It sure felt like spring these last few days.  Fool’s Spring!  Call it something of a respite.  I was able to get out fishing a little bit.  Just enough.  The trout were winter trout.  They were feeding pretty well on nymphs in the pools around noon.  Later in the afternoon, they wanted black streamers.  In fact, black was the only color we caught fish on.  It wasn’t on fire.  Like I said, just enough.

Now we’re settling into a long cold stretch of winter.  We have remarkably little snow here, maybe a half-foot.  I like the snow…but as the days get longer and the calendar tilts toward March, it’s tempting to start thinking of a snow-free spring.   Yeah, that would be nice.  But I think we’re supposed to get another half-foot tonight…and then a stretch of prolonged cold.  Cold enough to freeze the sections of river that usually freeze.  Cold enough to top off the ice on the lakes.  Cold enough to turn to thoughts of skiing and fly tying and feeding the birds.

We finally have snowshoe feet back in stock.  So now I’ve got to round out my hendrickson box, and every hendrickson box need snowshoe flies:  emerger, dun and spinner:

Snowshoe Spinner A simple spinner pattern that relies on the natural buoyancy of rabbit foot fur.  Colors can be adjusted to match many different mayflies in sizes 12-16.

Hook:  Daiichi 1280 #14 — https://www.gatesflyshop.com/daiichi-1280-2x-long-dry-fly-hooks-25-pack.html?id=56110348&quantity=1

Thread:  Benecchi Fine, Brown — https://www.gatesflyshop.com/benecchi-superfine-8-0-thread.html?id=55873790&quantity=1

Tail: Mayfly Tails, Dark Dun — https://www.gatesflyshop.com/mayfly-tails.html?id=54163594&quantity=1

Dubbing:  Micro Fine, Mahogany Dun — https://www.gatesflyshop.com/micro-fine-dry-fly-dub.html

Wing:  Snowshoe Rabbit Foot, Dun — https://www.gatesflyshop.com/rabbit-feet.html?id=60394995&quantity=1


Thinking about March and April

Don’t know what this spring will bring other than there’ll be some fishing, and we’ll be open for it.  The pandemic left a lot of gaps in last spring, and those translated to some prime open spring slots in 2021, especially in April, for guide trips and rooms.  Plan for some great subsurface fishing while holding out hope for some afternoon dry fly fishing.  A diverse, and uncrowded, time on a trout stream.  Shoot me an email if you’d like to look into an early spring trip:  [email protected]


Angler Survey

Participants Needed for Angler Survey on Au Sable and Upper Manistee Rivers

We will be conducting a 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 twenty (20) days on the designated waters. Licensed fishing guides and employees of fly shops, bait and tackle stores or any outdoor/outfitter businesses 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 dollars in gift cards at the end of the collection period. A total of twenty (20) participants will be randomly selected from a group of applicants.

If you are interested please email [email protected]gy.net under the heading “Angler Survey” 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.


Make sure you sign up for our email list!  You’ll get sales you won’t see, first shot at used stuff, and more.  And never more than one email a week.  Email sign up is at the bottom of our home page:  www.gateslodge.com.  And sign up for our print catalog by emailing your mailing address to [email protected]


Check out this trailer:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7t7uxid5t413zx8/AAAFro41-ipCPB8WJ6pirPw-a?dl=0