Gather your group for the ultimate Up North weekend in Traverse City: an afternoon of fly fishing instruction, followed by a five-course gourmet meal paired with the finest award-winning regional wines.

The brainchild of Traverse City’s Bowers Harbor Vineyard, the Boathouse restaurant and McCool Outdoor, the Dining on the Fly package is available to groups of 4 to 25 people. (Those with a group of six or fewer can also join other adventure enthusiasts for this great Northern Michigan experience on June 26, July 13 or July 20.) Your one-of-a-kind day plays out like this:

Fly Fishing

Arrive at the fishing site and warm up with some champagne while you meet your instructor, get fitted for your equipment and practice your cast. Certified Casting Instructor and Master Angler David McCool starts you off with some basic instruction—casting techniques, applied physics of a tight loop and entomology.

David has taught hundreds of aspiring anglers the art and science behind the popular sport of fly fishing. You’ll enjoy a friendly, laid back experience with one of Northern Michigan’s best known and accomplished fly fishing instructors. Your outing includes the fundamentals of fly casting and fishing in a blue ribbon trout stream.

David will work one-on-one with you to help develop your cast before putting you in the river to apply the skills you have learned. Walk against the current, mend your line, tease up a trout or two. After some time in the water, David will even coordinate some friendly competition casting games—with the winning team taking home a bottle of wine from Bowers Harbor Vineyards.

Wine-ing and Dining

After a perfect afternoon on the water, your blue-ribbon adventure continues with an unparalleled dining experience prepared by Executive Chef Eric Nittolo of the Boathouse Restaurant on Old Mission Peninsula. Chef Eric will prepare a five-course gourmet meal along the shores of a breathtakingly beautiful trout stream. Chef Eric will contribute to the culinary experience by preparing the meal right in front of you, explaining and describing each component of the individual dishes. You will not only be eating great food, but you will also be able to watch and understand how each dish is prepared and how ingredients go together to create a rich upscale dining experience.

Chef Eric’s cuisine is refined and contemporary with some classic French flare. His ability to pair food with one another with the use of ancient grains and modern gastronomy is truly what this experience is all about. The marriage of Chef Eric’s creative recipes and the finest fresh local ingredients is a grand culinary experience, raised to the level of art. 

Your dining experience is further enhanced by wine maker and proprietor of Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Spencer Stegenga. Spencer will teach you the viticulture of Old Mission Peninsula and explain each of his award-winning wines that will be paired with each of the five courses of your culinary experience.

Reserve Your Spot

Book your group’s date by calling The Boathouse Restaurant at 231-223-4030 or, for more information, log onto

Plan Your Trip

There’s lots more to do in Traverse City. Check out:’s vacation guide to Traverse City for lodging, dining and recreation options.
A Frontier League baseball game—Traverse City’s own Beach Bums.
A sail on Traverse City’s Grand Traverse Bay—aboard the Inland Seas’ schooner.
Traverse City’s gourmet markets.

Photo(s) by McCool Outdoor