I'm not going to talk about the weather. The cold hard facts are (pun intended) it's getting redundant...lets talk about fly rods.
Fly rods for northern Michigan's inland rivers need not be lengthy. The best rod for you is the best rod you like. Are you comfortable with it? Are you accurate and light on the delivery. I have seen many sizes and weights over the years. From the Orvis Flea 6 foot / 2 wt, to the 8 1/2 foot 5 wt size I always use. Rods are also measured in flex such as tip (very stiff) to mid flex very flexible (Limp), I really don't care, a flexible rod can be fun but is not as accurate, where as a tip flex takes some concentration but you can fire your fly into the end of a pop bottle.
Well crafted rods can carry an encyclopedia of knowledge on the butt piece, rod size, floating line size and lastly reel size listed in ounces. A well matched rod and reel when held in your hand will have a perfect balance...you can roll your fingers off it until just your index finger is left on the cork handle and it will balance level. Purists like a light, stiff, well balanced rod. The challenge is to pick up any rod and know its capability. That takes years.
When you see an individual with that ability, it is an art no different than a renaissance master piece. My son who fly fished beginning at 3 years old to his current age of 22 is a fly casting maestro. He has no idea how hard I worked to get to his ability. I started to experiment after high school and did not get serious until I married In 1972. As most things we did as a young person, the learning process those first years was actually the most fun.
With today's equipment, if you are just a little coordinated, you can do in a few years what took me decades to learn. You can sit on the rivers edge with your smart phone and watch instructors explaining and demonstrating every cast and then practice it. You can read about leaders, tippet, and knots along with everything else...fly tying, fly selection, reading a river, it's all at your finger tip. (If your in a place that gets a cell signal.) For me the nail, blood , and surgeon knots took years to memorize. The sight of neophytes casting with ease effects many people my age, the young new wave of fly fishing anglers has my respect.
Now get to a river (when the weather breaks) and capture the gold that is Fly Fishing.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.