Lovells Township events to celebrate opening of trout fishing season

12th Annual Leaky Waders 1K and opening of museums slated for Saturday, April 29
Lovells Township and the Lovells Township Historical Society will host their annual trout opener festivities on Saturday, April 29, including a foot race in which the competitors wear waders and the opening of museums.
Trout opener events will start at 9 a.m. at the Lovells Township Complex (8405 Twin Bridge Road) with “artists, vendors, and local conservation groups presenting within the Township Hall,” organizers said.
Registration for the Annual Leaky Waders 1K will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. and the race is slated for approximately 11:30 a.m., according to organizers.
“This is a globally acknowledged event where contestants don chest waders and run a 1K for prizes and fame,” organizers said. “Sally Brand and other volunteers will be dishing up their traditionally delicious chili dogs. We’re also having a 50/50 drawing – winner drawn after the Leaky Waders 1K completes.”
John Porteous, President of the Lovells Township Historical Society, said the Leaky Waders 1K got its start in 2009 but the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, so this year will mark the 12th race in the series.
“It was a way to put some extra interest in the museum and celebrate the start of the season,” Porteous said.
Porteous said some participants “run and go crazy” to try to finish first, and others walk the course “with a can of beer and a cigar.”
Porteous said buses will be available to transport participants from the Lovells Township Complex across the bridge to Caid’s for the start of the Leaky Waders 1K.
“Just a nice chance to get out and celebrate what many think is the start of summer and get in the water in the afternoon,” Porteous said.
The Lovells Township Complex includes the Lone Pine Schoolhouse Museum and the Lovells Museum of Trout Fishing History.
According to the Lovells Township Historical Society, the museums and the Historical Society grew from a Heritage Days Celebration in Lovells in August of 1990.
“The community expressed a desire to preserve and promote the history of the area. That aspiration brought together people seeking a way to display and protect the artifacts, documents, photos and memories of Lovells,” according to the  Lovells Township Historical Society.
“Rudolph Pallone’s 1991 gift to the (Lovells Township Historical Society) of the one-room log Lone Pine Schoolhouse, constructed in 1906 by James Kellogg and Gustav Ernst, became the first big project of the Lovells Township Historical Society. With help from the community the historic building was moved to the township property and renovations began in the summer of 1991. Once completed, the building was used to house and exhibit the history of Lovells Township. The Lone Pine Schoolhouse Museum continues to showcase the heritage and memories of the Lovells area,” according to the Lovells Township Historical Society. “A second museum building was constructed in 2001. This new log building is the home of the Lovells Museum of Trout Fishing History, Michigan’s only trout fishing history museum.”
Porteous said the theme of the 2023 season for the Lovells Township Historical Society is “Women in Fly Fishing.”
Porteous said the museums will be working with representatives from Casting for Recovery Program and the Fly Girls on programs and displays for the season. A Women’s Casting Clinic is scheduled for July 22, according to the Lovells Township Historical Society.
Porteous said “The Backcast Podcast” from the Lovells Township Historical Society will be offering new episodes soon. The fishing-themed sessions “are available through most major podcast applications (Apple, Amazon Prime, Podbean, Spotify, and more),” according to the Lovells Township Historical Society, and they can be accessed through the society’s website at
“We’ve been heard in about every state in the US and 15 foreign countries,” Porteous said.
Porteous said the Lovells Township Historical Society had a successful 2022 season with its “Artisans of the AuSable” theme, drawing a wider cross section of people and more repeat visitors.
“We had a really cool season last year,” Porteous said. “That’s what we’re going to try to carry forward this year.”
Porteous said the Lovells Township Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, “is always on the lookout for volunteers, people with a passion for our area and the out-of-doors,”
Porteous said anyone interested in volunteering at the museums can contact the Lovells Township Historical Society via email at

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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