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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
0.8 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
2.6 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
2.3 ft³/s

March 19 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

The weather has been so beautiful this past week and has made just being outside a wonderful endeavor.  I guess it takes a winter’s deep freeze to truly make us appreciate the Spring.  Of course, that’s easier to say once you’ve weathered it and winter is in the past.

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot going on for the sportsman right now here in Northern Michigan.  We’re stalled in an “in between” time of the year.  The Spring thaw has been just warm enough to make ice fishing a little dicey.  I, for one, have stowed the auger and shanty for another year.  Though some Northern Michigan lakes have okay ice conditions, the reward just isn’t worth the risk for me.  It was a fun season and I’ll look forward to next winter—kind of.

Trout fishing hasn’t quite turned on yet in area rivers either.  Anlgers are doing best floating the year around stretches of the Au Sable and Manistee and plying the waters with medium sized flies tied in natural colors.  But even then, are only seeing the occasional brown trout.  That said, the odd fish that comes to the fly has been fair sized.  The best of the river fishing is all still in front of us.

We’ve had an extremely mild Spring thaw.  While most of the snow has disappeared, leaving patches of white and brown in the woods, the swamps and frozen ground hasn’t broken loose yet.  That bodes well for the trout.  A big run-off can be tough on winter weary fish.  It’s been a nice, average spring so far.  And that’s all anyone can hope for.  Once the frost starts to seep out of the ground and the rivers begin to slowly rise, our trout fishing will improve in tandem.  It’s hard to be patient this time of year, but we’ll get there soon.

Steelhead fishing should pick up too once the flows increase.  So far it’s been okay with anglers catching fish that over-wintered in the streams, but it will take a good rain event or heavier melt to really get the Spring fish to push into the rivers.  It’s the best game we have to play right now and it will just get better.

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop is under a major remodel and will be closed until April 15th.  It’s an enormous project but one that is well needed and exciting.  I can’t wait to see the finished product.  In the meantime, I guess I’m going to be forced to not work and enjoy the outdoors.  It’s a tough task but I think I’m up for it.

Shop Renovation

Thank you to everyone that attended the MFFC Fly Fishing Show in Warren this past weekend.  The show was a great success and it is always wonderful to see all you folks again after a long winter.


I’d also like to thank the volunteers at the kid’s area that made Jack his cool trout tee . . . he loves it and made me put it on him as soon as he saw it.  I’d also like to thank you for mine.  I’m sure I was the only adult jealous of the kids and their cool trout shirts, but when you’ve spent most of your life in the fishing business, how much of an adult are you really?


Hope to see you all soon and do your best to get some outdoor time,



The Fly Madness tournament is underway - you can vote at our Facebook page each day.

The Trout Angler survey needs your input.

We've added a ton of 2015 products to the shop!


  • Joyce

    very cool Andy..he is so cute!!! glad you liked them!!

  • Spence

    Hey! I worked my you-know-what off at the show, and didn't get one of those cool Tees! What gives?!

    Good luck with the shop Andy! Looking forward to Opening Day and a visit there to check it out.

    Joyce. I do see a little of Andy in that face, but I think the "cute" came from mom...:)

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