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River Report - November 5, 2015

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
It is impossible to talk about the fishing in Northern without breaking down the weather.   The two are cemented together and how one goes, so goes the other.

The weather and fishing story have been about as varied and unpredictable as is possible and that trend will simply continue as the month of November keeps serving up curveballs. That means that anglers will have to be both agile in their approach and nimble with their timing for best results.

October ended with a mini monsoon. That all-day drencher on Halloween had little super heros, ghosts, and goblins draped in ponchos and clad in winter coats while their parents sulked under black umbrellas at bottom of porch-lit steps.  It also pumped up the flow of most Michigan streams and sent a signal to waiting steelhead to push up rivers.  There are more fish in nearly all tributary streams of the Great Lakes than there were just a week ago.  The numbers aren’t enormous, but you can even find fish on the Lake Huron tributaries now.  Late Fall rains mean moving steelhead.

The Michigan salmon season is over. Black, zombie salmon, their brains and bodies addled by the rigors of spawning are all that are left milling aimlessly about bottoms of area streams.  Their deed is done and they are spent.  But Brown trout and steelhead will continue to look for their eggs for the coming weeks even though the feast is ending.

A fine patch of Indian Summer has the slowed the daytime, brown trout, big fly streamer bite on the Au Sable and Manistee rivers. We’re looking for dark skies and cool, wet conditions this time of year for the best angling.  In short we’re looking for seasonable conditions just as we are throughout the year.

All animals in nature have tendencies that coincide with weather patterns which occur during particular times of the year. Often, outdoorsmen rely on those tendencies as predictabilities and try to target species then.  Humans are terrible predators.  We’re not very fast or strong. We don’t see or hear all that well.  And our sense of smell is abysmal.  We need our brains to create tools and to come up with strategies.  We need to gain an edge where we can because luck doesn’t always happen.

So, as always, be versatile in your approach and be prepared for the unexpected. As result of this warm trend, for example, we’ve actually had pretty fair dry fly fishing on the Upper Au Sable.  And don’t worry, the weather will be cruddy soon enough.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don’t be a stranger this winter. We’ve got something going on at the shop every weekend all winter long.  We’ll have beginner and intermediate fly tying classes every Saturday morning right along with open tying sessions, in the afternoon.  And we’ll cap off the weekend with some fun stuff on Sunday so you can make a weekend out of it, if you’d like.  There is no reason for cabin fever this year.

We’ll also be offering some fantastic in-store only specials during the march toward Christmas, so be sure to stop in and make a list.

Hope to see you all soon and take care,