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River Report - January 28, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
When you work in a fly shop, you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by some real fishy folks and skilled guides. I was lucky enough to fish with two of them this past week on a steelhead trip to the Manistee.  One of my guides, Donny, and I met early, rubbed our eyes and filled the coffee cups before we headed down the road to meet top steelhead guide Jamie Clous for a  trip on his winter grounds—the Manistee River.

It was snowing when we got to the boat launch but the wind was down and we were cozy in Jamie’s heated cabin as we zipped up the stream. Short minutes after the anchor dropped, steam still rising from the coffee and we had the first steelhead of the day doubling a rod.  The day just kept on like that.  We fished steelhead for a few hours until the bite slowed and then we switched the program to lighter, five weight fly rods and targeted brown and rainbow trout.

The action was fast. We only traded two rods between the three of us and it was “bobber down” and “fish on” so much that we were all happy to hand off the wand and watch from sidelines a bit.  I didn’t have a clicker with me and don’t know how many trout from 12 to 18 inches we landed but I can tell you that, at times, it was a fish every cast.  Jamie had the highlight of the trip when, while fishing for trout, a thick buck steelhead grabbed his bait.  By the time all the thrashing and charging was over, he had boated a ten pounder on my five weight SAGE ONE that was strung with a little Tibor Spring Creek—a reel intended for 3 and 4 weights.  It was quite a day with countless trout and around half a dozen steelhead.

If you’d like to make a trip to the Manistee with Jamie, just give the shop a call and we’ll get you on the water.

Winter fly tying is rolling right along at the Old Au Sable. Beginner fly tying starts every Saturday at 10 a.m. and a featured fly tyer for intermediate and advanced tyers takes over at noon.  Both sessions have been great fun.  The beginner class lets me play teacher a bit—a profession about which I have always admired and dreamed about.  And the intermediate sessions are rich with advice and tips.

Be sure to clear your calendar on February 6th so you can spend some time watching tying legend Jerry Regan spin up historic, local fly patterns as well as his parachute Hex spinner—a deadly weapon.

I hope to see you soon,