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River Report - October 29, 2015

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
We’ve finally found the Fall weather fishermen were waiting for. The remnants of hurricane Patricia served up an all-day soaking rain complete with the dense cloud cover that fishermen crave.  Trout anglers on the Upper Au Sable and Manistee Rivers slipped into drift boats and plied the lower reaches of each watershed with naturally colored, articulated streamers and were rewarded with a fair number of brown trout and with a few big ones.   Black, brown, olive, and copper seemed to headline the “hot flies” list, but as always, yesterday is yesterday and the best fishermen are versatile and treat each day as a fresh start.

Many of the brown trout are in full spawn right now and, though you will see them on their redds, the fish on the spawning gravel are not interested in eating and should be left alone. Any fish on a spawning bed is mating or merely protecting its nest and the future trout populations of our rivers and streams.  Give those bruisers a break and try to catch the spawn fish form the cover lining the banks or from the dark slots and pools.  Those trout will be hungry from the rigors of spawning and should be in the mood to ambush an easy meal.

Hurricane Patricia has also had some fine effects on the anadromous fisheries. The wind patterns from the storms has shifted cool and warm lake and river water temperatures and steelhead are now pushing, in better numbers, into the coastal streams.  Salmon are still in the rivers and still dropping eggs, so matching that food source is clearly a fine idea.

Our Manistee River Salmon and Steelhead guide, Jamie Clous, tells me that there is a pretty strong run of Coho in the river as well right now. They’re a great gamefish.  Coho will bite on dead drifted fly patterns like eggs, but are even wiling to chase down streamers.  If you’re interested in trying out a trip for steelhead or Coho, just give the Old Au Sable a call and I’ll put you touch with Jamie for a great day on the water.

Woodcock season ends on November 2nd, so be sure to swing your shotgun only to grouse after that.  I hear there are still lots of doodles in the U.P., so you may want to take advantage of this last weekend of woodcock season.

We’re putting together a rigorous winter schedule this year. There will be something happening in every weekend.  We’ve got this cool, new room and we plan on using it.  We’ll host everything from free beginning and intermediate fly tying classes, to huge holiday sales and parties, as well as events designed to simply be fun and ward off the winter doldrums.

It’s going to be an exciting winter.  Stay tuned for details.

Have a great week,