Mike Mouradian is honest with his students. “There’s a lot of ways to fish,” he tells them. “Fly-fishing is the oldest way, but it’s not the most efficient.”
Mouradian, president of Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited, teaches fly-fishing basics at Gallup park four times a summer. A retired high school biology teacher, Mouradian has a knack for imparting wisdom on the art of angling and adding levity to the challenges and frustrations of the sport. “I’m a fly-fisherman, which means I make fishing as impossible as possible.”
|Mouradian explains bug life cycle|
Joking aside, Mouradian tells students it’s most important they learn to respect the river and appreciate nature. “I try to get people involved with the river on a personal, intimate level,” he says. “Fly-fishing is good for the environment, because it teaches conservation.”
A former student sparked Mouradian’s interest in fly-fishing and he’s been at it ever since; for the past 25 years. An avid fly-fisherman, he teases students that he hopes they never seriously take up fishing as a hobby. He wants to create a group of people who respect the water. “I don’t want competition,” he tells them. “I don’t really want you to fish. I want you to look at the river.”
Among the aspiring anglers at the June 18 class was Andrew Vreed, a fourth-year internal medicine student at the University of Michigan, who was looking for a new way to get outside. “I always liked the idea of fishing and this lesson was a way to pick it up,” he said.
|Mouradian and Vreed practice casting|
A new breed of cool looking fly-fisherman, in Mouradian’s view, is exactly what the river needs; conservationists championing the river and keeping the water full of trout. “If you take care of the streams,” he says, “fish will take care of themselves.”
The class is part of a partnership between Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited and the Huron River Watershed Council’s summer recreation series. The council’s mission is to promote stewardship, preservation, and education about the river. Mel Ring, membership coordinator of HRWC, is quick to point out that, “As an urban river, the Huron is the cleanest in southeast Michigan.”
Fly-fishing equipment is provided at the classes, and Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited brings lunch for participants. For more information on the next season’s classes and similar programs through the HRWC, contact Mel Ring at 734-769-5123 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.hrwc.org.
|The mighty Huron River|