January 27, 2017
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
I remember winters like this. I remember mid-winter warm-ups where the ground went bare in February and the snowshoe hares glowed white against brown ground. I like those winters. I like a good thaw and this has been a long one.
That said, I was happy to wake up to a clean blanket of fresh snow this week on the day that winter returned. Change is always my favorite theme in Northern Michigan weather. There are so many activities to chase where we live and only change pushes us from one to another.
The extended January thaw this past week had folks bouncing drift boats through the slushed up landings on both the Manistee and Au Sable Rivers in pursuit elusive winter brown trout. There were boats on nearly every reach of river. The pent up trout fever was impressive. The fishing reports were extremely mixed, however. It seems the brown trout largely kept their wiles and mostly won the game. But anglers that spent time on the stream, if not rewarded by a trout or two, were graced with a pleasant day riding the river. It was a fine break from the gray and chill.
One of the coolest fish fooled was a forty-two inch, thick-bodied pike taken on a streamer by our own Tim Riley. It’s spooky what lives in the slower reaches of our rivers.
But now we’re back to some semblance of normalcy—snow is falling along with the temperature. Winter has returned, but it’s a wonderful winter with temperatures topping out at the mid-twenty to thirty degree mark and with a little fresh snow every day. The woods and slopes are fluffing up and the sloppy lakes are boning up. Skiers, snowshoers, ice fishers, and all who pursue some sort of snowy sport will rejoice in the renewed mid-winter conditions. It’s going to be a fun week at the top of the mitten.
Fly tying Saturdays are underway at the Old Au Sable Fly Shop. We’ve got a basic class that starts at 10 a.m. and an open tying session from noon until 3 p.m. It’s free and all are invited.
Hope to see you soon,