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River Report - December 10, 2015

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
So far, for me, this December has been a welcome change from the snow-laden, winter vortex, Holiday seasons of the last two years. Sure, the ice fishing gear is still stowed and the snowshoes and skies remain at home in their corner of the garage, but I’m still confident we’ll have a white Christmas and those snow toys will get their turn in the back of the truck soon enough.

For now, the woodpile is staying fat and the car is staying stuffed with all sorts of late Fall gear.

The muzzle loader deer season is just about over, but the late season archery season looks like a terrific option to extend your days in the woods. Deep snow and deep freeze made sitting in a tree stand all but impossibility in recent years, but with fifty degree highs in the ten day forecast, bow hunters should be able to spend almost as much time in the branches and have almost as much fun as the grouse hunters are having in the covers and the trout anglers are having in the river.

Grouse hunting has been good. A chance to chase the chickens in the late season can be a rarity.   That’s not the case this year.  The ground is bare and damp and the scenting conditions are nearly ideal.  Normally, deep snow will push the birds into the tree tops looking for food in the form of aspen or cherry buds.  This year we’re finding grouse on the ground in the typical young aspen covers and are finding even more in the pine and balsam thickets that are adjacent to food sources.

The flush rates can be high and the action fast in those thick covers, but the shooting is tough. You’ll spend plenty of shells on knocking the needles of boughs.  That’s okay, though.  The dogs are getting a pile of work and experience and you’re getting better flush rates than you’ve had all season.  Plus, this is all a bonus and the birds are in family groups, so filling the freezer isn’t the priority.

And what can I say about the trout fishing? This is the best conditions for streamer fishing that we’ve had all year.  Every day is cloudy and mild and perfect.  You shouldn’t go out expecting to catch every fish in the river, but you should go out eager and focused and ready for your best fish of the year.  Swing by the shop and we’ll show you how and where.  Our streamer bins are loaded with all the right stuff.

Don’t forget to stop by to take advantage of some fantastic Christmas discounts on some of the best gear on the planet.

Hope to see you soon,