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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
1.2 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
3.7 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
3.6 ft³/s

River Report December 8, 2016

December 8, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Good news and happy day.  I guess my last report was just a bit premature.  I talked, last week, about how I’d passed on a good number of one and a half year old bucks and was leaving the 2016 white-tailed deer season okay with my decisions but empty handed.  Well, I IMG_20141120_111312_113had on more evening sit left when we put out that message.  And man did it pay off.

I trudged to the blind late on the last day of season and swung the blind door closed about three o’clock with the thought of punching my doe tag and filling a couple of shelves on the freezer.  Time ticked and the sun sunk into the trees and it was starting to look like maybe even that fairly simple achievement wasn’t going to happen.  Truthfully, it was a little relieving not having a doe step from the trees and into the open for the first couple of hours.  My grandpa once told me to, “be sure you want to pull that trigger, because everything after finding the deer is work”.

He was a working class guy with seven kids and knew exactly what he was talking about.  He knew better than most.  The food mattered and there was no taking it to a deer processor.  So, while I was eagerA group of whitetail deer in the winter snow. too for the meat, I was no longer sitting for sport on that last day of deer season.  I was harvesting.

The first deer showed up just before five.  A fawn and a small spike horn came out boldly.  And the first does crept out on their heels.   I waited a bit but watched the deer through the scope with my finger near the trigger.  I was simply trying to find one good doe without a fawn in tow.  I was ready.

Then, just like that, the deer all turned and looked into the thick, dark woods.  A young, lone doe darted into the picture and the spike put his head down and chased her around the opening.  In the back, black end of my firing lane a racked buck materialized as if from the ether and stood stiff legged.  I just had to wait for him to turn.  After long, long seconds, he did.

A top five buck for me.   A perfect eight point.

It will be happy work for me.  I’ll do it with care.

It’s shifting to winter now and scene is set for the next games to play.

Enjoy the beginning of winter,



  • Kelly Smith

    Not much of a fishing report but still a great story....I too know that the work begins after the trigger is pulled. I have taken deer for many years and never have taken one to the processor... Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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