11/04/2015  It’s been a sad week for us at Gates Lodge.  Julie Gates passed away on Saturday, October 31, at the age of 56.  Old age would not have been wasted on her.  She was fit as a fiddle, and she deserved much more time than the cancer left her to enjoy.  But she made the very most of it.  I remember the many good memories.  One of my favorites, at least at the moment, was when I was over visiting a very sick but still cantankerous Rusty in the fall of 2009.  Rusty was never much of an eater, and the cancer and medication made it worse.   Julie was always trying to get him to eat.  To this end, she made him an awesome salmon salad.  It was beautiful.  Balsamic vinegar, barbecued salmon.  She laid it on Rusty’s lap.  He stared at it and sighed.  Then he took a bite and exploded: “This salmon tasted like shit!  Jesus Christ, Julie!”  She whisked over, grabbed the plate, and put it in front of me and smiled.  Then she walked into the kitchen while Rusty groaned about the salmon that I was busy consuming.  She returned with sliced salami and sharp cheddar cheese.  Rusty’s favorite.  It was arranged perfectly.  She set it in front of him and walked away.  I sat there, satiated.  Rusty stared at the food, then out the window.  After a half-hour, she returned, grabbed the plate of salami and cheese that Rusty hadn’t touched — along with my clean plate — and returned to the kitchen.   “Goddamn salmon,” Rusty said.  Point Julie.

In her final year of the lodge, 2010, Julie and I worked hard to keep it going.  Besides cooking breakfast to dinner, seven days a week, she handled payroll and the accounting.  I stepped into the fly shop.  From a new perspective, I saw just what she put into Gates Lodge.  It’s because of her that Gates Lodge is still Gates Lodge.

Julie’s visitation and services will be on Friday and Saturday. Please share memories, or make donations, through the Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home site.

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The weather this week has been beautiful.  Sixty-some degrees, bright sun, light wind.   Hard to believe you can enjoy a riverside nap in November!  Matt and Carl actually watched a hex hatch out of Mio pond as they paddled through it.  That’ll be one lonely lover!  These are not traditional November streamer days.  And while some decent fish have been caught through persistence and luck, most folks are splitting the difference, fishing dries and droppers, or smaller streamers; or working larger streamers during the early morning or late afternoon hours.  Still, the fish bit today.  Nothing huge, but plenty of these:

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We have rooms open for much of the rest of November at $50/single and $75/double.  Our fly shop hours through the fall and winter are 9 am – 2 pm, unless otherwise noted.  Please sign up for our print catalog (see below) which will mail out late next week!

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We’ve been thinking about it, and thinking about it…now we’re going to do it:  a simple, fun, homespun fly-fishing catalog.  If you want in, send an email to me at [email protected] with your mailing address. We’ll also have sign-up forms at the shop on Saturday and beyond. We’re looking forward to making it, and we hope you’re looking forward to reading it.  So far the response has been HUGE!  We can’t wait to stumble through issue #1!

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The Fish Farm: Learn more by watching the video or check out the Anglers of the Au Sable’s new website (www.ausableanglers.org), and learn about the fish farm and what a bad idea it is