February 2020 Newsletter: Fly Tying, Trout Camp and Drones, Oh My!

Sometimes, the cold is worth it… (photo:  Alex Cerveniak)

Fly Tying, Trout Camp and Drones, Oh My!

There is a lot to be excited about if you’re a northeast Michigan trout angler!  First, we’re halfway through February and that means steelhead action is picking up, the spring streamer bite is just around the corner, and dry fly fishing is about 8 weeks away- maybe earlier!

What else is there to be excited about?  Check out some of the Headwaters TU Upcoming events and news below!

Headwaters TU YouTube Channel Premiers

The Headwaters TU Communications Committee has kicked off a Headwaters TU YouTube Channel.  If you are like many folks nowadays, your TV is probably a smart TV, and some of that TV watching is on the YouTube app.

Thats where the YouTube Channel comes in.  Its a way for us to communicate with and educate people on Headwaters TU news and events, or to educate them with fly tying videos, instructional style fishing videos, or to share video footage sharing conservation projects.

Check out the channel’s first video by clicking here, its a 3-minute video newscast where we talk about upcoming events, give an update on the Sturgeon River access sites we restored over the last few years, and show off the new Headwaters TU drone- which has already located its first remote beaver dam- more on that below!

There is also the first fly tying instructional video, an absolutely killer local pattern shared by Alex Cerveniak.  You better watch it soon, though, because he claims this is his best dry fly for our area’s trout streams, and is already having regrets and may come to his senses take it down…

And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!

Bobbins and Brews at Snowbelt Brewing Company 

This will be a little different than our Tie One On events of the past. Bring your vise, a good fishing story, have a cold beer, eat some good food (15% off food for Bobbins and Brews attendees) and socialize with your fellow anglers while filling your fly box for the 2020 fishing season.

While the focus is getting out of the house to meet like-minded folks from our area, there will also be an instructional or entertainment element to each event. We will have a local “fishing celebrity” guest at each who will be demo’ing a favorite fly or telling a good fish story or two, then hanging out to socialize after.

For the novice, there will be a woolly bugger table so anyone interested in tying their own flies can learn the basics. Headwaters will even provide the tools and materials so no need to invest in your own until you’re sure fly tying is something you’ll enjoy- and you will!

Dates are March 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 6pm-8pm  at Snowbelt Brewing in Gaylord, Click here to learn more!

Now Accepting Applications for the MI Youth Trout Camp

Headwaters TU wants to send two area youth to the Michigan Youth Trout Camp this summer, June 21 through June 25, 2020.  The camp is hosted by the Kalamzoo Valley Chapter of TU at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake, located at 104 Conservation Drive, Roscommon, MI 48653 in the heart of Northern Michigan trout country. The four-day Camp is designed to educate our 13-16 year old boys and girls, who will become our next generation of conservation leaders, about the importance of protecting our coldwater resources.

If you are the parent of or know an area youth who might be interested, check out the MI Youth Trout Camp page on the Headwaters TU website by clicking here for more info.

We Have a Chapter Drone- and it needs a name!

We’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing a chapter drone for a couple years now.  As most of you know, some stretches of our streams can be extremely difficult to access.  Not anymore.  Now if we want to survey a stretch of river for erosion issues, problem beaver activity, etc., we just need to get within 2.5 miles and we can fly there in minutes.

Alex C and chapter President, David Bowman, took the drone for a spin this past weekend to survey stretches of the upper Black River, Sturgeon River and West Branch of the Sturgeon River.  The drone is very easy to fly and allowed us to see everything we needed, recording video and still photos along the way.  It also found its first beaver dam (see photo above of the pond).

What happens next at this site depends largely on the feedback of our local fisheries biologists.  Not all beaver dams need to be removed, just the problem ones.  Key problems beaver dams can cause are sediment buildup, warming water temperatures, or hindering fish passage, among others.  Whats an ok beaver dam today can become a problem beaver dam tomorrow.  If the feedback we receive says this one or others like it are a problem, our chapter’s Conservation Committee will take the ball and go in on foot.

All good things in life need a name- guitars, fly rods, baseball bats, boats, and of course, drones! We need your help figuring out what we should name our chapter’s drone. Leave your suggestion in the comments on our chapter’s Facebook or Instagram pages, and we will send a Headwaters TU T-shirt and bumper sticker to whoever’s comment gets the most likes, as well as use the winning comment to name the drone.  Even if you don’t have a name you’d like to suggest, we recommend you check out some of the names people have nominated so far for a good laugh…

To volunteer or for general chapter inquiries, please email headwaterstroutunlimited@gmail.com.

Tight lines,
Alex Cerveniak
Vice President
Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *