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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
879 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
130 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
743 ft³/s

January 9 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report


So you want to be a fisherman?

Well it was one tough week to do that.  Subzero lows and single digit highs dominated the weather, and fly fishing area streams was totally out of the question.  Maybe someone snuck out somewhere, but if they did, they’re probably still there, stuck in ice up to their knees and frozen to the bottom.  There’s being hardcore and then there’s just being plain dumb.

Nope, this was not a week to hit the river.  This was a week for fly anglers to organize the fly tying bench and start to settle into the winter routine of making bait for spring.  It seems like we’re just getting into the meat of winter now, but with any luck we’ll be thinking Spring by March.  Until then pull out old movies you’ve seen a thousand times and get to wrapping hooks.  Those familiar films make for great background noise and you’ll know just when to look up from your work to catch the good scene or funny joke.

It was a better week for the ice holers.  They were able to hit the hard water just about anywhere they wanted.  With the frigid temperatures, we quickly went from a first ice scenario to real deal ice fishing and it seems like all waters had something to offer.  The only lake in our area I’m not sure about is Higgins.  I know guys are out there but first ice guys are usually ultra-dialed and very experienced locals, so be sure to stop be the bait and tackle shop for the most up to date information.  Higgins is just such a big body of water that it takes a long time to have uniformly safe ice coverage.  That said, it is one of the coolest lakes in the state.   It’s sort of like an inland Great Lake.  Certainly check it out as the season progresses.

Anglers should also be cautious of any impoundments or any other body of water that may have current such as a river or stream moving through it.

Walleye, Pike, and panfish are biting nearly everywhere and our own Lake Margerethe is fishing well.  You’ll want to stop by and see our friends at Skip’s for fresh bait, the best tactics, and hotspots.

There’s good stuff happening on Houghton Lake, too.  You may want to get out there and figure out your plan to win the Tip Up Town tournament the weekends of the January 16th and 23rd.

Throw a log at the fire and get to tying.  It’s officially Winter.

Have fun,


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