Free Wild Rivers Expo highlights Ashland area’s fishing opportunities

Bob Rice got his first fishing pole at around age 7. It was a simple rig, he recalled, with a hook — on which he skewered a worm — a line and a bobber. By age 9, the Michigan native had moved on to fly fishing, often traveling north with his father in the summers.

Rice, 53, was snared by the sport. Now living near Iron River, he is president of the Wild Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which is sponsoring its annual Fishing Expo on March 31 at Ashland’s Northland College. The free event will include fly-tying workshops, food, talks by experts and a fundraising raffle and auction. “It was a combination of things,” Rice said of his lifelong love of fly fishing. “A big part of it was spending time with my dad.”

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