Monday, August 29, 2011

Mouse Bite

The mouse bite is red hot . . . percentage wise, this is the best chance of the year to catch a trophy brown.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hex went very well on the Au Sable last night on the mainstream.  Manistee is started as well from 72 to ccc.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dry Fly

Just a quick note about the dry fly.  Last Friday and Saturday we had trout rising to BWO's.  Yesterday, trout rose again for about an hour before the snowstorm.  BWO's, Quills, and  . . . one or two Hendricksons.  I'm getting happy.  Very happy.

See you all soon, Andy

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The April 1st new "Michigan Trout Opener"  was a great success.  Friday kept mostly sunny but the AuSable River Brown Trout came out to play anyway.  The water clarity was just stained enough to get the trout biting.  It seems like every boat landed at least one nice fish.

And check out the weather for this weekend.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Early Spring Stoneflies

Every year we get two different black stones that show up with the warmer weather.  One is small--like a sixteen.  But the other is big.  I like it on a 2XL #14 or a standard 12.  That's probably over sizing it, but the trout don't seem to care.

When you're fishing the stonefly, be sure to twicha nd skitter it.  Work it in all the same places you would a streamer.  Fish the wood piles and the bubble lines.  Drop a nymph off this beefy critter.  It makes a fine bobber.

I like fishing  the stone best upstream as a single fly.  Really focusing on the secondary and tertiary bubble line behind logs. 

However you use it, it can be a great way to get your first dry fly fish of the year.

Have Fun.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Open Water

Here's the skinny on the New Michigan Trout Fishing Regulations as they pertain to Catch and Release Fly Fishing in our waters.

Starting April 1, 2011 we can fish flies on the Au Sable River from Burton's Landing all the way down to the power lines by Rainbow Resort (remember Rainbow Resort is a private launch).  And we can fish from Mio to McKinley below the damn.  Now a lot of this water is also open to Catch and Release fishing in the off-season with artificial lures as well, but I'm just talking about what we can do with flies for this entry.

The Manistee has some cool off-season opportuntiy, too.  You can catch and release fish there from the bridge at County Rd 612 all the way M-115.  Again, quite a bit of this is also open to artificial lures, so if that's your game, just check the reg's.

That's just so much water.  What a great trout fishing opportunity the Michigan DNR has created for all the Michigan trout fishermen and women.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

29 1/2 Inch Crawford County Brown Trout

Well this early Spring freeze up certainly slowed down the fishing.  But I did get a pic of one huge brown trout from Crawford County.

Of course it was through the ice at Lake Margerethe.  We see a couple of these huge browns out of Lake Margerethe each year.  The theory is that these fish actually move out of the Manistee River up Portage Creek and into the lake.  Once in Margerethe, they fish have lots to eat and cool fall into winter temperatures.  Every once in a while we even hear about a stray brook trout getting caught.

This coming week should fish well on the AuSable River and on the Manistee River.  Nymph fishing will likely be the best bet early in the week, but as the warm days start to stack up, I bet we have find some very nice streamer action by next weekend.  If we're lucky, we may get the early Black Stoneflies skittering around, too.  That pattern makes a great indicator for your bead-headed nymphs.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Watch for the Warm Spells

Man, we've had some great fishing this past week.  We're finding fish on nymphs but streamers have really come on strong as well.  I even heard of a fish in the 27/28 range.  That's ridiculously huge. 

Anyway, the website is down so I can't get a new report up today.  But here's the scoop.  The river fished really well on both Monday and Tuesday of this week.  Why?  Well, it's not about secret spots and it's not about secret flies (well maybe a little).  My guess is that it had lots more to do with the cloudy, drizzly days at the end of an extended warm-up.  Weather is always the most important factor in fishing for trout.  Always.  Ahhh . . . I may have over spoke 'cause luck counts too.

It's been said that April is the cruelest month.  Far as I can tell March is a little bitchy, too.  So great fishing on Monday and Tuesday and I woke up to this on Wednesday.

I guess we got something like 10 inches of snow over night and it's just been going all day.  Here's a pic from about 10 minutes ago outside the shop.

It'll be tough fishing for a few days.  At very least it'll be tough to be outside.  But don't wait for me to tell you it was good yesterday.  Watch the weather and pick the best days.

April 1 the water below Mio is open to c&r fishing with artificials all the way down to McKinley Bridge.

Have Fun,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hackle Hair Extensions

Well, here's the scoop on the Hackle Hair Extension crisis.  Looks like we'll be fishing Comparaduns from now on. 

Fine by me.  I'm actually not so concerned, fads are just fads.  I've got lots in stock and it looks, to me, like these girls are just using saddle hackle.  If it comes to it, I guess I'll just have to go back to necks and dig out my hackle pliers.  

I'm more concerned about guys in rubber pants and a crazed look in their eyes chasing young girls down the street and pulling at their hair.  Fly tyers are a strange group.

But you know, being a good retailer, I'm not opposed to new opportunities and the Old AuSable has  come up with a similar product to better fit our main demographic.

Check it out . . . before the feather extension.

And After!!!  Just makes a guy feel good. 

