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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
2.0 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
2.8 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
3.3 ft³/s

November 28 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

What a wild weather week it’s been in Northern Michigan. Right after last week’s report we got so much snow that I could hardly drive to my hunting spot. I was literally plowing snow with my truck and had the white stuff pushing up over the hood. The walk from the car to the blind was a trudge in nearly knee deep snow. It looked like the beginning of another huge polar vortex winter. I was just about to buy my one way plane ticket to anywhere South when Mother Nature stepped in and gave us a two day nearly 50 degree gift and the warm rain that came with it melted every last flake of snow.



Like I said—crazy weather. All that snow melt and rain got the rivers rising and the mild weather set up a nice fishing window. The folks that took advantage of the opportunity had a fine time fishing small streamers. Brown trout slashed violently at flies twitched and jigged slowly in all the likely feeding lies.


It’s like that now and throughout the winter. When the weather breaks and warms, we’ll have a chance at some fine angling. Most winters aren’t like last year’s frigid, locked-in winter. Most winters we have little bright spots and my advice is to get out there and get some air on your face while stretching a line on a good trout. It helps the winter go by and you’ll be glad you did it.


But as it too often happens, I did not or in this case could not take my own advice.

I shot a nice seven point and had to process it. I believe in cutting my own deer. It just makes it better and I like going through the process and making good food for my family. I like taking the animal through the whole thing. I like eating clean meat and I like selling flies tied with the hair from a deer that drank from the Au Sable. There’s some magic in it.

Since then the snow has come back and we’re going to keep a positive attitude and think about skiing and snowshoeing and a white Christmas. Winter is good for that. It’s good until about February. We’ll see how the report reads then.

Until then . . .

I hope you’ve had great Thanksgiving and you find a way to enjoy the outdoors,



  • steve schoonover

    I cant wait to get back up there, this will be my first year winter fishing with a fly, hope everyone had a great thanksgiving

  • Jon Osborn


    Beautiful post about a memorable experience.

    And I concur with your musings on deer hunting.

    Well said, well said.


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