Neil Wallace

My initial duty as a new member of the Anglers’ Board is to introduce myself. It is, of course, an honor to be asked but it is I know even more a responsibility to continue the tradition of diligence in protecting our river system.

For me it has been a journey beyond casting, catching, releasing, and tying, to caring.  This progression led me to the Board of the AuSable North Branch Area Foundation where I have served and learned for the last several of years.   My prior public service has included serving as an elected township trustee, chairman of a planning commission, and I did a stint on the board of the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy.

It is my goal and hope to help build the Anglers even stronger, by listening, learning, and applying my experience and skills as a lawyer, real estate investor and broker.  My law practice in Clarkston has focused for more than forty years on business, real estate and estate planning.  Perhaps my litigation experience may be helpful, as it seems Anglers are always in or about to be in litigation.   However it is my experience in fund raising that I intend to focus on in this new and exciting challenge.

Michigan’s Jim Harrison was right when in True North he wrote:   “It is utterly soothing to fly fish for trout. All other considerations or worries drift away and you couldn’t keep them close if you wanted.”      What drew me to Anglers and its mission is the eagerness to take up those “worries” and spend time, energy and treasure, so we will all enjoy many more soothing times on our river.

My time on the river is year round, either because of a challenge I took up several years ago to catch a trout a month or because it is not a coincidence there is a sign in my cabin that says: I fish because the voices in my head tell me to.  Whether it is summer’s size 26 tricos, hennies in the spring, nymphs when nothing else is happening, or streamers in the winter or after a rain, I am pleasantly addicted to it all.