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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 26 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

The weather has been 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, 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.  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.

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.

Don’t forget about the shop remodel.  It’s coming along but the physical shop will be closed until April 15th.  The phones are still working, though ad we’re taking orders, reservations and booking guide trips.  Justin had a couple of folks on the river last week learning to streamer fish.

Hope to see you all soon,





  • Jon Griffin

    Love the reports and please keep them coming. Congrats on the resturant I look forward to having a beer on the deck.

  • Andy, I'm geeked, man! Can't wait for the shop to open and see what you've done.

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