New tricks

Andy S has been puzzling over some new nymph rigs.  We’ve been talking about it a lot on slow shop afternoons, and he’s got me thinking, which is good.  Sometimes its easy to just get into a rut when it comes to seasonal techniques.  One of my goals this year is to do more stuff on foot, and this ties in well with nymphing the Au Sable.  The foot angler gets less water to fish, and so must make the most of the fish within reach.  One must approach every little pocket as if there is a trout there — or several — that can be caught, if only the angler can figure out how.  This is an act of faith…or even a leap of faith, at least on a tough day.

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I started out with a plan today to mess with some distance tight line techniques on the way down to the pools I wanted to fish.  But I ended up, technique-wise, somewhere completely different.  More testing to come.  But it is certainly rewarding to fish the same pool relentlessly for a half hour and then, with a few adjustments, fool a half-dozen trout and lose a few more.  Now the brain is spinning.  And the best fly was a tiny little caddis pupa that never works.  Or, at least, never worked the way I used to fish it.

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The river levels have dropped and the water is clear.  There are a few trout spawning right now but not very many, which is surprising given the cold October we’re just wrapping up.  Much of the river is accessible and wadeable and these pre-spawn trout are willing to chase streamers that land close to wood.  There will be some nice trout caught this week both in the upper and lower river.  My streamer color palette will become black, black and more black during the end of October.  Not sure why, but that seems to be what the browns want most of the time.

The last few good blue wing olive days should happen over the next week.  By the middle of the first week of November they have usually tapered, and the rest of the season will be spent probing the depths.

The forecast looks pretty good and if you like to trout fish in the fall, this will be a great weekend to do so.  But there are a lot of things happening around Northern Michigan and most anglers are also hunting, or fishing for steelhead, or walleye, or…  Fall is the month of the woods and the water.  Sometimes I’m glad the days get shorter in October or I’d never survive the month.

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The restaurant will close after breakfast on Sunday, which ends at 11 am.  We will be keeping rooms open at a reduced rate throughout the winter.  We have big plans for the New Year.  Until then, the fly shop hours, beginning on October 29th, are 9 am – 2 pm, 7 days/week.

And don’t forget to sign up for our fall holiday catalog.  If you got last year’s catalog, then you’ll get this year’s as well.  If you’re not on the list, send us your mailing address to [email protected]

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Previous Fishing Reports


I’d been dying to get out for a proper fish and yesterday Sheets and I did.  We were hoping for wind and rain, for afternoon BWOs, for rising brook trout,

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Fall starts…now

Tomorrow, Thursday morning, I’m going to wake up and it’ll be fall.  High of 54.  Northwest winds.  Fish hopefully chasing streamers and a trickle of olives in the afternoons.  Sweet.

Read More »

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