It’s laughable to think that in six months the best place to fish will be the one with the fewest number of cars.  No one is fishing, the rivers are in perfect shape, the trout are on the feed, and it has been nice to see a healthy Au Sable full of fat post-spawn trout.

The warmer water temperatures have the fish pushed out of the backwaters and into the holes and runs, particularly the top drop-offs.  Like people, the trout seem to accept the winter weather.  I don’t know if the psychology is the same, but maybe…?  Thirty degrees is a lot easier to handle after a few subzero nights.

I made it out a few times this week including a sweet little solo mission on a beautiful afternoon.

And found one single nice fish that ate after the third adjustment to my nymph rig.  There’s not much sweeter (at least when it comes to the fumbling nature of winter fly fishing) than adjusting a nymph rig based on nothing more than an intuition, doing it again, and one last time; and then, from the very pool you’ve been fishing, hooking a big fat trout.  It’s like finding a treasure after digging a dozen holes.

He fought slowly but determinedly and I led him into a soft muck flat and landed him.  I plucked a leech from a pectoral fin and the fly from his mouth.  It was enough for that afternoon.

A dandy streamer brown from a weekend double guide trip

This weekend looks to be more of the same great trout weather.  With another inch or two of snow, there’ll be some cross-country skiing to mix in….though my own skiing will have to wait for some less trouty weather conditions.  If you’re a winter angler, and can navigate the “tricky fishing conditions” of the family holiday season, this is a good weekend to come spend some time on the water.

Get your Holiday Orders in by December 20th! 

We’ve been shipping everyday and still have another week to help you with your holiday shopping.

Online store:

Catalog: Gates 2018 Fall Catalog Small for Web

A few items of note that aren’t in the catalog:

Orvis is advertising 20% off all rod outfits (rod, reel, line).  This is a great time to get everything for what can be significant savings.  We will load the reel with the line of your choosing and ship it right to you…fast!  Please email [email protected] or call the lodge at 989 348 8462 for details, queries, and so on.

We are donating 1% of all tackle sales between November 20th and March 1st to help defray some of the start-up costs to the new Grayling Fish Hatchery.