River Report January 8, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.

The warm winter continues. Winters these recent years have been like the story of the Three Bears and it’s easy to start feeling like a little, whining Goldilocks—this one’s too cold and this one’s too hot.

Bob scores a nice one with OAFS guide Donny

Here in Northern Michigan, conditions are rarely perfect for the plans you’ve made weeks prior. So my advice is as always—take advantage of Michigan’s versatile outdoors and fit the play to the conditions at hand.  Square peg, square hole I say.

Even though I’ve heard of a few folks shuffling out onto some area lakes, ice fishing is an impossibility right now for most sane human beings. There’s nothing wrong with being crazy for your passion, but if you’re just a casual enthusiast like me, give it another week or wait until you see some shanties out there.  A thin skim is covering some of the smaller water bodies and on lakes like Margerethe and Houghton but there is not much safe ice just yet.   Forecast cold temperature next week should help the situation.

Until then, take advantage of the warmer weather. Trout fishing on the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers with nymphs and small streamers has been great fun.  If you have the time, throw a canoe in the Holy Waters and spend a few hours sliding down the stream and jumping out at the pools.

And just getting outside for a hike right now is time well spent. There’s nothing quite like the stillness of winter woods.  The quiet that settles after your boots quit squeaking will make you hold a breath.

It’s also time to start tying flies. January ninth is the beginning of our free eight week tying program at the Old Au Sable Fly Shop.  Free beginner fly tying classes will start on January ninth at 10 a.m. and go until 11:30.  Supplies will be provided but may be limited depending on how many folks attend, so please bring your gear if you have it.  Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. I hope to see lots of new faces.  This week is wooly bugger week.

There will also be an open tying session at 12:30 for more advanced tyers to work on technique.

Hope to see you soon,


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