October 31, 2018
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
We’re moving into the latest pages of Fall. As October rolls into November the leaves curl on the ground and frosty mornings give way to occasional smatterings of snow. The deer are healthy and strong and the grouse are all full fanned and mature. Ducks and geese are pushing South in droves and deep V’s. For many sportsmen, this is the best time of our Northern Michigan year.
Camouflage and blaze orange and fleece and tall boots are the dress of the day. You can hardly walk into a grocery store or tavern without finding folks garbed for the harvest.
The upland season is on its last legs. It’s been a strange and difficult season. It’s been feast and famine. Woodcock made up the hours afield but moved through in quick migrations. They’re all but gone these days. I gave up, before the season even began, trying to make predictions. There was and still is so much food in the woods for the grouse. Every sort of berry and nut blossomed thickly this season. There are so many acorns in our area that bow hunters are struggling to get deer to the bait pile. The birds had unlimited places to eat and, with a late leaf drop, unlimited places to seek cover. Grouse had it made.
That’s changing some now. As the leaves continue to thin and the food starts to shrink, grouse will begin again to converge on the best covers and the last fruits. But with beat up bird dogs, wary from blackberry cuts and thornapple stabs, I’m ready to get to the bow hunting woods. It’s been just lately that the bucks are scraping the ground and angrily rubbing the aspen with swollen necks. The rut is getting started. It’s time for me to shift with the change and let the grouse rest.
Trout fishing is changing too. Brook trout have disappeared. But big browns are aggressively swiping at flies paused and poised for a killing attack. Lots of days on the River, you won’t move a fish. This isn’t a numbers game unless you measure success by one fish of inches and pounds. Be it in the woods or in the waters, November is time to seek a personal trophy.
Stop in the shop to see the boys—I’ll be in the woods.