enjoy a few pints.

And Umbrasas is already looking toward a rosy future.

“In the future we look to expand the festival by adding days and events.”

The Adams Fly Festival, hosted by the Kingsley Friends of the Library, takes place Saturday, June 2 from 12-5 p.m. Events will take place at both the Kingsley Branch Library Community Room and Brownson Park. For additional information, go to VillageOfKingsley.com or call 231-263-5484.

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