Sandwiched between storms was a much appreciated thaw.  The warm temperatures produced billowing fog, dripping forests, stained the river milky, and existed slightly too long to be a complete tease.  And a tease of what?  Not spring.  Not yet.  But fishing weather, at least, and it was warm enough for a handful of anglers to spread out along what river stretches were both accessible and not frozen.  Robert found a few fish sight fishing.  Greg soloed into a more remote stretch and picked up a fine streamer brown.  Katy and I found some fish on nymphs.  Kevin picked up several nice trout on a short float…

Winter trout are particularly magic.  The river is often cold and dark and the woods are still.  And by still, I mean seemingly devoid of life.  I’m not one for big crowds, but the feel of life in the rod on a winter afternoon is not just welcome, it’s reassuring.  Winter gets lonely.  A colorful trout wiggling from the dark depths brings heat, and brief company.

Success came across the board.  I did well on a little beadhead nymph.  I think the key is to fish two flies and mix them up.  I really like fishing an anchor fly with a dropper and a small indicator, on a long tippet, and adding split shot after I’ve worked a run without it.  I’m amazed at how often subtle changes make a complete difference.

The weather looks terrible tomorrow, but it’ll make for some good fishing…and I suspect I’ll be out there, rain jacket heavy with ice, looking for a little last second love before the winds start ripping from the north for the next week.  There aren’t too many great trout days on the horizon, but thankfully there aren’t too many bitterly cold ones either.

Please note that this weekend our restaurant will be closed, but we will be tying on Saturday!  A little less formal than normal, pizza and good times, 9 am – 1 pm.  

 Free Fly Tying Saturday,  February 16th, 9am-1pm.   These fun, free tying classes have been around for a decade and are one of the best ways to increase your range as a fly tyer.  We have materials, vises, tools.  Experts or newbies, everyone is welcome.  Info on the link above.  Includes a lunch of chili, or soup.  Make a weekend of it, we have open rooms, and the restaurant will be open for dinner on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.  As well as…

Saturday Sessions: New Nymphs for the Au Sable, with Dennis Nelson Denny is one of the most experienced nymph anglers on the river.  You’ll learn Denny’s go to nymphs for tight line and indicator fishing.  This is a great way to expand your fishing on the Au Sable.  Includes dinner, and all fly tying materials.  Please plan on bringing your own tools and a fly tying lamp if you are able.  Cost is $50 for three hours of small-class instruction.  These classes have been very popular, so sign up quickly at [email protected] or by calling the shop (989) 348-8462