Fly fishing catches interest from all ages

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published February 27, 2018

 Lance DeVoe, Rochester Hills naturalist, demonstrates fly tying Feb. 17 at the Rochester Hills Museum.

Lance DeVoe, Rochester Hills naturalist, demonstrates fly tying Feb. 17 at the Rochester Hills Museum.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

ROCHESTER HILLS — People young and old fish in rivers, ponds, lakes and creeks year-round in Michigan.

“We fish everywhere,” said Chris May, of Shelby Township, while attending a fish fly tying class with his son, Jack, Feb. 17 at the Rochester Hills Museum. “We fish year-round up north, on the Clinton River and in Lake St. Clair, and we ice fish in the winter.”

“We catch trout, bluegill and perch,” Jack May, 10, said. Father and son were intently tying flies during the class taught by Lance DeVoe, Rochester Hills naturalist.

“There are four parts to every fly,” DeVoe said. “A tail, a body, a hackle and a wing. You can use different colors and different materials. Some are weighted to go down, some stay close to the surface and some float.”

According to the Clinton River Watershed Council and the Michigan Fly Fishing Club, Paint Creek is considered a high-quality cold water stream, its water quality conducive to maintaining a good trout population, with many fish in the 7- to 14-inch size range.

Paint Creek has received annual trout stocking since the 1940s, and some sections of the creek have natural reproduction of brown trout. A map of fishing access points and parking areas can be found at

Residents also find good fishing in the Clinton River at Yates Park, located off of Avon Road, at Dequindre Road. Ice fishing is popular during the coldest months of the winter at Thelma Spencer Park, off of John R Road, north of South Boulevard.

The Michigan Fly Fishing Club will hold its annual Fishing Exposition March 10-11 at Macomb Community College in Warren, offering youth-focused activities and the newest and best product offerings, along with programs, demonstrations and services for all levels of experience.  

Thanks to support from fly fishing enthusiasts, the expo has contributed over $320,000 to habitat restoration, conservation and education programs throughout the country.

For more information, visit