Wa Wa Sum Outing

Every year Clinton Valley Trout Unlimited members spend a weekend at the historic Wa Wa Sum Lodge on the banks of the Main Stream of the Au Sable’s fabled “Holy Waters” just east of Grayling.

This year CVTU’s outing will begin on Thursday, May 18,2017 and ends on Sunday, May 21, 2017. During the weekend anglers will be able to fish various sections of the Au Sable River while in the company of other CVTU members. Our guest speaker on Friday night TBA.

This year’s (2017)  fee will be $40.00 a night.  We are planning on having breakfast Saturday morning at the lodge.  There will be a $5.00 donation request for breakfast as our chapter prefers to keep our funds “in the river”.



Wa Wa Sum is a Michigan State University research and conference facility located on the Au Sable River six miles east of Grayling.

The name Wa Wa Sum means “Plain View” in the Ojibwa language and was given to the camp in 1905 by Chief David Shoppenagon, an Au Sable guide and woodsman. At that time, because of the extensive logging of the region’s pine forests, the view from the high bank on which the camp is built was unobstructed for miles to the south. Since then, the forests have regenerated, slowly obscuring the view beyond the river.  Chief Shoppenagon built the first building at the camp, now known as the Dining Room, in 1880. In 1897, Rubin Babbit, an Au Sable woodsman who later became Michigan’s first wildlife officer, built a second structure, now the Administration Building. These first buildings were constructed of red pine and tamarack logs and used as a fishing camp for a group of Toledo businessmen. Other cabins of various sizes were added in later years: the Bullpen (1907); the Big Camp (1921/22); the Barn and the Guide’s Cabin (early 1930s).

 The buildings and 251 acres of land were deeded to MSU in 1980 by owners Virginia Secor Stranahan and Frank Bell, descendants of two of the camp’s six original owners. Kevin Gardiner, a descendant of Rubin Babbit, is the camp’s present caretaker. He is the third generation of his family to perform these duties.


In 2013 the Clinton Valley Chapter provided an addition to the experience at the Wa Wa Sum Lodge.  On your next trip take a stroll down to the dock on the river and enjoy a cold beverage while relaxing on the new bench provided by our chapter.

Installed Bench

Dedication Plate 2