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River Report - October 10, 2021

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
Summer rolled into early Fall and now early Fall just won’t go away.  This “perfect” weather has been seventies steady to the joy of many.  It’s hard to complain . . . but I’ll try.  Though this room temperature climate is fantastic for wrapping up outside chores and makes for comfortable days on the water, but it’s messing with my grouse hunting.

Most days the mercury is pushing past normal averages by mid-morning and this trends intends to stick.  That means it’s quitting time for most dogs and upland hunters well before lunch.  My adventures have been small hits that start shortly after sunup and end around eleven with an overheated bird hound and a sweaty hat brim.

That said, there are feathers in the bag each day.

Bird numbers are solid this year.  Hunters can witness a good many flushes in those paltry hours.  Or least hear the ruffled ruckus as grouse blast through the leaf littered thickets.  Upland hunters here count their successes in much the same way as do our brown trout streamer anglers.  It goes sort of like, “It was great we put up fifteen in two hours.”

“Nice, we moved about the same number of browns—all on black.”

“Did you get any?”

“One.  You?”

“Yeah, one.”

 When the bag is brimming, we talk about that, but when it’s light, we count success in the encounters.

So, I am enjoying the coatless Fall, but am very much looking forward to the temperature drop and leaf dump so that upland hunting can proceed at full steam.  It will happen very soon.

Bird numbers on the uptick is a sweet sign—I hope of good things to come in the next few seasons.  Grouse populations tend to move on a ten-year cycle and this uptick was a bit late in coming by my count.  I am always concerned.  This is a relief that I hope continues to trend. 

To that point, our family is welcoming in a brand, new, pain-in-the-butt, sweet little puppy.  It’s been well over a decade since we trained a baby bird dog and this will be Jack’s first.  He’s nine and this dog will be my son’s even when he heads off to make his way in the world.   A lot happens in a dog’s lifetime.

We measure our lives in dogs.

I’ll see you around—if you’re doing things right,