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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
1070 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
213 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
939 ft³/s

Au Sable River Fishing and Outdoor Report



February 2,  2017 AuSable River Outdoor Report

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Sorry folks for some reason (learning the software) this didn’t post timely but is still very much relevant.  

I like this waking up every morning to thin coating of fresh white.  There’s no denying that we’re in the middle of winter now—we’re right where we should be.  The clean snow keeps it feeling right—keeps it honest.

There’s consistency in that.  And what it means for all of us in Northern Michigan is that we know what our jobs are; we know just what our schedules look like.  It means we have important stuff to do.

The winter cup runs over with sweet, icy treats when winter smooths out like this.  Wax your skis, polish your sleds, pull tight the snowshoe straps, and get to the frozen lakes because you simply won’t have any better opportunities to do so.  I hope to pursue it all, and I’ll get some of it all in before winter ends.

But this week I have a pressing task at hand.  I’ve had this long-term, evolving idea that I want to champion.  There’s exists notions that fly fishing is mystical, elevated pursuit and that fly fishermen are snobbish troutophiles.  These assumptions, while too often true, cast an unfortunate shadow over a simple outdoor pursuit and leave too many anglers afield without a deadly tool.  It’s like golfing without a putter.

Fly fishing is just fishing.  And when fish are rising to bugs on the water’s surface, be they brook trout or bluegill, there is no better tool than a fly rod.

So this week I’m working at tackling the problem from the fly tying side of the sport.  I’m taking tying back to the real nuts and bolts of what the thing is.  Fishermen, perhaps especially fly fishermen, are prone to hyperbole and that predisposition for exaggeration extends right into the fly tying world.  Somewhere in its lineage the act of crafting readily available materials such as fur and feathers around a hook to produce an inexpensive and effective fishing lure was elevated, by one of its admirers, to “the art of fly tying”.

Art is a form of work that is the expression of emotions.  Craft is a form of work that creates a functioning product.  I’ll be taking fly tying back to a craft at the Old Au Sable open tying session on Saturday February 11th starting at noon.  Swing by the shop and join in the fun.

Hope to see you soon,



  • Mark Karaba

    Right On!! Put me down for a dozen McGinty's.......a few a Royal old fashion Black Gnat (with a red tail) or two....and a Mickey Finn !
    Could NOT agree more with you on a traditional basis . Where the hell does modern fly tying end? Materials available today are overwhelming .
    Maybe it's time to forge backward. Hail to Arnold Gingrich and AJ McLain . HG Tappely and Ed Zern.
    Bravo Andy!

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