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River Report - October 1, 2015

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
It’s fair to say that the worm has turned. Gone is the Summertime-like weather that pushed so late into September and now true Fall conditions have slid into Northern Michigan. And with the change, much improved hunting and fishing has followed.

Migratory woodcock flights have started. The woodcock, or timberdoodle, makes the trek South when cool, crisp air unsettles their comfortable northern range and they prefer to push by the cold light of the full moon. Those two scenarios lined up in simpatico this past week and the young poplar groves and river corridors have seen the little gypsy, gamebirds dumping into them daily. They can make the empty bird cover of yesterday a red hot pointing dog paradise today. And they can be gone just as quickly, so dump a box of shells into your game vest and try to find the action as soon as possible.

The grouse hunting also seems to be picking up. The ferns are starting to topple and that’s helped hunters and dogs by creating edges of cover that just didn’t exist a week ago. When the grouse have a consistent canopy of fern tops throughout the woodlots, they can simply run to the next zip code without ever flushing and presenting a target.

The leaves are holding on longer than usual, but the beginning of the color change is here and is a prelude of falling leaves and diminished cover, which can only mean better looks at birds and much improves shooting.

It just gets better. The brook trout bite is in full swing as well here in the Au Sable river valley. They’re active and in full spawning dress. Brook trout are our state fish and are dressed and ready for their picture on a Pure Michigan ad.

The exclamation point for the report is that the brown trout streamer bite is getting started. You’ll need the best, rainy and cloudy conditions for the highest action right now, but the trout have started to hunt in these cooler water temperatures. If conditions are perfect, tie on something about five inches long and pick any color as long as it’s black. If conditions are marginal, tie on something smaller that a brook trout might grab but keep tossing it to the wood where a salivating brown just might be waiting.

We’re starting the fly tying material stock up at the shop and with new boxes of fur and feathers and all sorts of stuff made to wrap around a hook shank arriving every week, we’ll be back to having one of the greatest fly tying departments in the state. So stop by and check out the progress.

Have a great time outdoors this week,