River Report – January 11, 2022

Boy she’s winter now!
Temperatures around zero make Andy a dull boy.

But it also makes ice. Area lakes are in pretty good shape for anglers wanting to attack the hard water. While no ice should ever be casually considered safe, there are fishermen on every lake I’ve checked. Higgins has some work to do, but adventurous folks are shuffling out, spud in hand, and tempting fate close to the shoreline.

Seems like a lot of people are having success catching everything from pike and walleye to perch and bluegills. I can’t wait to get going. Gloria and Jack wrapped up a Jaw Jacker with a Jigging base for my Christmas present. That unit is the epitome of overthought gadgetry and perfect for lazy ice angler like myself. It sort of works like a tip-up that hold a cocked rod and actually does the jigging for you. It is ridiculous and awesome—just like ice fishing! Makes me smile to think about setting the trap.

Guessing it won’t be long before some fly angler figures out how to set one up on a nymphing rod attached to the front of a drift boat! In the social media realm of hunting and fishing, process and experience are evermore losing to any-cost results.

Single digit days mean fly-tying and Crockpot roasts to me. I’m twisting up some great stuff for the bins this year. Our hatch match flies will be stronger than ever. Our shop sells far too many flies to tie them all, but we do a fine job of covering hatch match flies and historically local patterns. It’s a dying craft and our area shops are some of the last best at providing the good stuff.

That said, we always need fresh recruits, so if you are interested in production fly tying, give me a shout and we’ll see if we can help you become a professional. I have tyers that depend on wrapping hooks for a good piece of their livelihood and others that just do enough to offset the cost of a shiny, new fly rod. We’re open to it all. I just want to have the best bugs and to keep the Au Sable traditions alive.

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you on the River.

Please be sure to read below about the 2022 Angler Survey. All avid anglers should apply. It will be fun and a great help to future decision making.

Participants Needed for Angler Survey on Au Sable and Upper Manistee Rivers
We will be conducting another survey of fishing results on these two streams from April 15th to November 1st

Participants must have an All-Species fishing license and agree to fish at least ten (10) days on the designated waters. Licensed fishing guides are not eligible. Each trip will be recorded on a form and turned in on a monthly basis. All results are anonymous. Respondents will receive $100 dollar gift cards at the end of the collection period. At least fifteen (15) participants will be randomly selected from a group of applicants.

If you are interested, please email tombuhr@prodigy.net under the heading “Angler Survey 2022” or send a postcard or letter to Tom Buhr, PO Box 300, Luzerne, MI 48636.

This data will help to better understand the nature of our fishery and inform both habitat projects and related policy positions.

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