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About Schmidt Outfitters
Schmidt Outfitters is a full service fly fishing and upland bird hunting outfitter with eight full-time guides to operate its guide service and award-winning fly fishing school. We are a privately owned operation in business since 1976.
We operate a full service fly fishing shop, known for its specialty flies and goods, that attracts folks from around the world. Customers visting our area enjoy our incredible fishery and can take advantage of our guide services and lodging facilities. Our lodging has gained a reputation of impeccable cleanliness and secluded outdoor atmosphere here in Wellston, MI.
In addition, we also operate a fly fishing travel service for anglers looking for adventure travel opportunities.
Ray Schmidt started Schmidt’s in 1976. The company began as a multi-faceted operation. Ray guided fly anglers and sold fly fishing products around the mid-western and eastern United States. In the mid 1980’s Ray sold the sales side of the business to pursue full time guiding and outfitting. Business grew quite rapidly as Ray developed many of the fly fishing steelhead standards that are used today. The guide service gained national acclaim when Ray was named one of the top ten guides in the U.S. by Fly Rod and Reel magazine in 1989.
In 1995 Schmidt’s opened a full service fly shop and lodge to house the growing customer list. In 2000 the fly shop expanded its floor space and an additional lodge was constructed to accommodate the growing business.
In 2006 we added a conference / education center for the use by our students and those attending special events hosted at our facilities.
In the fall of 2012 Ray sold Schmidt Outfitters to Frank Transue and son Paul.
Frank Transue/ Owner
Frank started fly fishing early at age 12. He enjoys the use of bamboo fly rods fishing dry flies on small streams. Most of Frank's fly fishing in on home waters around Irons, Michigan where he grew up. He has traveled the world fly fishing places most folks only dream about including the American west, British Columbia, Chile, Alaska, Belize, the Bahamas, and Manitoba. His family has been residents of this area for many years. "Acquiring Schmidt Outfitters is a dream come true for me and my son Paul."
Paul started fly-fishing at an early age in Irons, MI o Little Bass Lake. Paul enjoys Blue Gills, Bass and Trout fishing this area. Paul is also an upland bird hunter pursuing Ruffed Grouse and Wooodcock with his dog Ryp. Paul has fished many places including British Columbis, Labrador and the Flordia Keys.
Ray Schmidt / Founder
Ray Schmidt has spent his entire life in Northern Michigan and comes from a family with a long fly fishing history. As a young boy, Ray tied flies at the knee of his Uncle Clarence Roberts, a famous Grayling, Michigan fly tyer and conservation officer. Following family tradition, Ray has pioneered many of today's techniques and fly patterns and is an active conservationist, serving on several restoration committees and spearheading projects to enhance river habitat in Michigan.
Ray founded the company in 1976, guiding fly anglers. Today, Ray is retired from the business but keeps active in the fly fishing world.
Look for Ray's blogs on Twitter and Facebook.
Looking for our Guide Staff? They have their own page here > Michigan Fishing Guides