Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Willie Bear

For ten years I have the honor and privilege to teach an outstanding group of women, the Michigan State University Fly Gals, how to fly fish. In the spaces between learning to fish we talk a lot about conservation and leadership. I am humbled, intimidated and awestruck but the women who participate in the Fly Gals program. They are intelligent, focused, confident and eager to learn. They have pushed or are pushing the knowledge envelope far beyond anything I ever cared to and I learn a great deal from each group. These are entertaining over achievers and that makes it fun, but I know they can smell bullshit a mile away so I have to be prepared to be challenged which is always good for instructors.

This May marked the tenth year we got together and there was a little extra celebration and a wonderful gift.

Willie the Tenkara Bear.

Willie came to me pretty much as you see here with a small addition.

Willi the tenkara bear on his first "Fishing Friday."

Willi Bear on his first “Fishing Friday.”

Willie was an instant hit and has already become an important traveling companion. Folks who stumble across this blog or are Facebook or Instagram connections know that for a time my Mossy Creek Fly Fishing hat was the subject of a travelogue.

Willie is the successor to the hat.

Let the adventures begin…


Click here for the Willie Bear Images Gallery.


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