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River Report - October 8, 2015

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
I don’t know if you call this an Indian Summer just yet, but we keep getting dips and valleys in the weather that are highlighted by beautiful sunny, warm days here in Northern Michigan. It’s safe to say that the type of weather you want for your Fall fun is happening in short stretches every week.

The cast and blast season is here and the wonderful, bright, warm days lend themselves perfectly to fine upland bird hunting opportunities while the cloudy, wet days make for very good trout fishing days on the river.

The bird hunting right around our fine city of Grayling is a bit tough this year. A couple of hard frosts last June have the local fruit crops severely knocked down. The thornapple and dogwood patches are nearly devoid of berries and so, the grouse simply aren’t there. That said, a short drive in nearly any direction will put hunters into food sources and into birds.  It’s one of the fantastic aspects of being stationed in Grayling—if the hunting or fishing isn’t great right here (which it often is), good stuff will be not all that far away.

We’re centrally located in the good. For example, fishermen here can target nearly every species of freshwater fish that swims in North America within an hour and a half’s drive. There are Brook Trout and Brown Trout right outside our doorsteps as well as all sorts of warm water fishes in our many area lakes. And it’s possible to catch both Pacific Salmon and Steelhead as well as Atlantic Salmon within a tank’s worth of gas and sometimes even in the same stream.

Salmon are in all of the coastal streams right now. It’s a thin run this year, but tenacious anglers can find and catch fish in any of the rivers that flow into the great lakes.

All of the stretches of trout streams that are managed under gear restricted regulations are open to catch and release regulations even though the traditional, harvest season has ended. The foulest weather will produce the best catch rates. The dry fly season is nearly finished, but the wet fly and streamer bite is starting to gain steam. Some of the best fishing of the year is in front of us on the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers.

The biggest trout of the year will almost certainly be caught in the coming weeks.

Fall color is getting started and should improve a bunch over the week.

I hope you get to make it up soon—there just aren’t enough October’s in the year,