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River Report - December 20, 2017

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
We’re moving out of the in between time.  That time in December that when deer season is ending and grouse season is winding down.   And the ice fishing hasn’t quite materialized.  It’s a thumb fiddling time.

The best of the hunting is over and the best of the trapping is over.  We try for the last bowhunting on the warmest days and we go to the woods in snow camo trying to trick a coyote into our squeals.  Sure there’s plenty to do but when it’s cold and we’ve been in the field so much during the best of it, getting the heavy clothes pulled on one more time for dubious results is, simply, difficult.

But the conditions are rapidly changing.  Ice is forming quickly on Northern Michigan lakes and the most rabid ice fishermen are already pulling fish through the ice.  There’s some folks fishing Houghton Lake and others stepping out onto all sorts of pothole puddles and small lakes.  It’s happening but it’s still dangerous.  Last year we had one day where five different anglers went through the ice on five different bodies of water.  I strongly encourage anyone seeking ice to contact the Mom and Pop shops that service a region for the latest and most up-to-date information on conditions.  I nearly lost an avid and eager ice-angling good friend last year.  Be careful.   Be overly careful.  There isn’t a panfish that swims that is worth your life.

But ice fishing is on our doorstep.  I’m excited.  I pulled out my shanty, set it up, and inventoried the contents.  I’ve pulled the old monofilament from my reels and replaced it.  I also slid my small water, warm day sled out.  It’s a cool design my friend Dave turned me on to.  I have a small, black, jet sled that I bolted on one by six to the rear and attached a swivel seat.  It’s a fantastic ice fishing tool.  The sled holds your auger and all your gear and you have a comfortable and mobile seat.

I’ll continue to dabble at bow hunting and take a coyote calling expedition.  But it is ice fishing time for me as soon as I’m positive it’s safe.

I’m getting older and with Christmas on us, I’m thinking about presents and things.  I have so many things.  And I bet you do as well.  No one is going out of this life standing up, and I’m pretty sure we’re not taking our things with us.   But we will lay down with our experiences.  Give your fisherman a gift certificate for a quiet ride and fishing trip on our Au Sable River with a top fishing guide.  Tell your husband or wife this is what you really want under the tree.  And the prices are good for one or two anglers so you can come too.   Call 989. 390.3330 to get yours today.  You’ll be the hero of Christmas.

Have a fantastic Holiday Season and I sincerely thank you all,