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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
0.3 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
3.5 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
2.9 ft³/s

February 12 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

I’ve logged some serious ice time this season.  I spent more time on the hard water last week than I have in the last two years and, even with some pretty serious sorting, I cleaned about seventy perch as a result.  A lot of knife work for sure, but it’s really not that bad when you get in the groove.  Sure the smaller ones take some careful surgery and a steady hand but it’s amazing how much pride you can get from producing a couple of mouthfuls of fresh perch.

Most of that action was on Higgins.  It doesn’t take much to figure out the “where”.  Just step to the edge of the landing and look for the shanty towns.  You really want a snowmobile or some sort of transportation to get around that behemoth of a lake if you want to jump between the perch encampments.  That said, plenty of folks just jump off from the parks and do just fine.  The drop off is pretty close to shore.  My best luck has been in forty to sixty feet of water.

The ice on most lakes is up to the top of the auger screw.  So along with a snowmobile, I’d recommend a power auger or a younger kid to twist on the smart end of your manual auger.  And this is a great weekend to get someone out there to do just that.  It’s free fishing weekend Saturday and Sunday the 14th and 15th.  Pull a shanty out and bring the heater—it’s gonna be a cold one.



Though the wintery cold blast upon us may have you thinking more about stoking the fire and eating hot chili, it is time for anglers to start getting wound up about trout fishing.  Regardless of what any pessimistic groundhog might say, we could be dry fly fishing six weeks from now and streamer fishing will be on top of us in a blink when the inevitable 30 degree days start popping up in the forecast.

That doesn’t leave a lot a time to get those flies tied, so you had best get cranking.  I wrapped up about 25 dozen last week and still feel way behind.

My hunting and ice fishing vacation is just about over and my mind is ever turning to trout.  Appropriate thoughts about my truest love just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Get your gear together and let us know if we can help with new fly lines and shiny new gear.  Don’t forget about our trade-in program which can give you some serious fly shop bucks to supplement that tax return and turn the whole bundle into the fantastic new outfit you’ve been dreaming about.

Have fun out there,



As always, click Orson for the audio report.


  • Congratulations on the remodeling project, Andy.

  • Dave Begley

    Can't wait to see the new digs.

  • Hank milius

    Great news on the renovations!
    Now add a bar!

  • Karen

    Where is the cool pix of the renovation! Went to show someone and it is not ther

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