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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
837 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
124 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
711 ft³/s

April 9 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

It’s time to get excited.  The worm is turning and the spring robins are back tilting their heads listening for them.  The spring rains have started and that along with the first string of sixty degree days will coax the frost from the ground and break the ice from the swamps.  The long awaited, peak run-off will start this week and with it, we should begin the first of the best of our Northern Michigan trout fishing.

Until now the fishing, like the Spring thaw, has been in short spurts and sputters but as the water warms, and rises and pushes more food into the churn, trout will take notice and become ever more active.

Streamer fishing should be pretty darn good this week on the open waters of the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers.  The water is already starting to show some color and although flies dressed in black and olive will likely produce, anglers may just be fortunate enough to fish brighter flies tied with white and even yellow.  There’s nothing quite like streamer fishing for brown trout with colorful flies.  The whole game is completely a visual affair.  You pitch a white fly across the river and pull it back against the caramel currents and a yellow sided trout slashes at it roiling the surface water . . . well, that’s just about as good as fishing gets.  It’s heart stopping.

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The start of run-off, especially when the melt is a multi-staged as it has been this year, also signals that dry fly fishing won’t be too far into the future.  Already we’ve seen midges, black stoneflies, and blue-winged olives hatching.  I’ve had occasional reports of the odd fish rising here and there.   And I’ve even heard of a couple of anglers tricking a trout to the surface on the corresponding dry flies.  The Hendrickson hatch is already on trout angler’s minds and those bugs should make an appearance in the next ten to fourteen days.  We’ll certainly let you know when we see the first one.

So far the steelhead run has been a bit behind schedule but as with the trout fishing, anglers should expect to start seeing numbers steadily increasing when the rains and run-off waters start pushing in to the great lakes.  There’s gonna be lots of fun to be had this week.

The guides are working and this would be a great week to get yourself into one of their boats.  You’ve got our first real splash of warm weather and you could just get a first crack at an early season brown trout.

The shop is really coming together and though we’ve got a lot of work to do, we should be open for business before you know it.  Feel free to swing by and check out the progress.

It's happening...

Polish your gear, fishing time is here.


Your audio version of this report is available by clicking here or on Orson!


P.S. Sign up for the newsletter if you want to know the exact minute the shop re-opens!


  • Kirk Franks

    Can't wait!!

  • Hank

    Looks great!

  • Joyce

    Checked out the shop very excited for you all!!! The fly lines are cleaned and dressed ready for trout!!!!

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