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River Report - March 14, 2020

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

You all know.  So much has changed in the hours since the last report.  Last week I was talking about ice cream and sunshine and Springtime, and getting ready for the fly fishing show.  Now our Country is all but shut down in the wake of a worldwide pandemic.

In a flash we went from excitedly loading the fly shop into a truck and thinking about big city restaurants, to being slack jawed and stunned and searching stores for toilet paper and hand sanitizer (which I still don’t quite understand). Closing the Midwest Fly Fishing Show, perhaps the greatest Fly Fishing event in the Country, was a surprising blow to our relatively small community of anglers.  But then professional sports and even the NCAA March Madness Tournament shut down.  Things got real fast.  And now the public schools are closed for weeks as our State and the nation try to find stable footing.

The virus and the reaction to it has slapped me with a fistful of perspective.  Guessing that’s true for most.  There’s a great levelling effect taking place.  This doesn’t care about economic, political, or social divides.  Our family’s and our neighbor’s health and safety and well-being are all that matter.

It is scary and stressful.  But in the 21 years since I started working in the Fly Fishing world, we’ve seen war, and unbridled terrorism, and economic collapse and every time we’ve risen from the murky waters.  The only choice is to stand together and do it again.

I’ll weather the toughest times as usual—next to a river.  The noisy silence of moving water distracts and heals.  Even without knowing it, many of us became river fishers because this is so.

Fishing is largely a solitary pursuit.  River and woods time is a perfect remedy for this problem.  Social distancing is exactly the point.  Seek wilderness.

We’ll be doing our part at the Old AuSable to help and be here when you need us.  Where to and how to is what we do.  Call or write or stop by but forgive us if we don’t shake hands.

We are also going to eliminate any one day sales or events.  Our Cabin Fever Day will be extended into a nine day event starting April 3rd through the 11th.  We are going to spread our events out to include only the smallest groups and we will offer a virtual option as well.  Our annual Show SALE starts now.   No need for a doorbuster event.  We have lots of great gear and will run our sale right through the Opening Day of Trout Season.

And don’t forget about our Spring Guide Special.  We’re offering a streamer/nymph trip for just $295.  This trip is designed to be a go get ‘em excursion that looks just like trips the guides do when we fish with each other.  The boat will be on the best water at the best time of the day.  We can make this happen regardless of your experience level.  Call for details—there’s a lot of value here.

Spring fishing has been good and it’s about to be great this year.  And with school cancelled, it looks like Jack and I will be fishing a bunch.  No sports on.  I guess we’ll have to be outside, and read, and exercise.  And all of that away from crowds.  Damnit!

I’m wishing you all the best.  Thank you for your support.  Take care of yourselves.

Go Fishing!