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River Report - October 27, 2017

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
With a heavy snap of the switch it just all changed.  We got everything we were asking for and more.  The temperature dropped quickly enough to warrant a one log fire salute to the beginning of woodstove season.  And the rain.  We needed it and we got it.  It rained all night and through the next morning and then it rained without let up through the next day and even heavier the following night.  It rained and rained and rained some more.

We needed a good dollop and we got a wallop.  The rivers are pushing up over their banks now and the belated beginning of the Fall Brown Trout streamer bite has commenced.  This is one of the finest periods of the year to land large brown trout on the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers.  It’s time for thickly dressed, lengthy flies colored in anything from black or olive to white and even yellow.  We’ll be trying to feed big fish the big meals they want as they prepare for winter.  Some of our best fish of the year will come to hand in the next six weeks.

Of course, with the deluge we’ve just experienced wading will extremely limited and impossible in most reaches.  If  you get in a boat, however, we can expect that the trout will be pushed right up against the bank and tight to cover.  The swipes will be vicious, rod-jolting attacks.  This is a time for trophies.

We can expect a change in the upland woods as well as birds settle into the new conditions.  The grouse and woodcock reports have been as varied as the folks and dogs that that pursue them.  I’ve had hunters report good grouse numbers but wondering where all the woodcock are hiding and I’ve had hunters finding fast shooting deep into flights of woodcock wondering where all the grouse are this year.  Personally, I’ve had it both ways, but I have yet to have good hunting for both species on the same day.

Frankly, I’m not sure of anything other than the fact that the conditions have been strange and difficult.  I’m guessing and hoping that there are still some woodcock left to come and that the grouse will gather in traditional covers.  I’ll be on the food sources betting I’ll trip over a few.

I love this time of year and hope to share it with you all,