AuSable Essays...
April 27,2017
  It's hard to believe seven years have gone by since our web sight was first introduced and in all that time it was
never updated.  The reason being that shortly after its inception employment obligations caused us to leave our
home in Grayling and temporarily move to the Port Huron, Michigan, area.  Reentering the commercial
greenhouse industry after a six year hiatus resulted in a return to a seven day a week ten to twelve hour a day
regimen.  Virtually zero time for rod making for the last five years.  Then last April things changed.

Enough was enough and a return home was in order.  I had taken my head growers duties as far as I could and I
felt I was leaving the friends I was working with in good hands.  Mary had a great job working from home so we
decided to make the jump back to Grayling.  Our house downstate sold in record time, and by mid June (just in
time for the hex hatch and the Grayrock rodmaker's gathering), we found ourselves back in our little house in
the woods on the banks of the AuSable mainstream.

By October, after all the fun stuff associated with the move was out of the way, I headed back to the shop.  There
sitting on the work bench were the strips for a Driggs River Special taper that had not been touched in five
years.  Good thing bamboo don't spoil!

Over the winter months, several rods have come out of the planing forms and shop.  One long promised to a
very patient customer (I'll say!) and some for immediate sale.  My goal was to have at least some inventory
rebuilt at the shop for customers to examine when they come by to visit.

Currently the shop will be open by appointment, so feel free to call 1-989-344-8320 to stop by and check out
current rods for sale or talk over what you might like to have made for you .  Regular hours are being planned,
but due to a May 4th surgery for a torn rotator cuff, that will have to wait till my arm is out of the sling.  
Tentatively that will put us into the third week of June.  Just keep an eye on the web site or give a call if you want
an update.  I always enjoy talking to fellow bamboo nuts.

And speaking of a torn rotator cuff, it won't keep you from planing cane or finishing rods, but it sure makes it
uncomfortable, and believe it or not, almost impossible to seat ferrules and assemble a rod.  I've been told fishing
this year will be problematic at best and I will not be doing any serious rod making until September.  So if you
come by the shop you won't be seeing anything earth shaking going on, but there is always coffee or cocktails,
and of course, lively conversation.

The moral of the story... If the hill you're going down on your cross country skies LOOKS icy, it probably is!

Well, that's all I can think of for now.  Weather is warming, Hendricksons are showing up on the river, and
mushrooms will be popping.  Spring in Grayling is FABULOUS!

Keep your waders wet on the outside!

John Niemann


Check here often for stories, quips, and philosophizing about life on the AuSable, in
the rod shop, and Northern Michigan in general...