Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Fly Fishing Casts its Spell on...
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Fly Fishing Casts its Spell on Scott Smith

Rick Coates - April 8th, 2013  

Scott Smith was two years old when he became “hooked” on fishing.

“My grandfather handed me a fishing pole took me to the end of his dock,” said Scott Smith. “I caught a perch and I have been fishing ever since.”

Smith, who has a dental practice in Adrian (south of Jackson/Ann Arbor) and place on the Au Sable River outside of Grayling, now shares his love of fishing with others. He will be one of several volunteer instructors at the 43rd Annual Michigan Council Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School. The threeday school will be held June 7-9, on the Boardman River at Ranch Rudolph, southeast of Traverse City.

“This is an in-depth three-day school that is geared to anyone regardless of their skill level. We have a novice, intermediate and advanced classes all going on simultaneously,” said Smith. “So if you are novice, you will be fully introduced to the sport. We teach everything from how to wade, to cast, plus all the different types of fly fishing. Another important aspect of fly fishing is understanding stream etymology. Also we spend a lot of time teaching casting and we do that in a large open area on the lawn.”


Smith fell in love with fly fishing the first time he tried it 30 years ago.

“I went fly fishing with some friends who took me to the flies-only section of the Manistee River,” said Smith. “I was having such a good time fishing that I didn’t fit in with the group. They basically used the week as a getaway from their wives to drink and gamble. They sort of uninvited me one year.”

At a loss as to what to do, Smith started researching fly fishing and learned about Trout Unlimited (TU).

“I had read about the TU Fly Fishing School in Traverse City and signed up as a novice. They kicked me into the expert class; at that time there was no intermediate class which is where I belonged. I was a student at the school for three years and the

instructors took me under their wing. Well, some of those instructors moved so I eventually became an instructor.”

That was 27 years ago and now Smith is the coordinator for the TU Fishing School.

Smith operates his dental practice Monday through Thursday and spends his weekends fly fishing, primarily in Northern Michigan.

“I have been all over the country and the world but Northern Michigan is a great place. We have so many world class rivers and streams that I spend most of my time on the rivers up there,” he said. “I am also a guide and am busy most weekends with my guide service as well.”


Will he be taking at least one weekend off from fishing this summer when he gets married?

“Not true. My fiancé Linda who is from Traverse City loves to fish,” said Smith. “I am sure fly fishing will be in order for that weekend.”

Smith’s love of fly fishing also included a short stint owning a fly shop on the “Trophy Waters” section of the Au Sable River.

“I went into partnership with the owner and loved it and worked as a guide out of the shop. We sold the shop a couple of years ago but I remain a guide still there.”

Smith became a licensed fly fishing guide 20 years ago and started by working for Dave Leonhard who owns Streamside Orvis in downtown Traverse City.

“We are very fortunate to have Dave here in Northern Michigan as he is one of just two Master Certified Fly Casting Instructors in Michigan,” said Smith. “He is also one of the instructors at the TU school in June.”

Other key points to the fly fishing school:

• You do not need to be a TU member. If you do not have your own equipment they will provide it to you for the weekend.

• It is Free Fishing Weekend in Michigan so a license is not needed.

• Instruction is typically one instructor to every four students.

• Lodging at Ranch Rudolf is available, with discounts given to spouses and children, ages 12-18, when attending with another adult. All meals are included in the package, as well as two nights lodging.

The 43rd Annual Michigan Council Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School will be held June 7-9, on the Boardman River at Ranch Rudolph. For info and to register go to tuffs.org or call Scott Smith at 517-442-2926.st

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