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River Report - October 26, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
And just like that, it is prime time Fall.

I took a week off just as colors were changing and a handful of days later the trees hit peak blaze and in a blink the leaves started to drop and the deer have started to scrape.  The time is now to wade into the woods and waters of Northern Michigan.

I live here because of maybe six glorious months of the year, and I make do with the rest.  There’s the Spring and early Summer hatch fishing for trout and then there’s the mild weeks of Summer.  And then, the king of all seasons, Fall makes its spectacular appearance.  But when you filter it all through a sieve, there’s maybe seven weeks that make all of the difference.  The next few are some of the best.

There’s still plenty of color out there for the leaf peepers and anyone that wants to get one last peek at Fall’s fiery crescendo.  And bird hunters will have to make apologies to their families and bosses because this is what those sportsmen dream about for eleven months of the year.   Woodcock are dropping down from the North into young aspen covers that are nearly leaf barren and the grouse are dispersing and offering long, shooting looks to folks with steady sporting dogs.

I urge grouse hunters to be careful in their approach to upland covers.  Too many hunters slowly turn off two tracks into grousy, grassy pullovers and then proceed to slam the truck doors, drop dogs before the shotguns are loaded, and then toot the door locks snapped shut.  After that, it’s a bunch of chaos with beepers and bells and controlling dog shouts and whistles.  Maybe that works on the pheasant farms, but remember that you’re out there hunting for one of the wiliest game animals in Michigan.  Here, you are always hunting when you have a gun in your hand and your feet sink into frosty grass.

Bow hunters should also be bouncing in their cubicles.  I’ve put lots of miles on my boot leather through some fantastic woodlots, and I just saw my first signs of rut this week.  One night I watched two bucks fight for forty-five minutes.  It’s getting revved up.

Oh yeah, and Fall brown trout fishing—it’s here—save it for the rain.

I’d like to urge everyone to call in sick or quit and get to the woods.


Also, if you’d like to book a cast and blast or an upland bird hunting trip, just give the shop a shout and we’ll get you all squared away.