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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
861 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
130 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
748 ft³/s

October 10 : Au Sable and Manistee River Report

I’ll tell what . . . I’ve got to start using this report more as a wish list.  In last week’s report I whined a little about not finding any grouse (huh, I guess that’s a very literal definition of the term “grousing”).  Anyway, I guess someone was listening because I ended up having the best upland bird hunting of my entire life last Sunday.

It was just one of those days when everything went perfectly. The birds were right where they should have been, the dogs did great, and the shooting went well. And all I had to do to change my luck was take some of the advice I’ve been repeating in the fishing reports over the last few months.  I just had to be flexible and attentive in my approach and I needed to go explore new areas and have an adventure.


The fact seems to be that there just aren’t many grouse around Grayling this year. So I took a good, long drive and found birds in every cover I hunted. There were grouse in the last of the early season foods like raspberries, blackberries, and grey dogwood, and there were birds in the late season foods like acorns, thornapples, and barberries.


The season is marching right along now and the colors are peaking, so the swamp chickens should start moving to late season foods more consistently. Get out in those covers in the early afternoon and you’ll find a few.

The cool, wet weather we’ve had over the past week has the woodcock migration heading our way. The next two week will be the best bird hunting of the year.

Trout Fishing

Trout fishing on the inland streams is in change over mode right now. The brook trout have moved on to the beds and the bite has slowed a bit, but the brown trout pre-spawn, streamer action is just starting to heat up and should get better every day.


Of course, you can certainly jerk around those big tandem flies in all sorts of colors, but I’d suggest tossing something just a little smaller out there—especially in the Upper Au Sable or Manistee.  Think flies more in the 3-4 inch length. Trophy fishing is certainly a great game to play, but why not target all the fish instead of just “the one”? That said, there’s no wrong way to go trout fishing and, if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.

Whatever you decide, certainly don’t leave your dry flies behind. I know the dry fly bite is beginning to slow, but those Fall olives are showing up and you could really miss something cool if you’re stuck out there with just wet flies and the fish are rising everywhere.

Salmon fishing is still going on in most of the Lake Michigan tributaries but the fishing has plateaued and will begin to wind down over the next couple of weeks. All that means is that Fall steelhead are beginning to move into the streams so get ready for that late Fall action.


Have fun out there!


Audio Report

As usual, click Orson or here for this week's report in audio form.



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