I can see why this is catching on.  I'm gonna start looking around for more dead stuff to weave into my hair.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter Warm-ups Mean Fishing Fun

Thermometer hit 46 and we hit the river yesterday.  The guys streamer pulling didn't do all that well from what I understand, but we caught a bunch of fish nymphing.  Brown trout seemed to the most active but we caught a good number of good rainbows as well.  This was a real typical trout yesterday. 

Just a great day to be out.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I know this is old news, but I can't help it . . .  it gives me chills.  Many of my clients remember the glory days of Detroit and I'd like nothing more than to see them back.  I've watched this ad over and over.  I love that the manufacturer spent their money hyping Detroit.  Etc . . .   The whole thing impresses me.  Gives me hope.  I've been on the road loads.  Been around the coutry.  Spent too much time everywhere.  The whole coutnry is pretty damn cool but Michigan is my favorite.  No where I'd rather be.  This commercial seeks to pull us up by the boot straps.  I know you've seen it but watch it again.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cincinatti Fly Show

We're in Ohio right now at the BUFF Fly Fishing Expo.  Lots of folks stopped by dispite the freezing rain we woke up to.  You'll hear no complaints from me . . . freezing rain means temperatures right around 32 degrees.  It felt like Spring to us Grayling boys.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ross Reel Contest

For those of you that were late to the Old AuSable contest, here's another that Ross Reels is putting on.  Check it out .

Monday, January 31, 2011

More from Arkansas

Here's a little more from the boys in Arkansas.  Alex's clients Brad and Joel just got back and had a great time.  Joel said to me in an e-mail:

Yes, Arkansas was awesome.  Very nice thing going down there.  My Dad and I both just kept topping our previous best, seemed like the very next cast.  Definitely hard core fishing.  As I type this, the ligaments in my left middle finger twinge with every keystroke.  None the less it was everything we had hoped for, and we are both well aware of the difference between what we hope for and what the Forces usually dictate.  Alex was great to fish with.  My Dad and I really enjoyed his enthusiasm and camaraderie as well as sense of humor.  He flat out worked hard for us and we both really appreciated his ass whoopins! 

Father and son with a 27 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fly Contest

The tyers have certainly been busy.  It's amazing what some real winter weather does for fly production.  Two weeks ago I was in a bit of a panic about the tyers' lack of progress.  All that changed with about 16 inches of snow and subzero temperatures.  Here's a pile of  flies Sam wrapped up in only five days last week.

These are size ten drakes.  Any idea how many?  I'll give you each 3 guesses and the contest will stop on March 1st or when someone gets the correct answer.    We'll toss in a hint here or there if you need it.  I tell you now that the number doesn't land on an even dozen.  It's more that 100 and less than 1000.

Please post your guesses as a comment.  Winner gets an Old AuSable Fly Shop gift certificate.  Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Original Painting of Your Hunting Dog

Here's something pretty cool.  I've got an artist that will do original, unframed, paintings of your favorite gundog for only $175.  This is real, local, folk art.  I'm certainly going to commission a piece with my old Red Setter.  I challenge you to find a better price for an original, commissioned piece of artwork.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

-31 this morning

Cold enough this morning to freeze our bells off.  31 below with no wind chill factor.  I don't remember a day this cold.

Check out the steam coming off the river . . . takes some serious freezing temps to do that.  Stay warm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Well Alex is down there in Arkansas  . . . says he's trout fishing and getting 'em pretty good.  I don't know.  Doesn't look like a trout or a drift boat to me.  But it does look pretty fun.

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Rental Cabin

I'm pretty excited.  The Old AuSable Fly Shop is currently able to offer a premium rental on the Au Sable River's "Holy Waters".  Located only 8 miles from town the cabin rests 25 feet from the river and sleeps up to four anglers (two bedrooms with a double bed each and a futon for your mother-in-law)

This cabin sits on a completely wadable stretch of river that is situated among some of the best pools in the Holy Waters.  Check out the link .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Huron Pines and the AuSable North Branch

Huron Pines is doing some pretty cool work on the Au Sable River's North Branch this year.  Here's a link you should check out.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's Show Season

The Old AuSable is kicking off the show season with "The Indiana Fly Fishing Show" this Saturday January 8th in Indianapolis.  These shows are a great way to spend a wintry Saturday afternoon, meet new folks, and re-connect with old friends . . . hope to see you there.   Here's a link


Glen Sheppard passed away.  Hard to know what to say.  There are few people I respect more. Shep was the ultimate steward of Northern Michigan's natural resource.  He will be missed. He loved the Au Sable River.  Follow the link.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Wow.  What a difference a few days make.  The New Year's thaw not only provided some great  fly fishing opportunities but totally melted all the snow that fell in November and December here in the Au Sable River Valley.

That's all changed now.  There's still not enough snow for snowmobilers but we've had enough lake effect snow to cover the ground with a couple inches of the white stuff.  And gone are the mid-forty degree temps we experienced last week.  I woke up to 0 degrees this morning. 

If you're headed this way and need a hands-on weather update, just give the shop a call or shoot an e-mail.

Have a great and happy new year!