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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Michigan bound

Hey all
I'm headed to Michigan for a week next week and I'm planning on hitting up the Au Sable and a couple other rivers. Does anyone have any advice or maybe a fly shop I should hit up while in the area. Possibly any local brewery's that are a must see Also if anyone out in that direction would like to get together and do some fishing I would be totally down with that. Thanks in advance!
RR

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 09:22 AM
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AuSable river

RR check out Old AuSable Flyshop right in Grayling and Gates AuSable lodge seven miles outside of Grayling. Both are excellent flyshops and sources of info and both are located right on the river.
Breweries in Grayling are Paddle Hard, Dead Bear, and one other whose name escapes me, but all three are in Grayling. Also there is Spikes Keg o nails bar/restaurant, a popular burger place in Grayling. Rays barbecue is an excellent restaurant right next to Old AuSable Flyshop and Gates AuSable has a great restaurant and chef for a good sit down dining. Gates also has a sandwich carry out window that does really unique and great sandwiches if you aren’t into fine dining.
The rivers right now are loaded with tricos about size 24 and 26 early morning and during the day attractors like purple hazes and patriots size 14 and 16 work well as does an Adams size 10 to 16.
Evening fishing is really good as is night fishing with big flies, mice, or streamers. The south branch and the main branches are in good shape, but the north is experiencing some low water and warm water problems so isn’t fishing well. The Manistee is fishing real well right now.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 09:35 AM
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Forgot to add that next week is the AuSable canoe marathon so will be a lot of race canoes flying down the main branch this week and next week so may want to concentrate on the south branch and the Manistee or some of the other area rivers. This also pushes more fishing pressure to those areas but you can still find plenty of solitude and willing fish.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by river right View Post
I'm headed to Michigan for a week
Possibly any local brewery's that are a must see
RR
what route you taking?

Gary Kalinka
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info cebe! and voodoo fly I'm planning on going from Pulaski NY across 90 into Canada and popping into Michigan that way then heading north.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 05:28 PM
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can you walk in and wade these rivers or must you float?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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I would prefer walk and wade

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 10:53 PM
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Get the river guide books put out by the challenge chapter of the trout unlimited that show very detailed public access points. Miles of walk and wade access from these points.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 05:27 PM
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I fished the Au Sable last Thursday through Sunday. It’s been hot there. Very hot. The mid-90s some days, without a cloud in the sky. It looks like it will be a little cooler next week, but still very warm.

Between the heat and the nocturnal habit of browns in the Au Sable, you’ll want to be on the water not long after dawn if you’re able, and fish through 10:30 or so. Then hit the river again after 7 and fish until last twilight at 10:15 – or if you’re bold and find a piece of river where you know every submerged log, stay out until 2 in the morning and swing mice for big browns. This schedule will have the added benefit of missing most of the mid-summer “aluminum hatch” -- the clueless canoers from one of several liveries.

This time of year, your best bet is the Holy Waters of the mainstream, which is the flies-only, catch-and-release section that runs between Burton’s Landing on the upstream end and Wakeley Bridge on the downstream end. That’s the coldest part of the river system, and the very coldest part is in the mid-section around Stephan Bridge. Which is the location for Gates Au Sable Lodge, fly-fisherman central for the river. Stop in the shop there, I think they have some single-sheet maps, and they’ll probably direct you to good piece of water. The Hungry Fisherman restaurant there has a takeout window where you can get really good sandwiches to pack for your day out.

Josh at Gates Lodge updates the fishing report about once a week this time of year, and looking at the report that just went up, it looks like the daytime fishing has improved with cooler temperatures. It’s a nice report, as much essay on the changing seasons of the river as it is a hatch report. https://gateslodge.com/fishing-report/

Grab a handful of Skunks while you’re in there, a local summer attractor-pattern with a black chenille body, deer-hair wing and white rubber legs – grease it up, throw it with a big splash into the slack water behind the log jams, try to get a decent drift if you can, then let it wake on the surface or swing under the surface film. Also get some tricos and size 18 and 24 blue-wing olives so you’ll be ready for the hatch.

If you’re really serious, buy one of the spiral-bound guide books to the river by the Challenge Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I think they’re around $32 now, but they’re worth every penny. They map every two-track road with public access to the river, and many of these sites are unmarked or look like private property. Generally, the sites on the north side of the river, off North Down River Road, get less traffic than the sites on the south side off M-72.

Most sections of the upper- and mid-Holy Water are very wadeable with a mix of sand and gravel -- knee-deep or less except for the deeper runs and pools. I’ve heard it called Old Man Water.

The weekend of July 28-29 will be the busiest weekend of the year in Grayling and on the mainstream. The Au Sable River Canoe Marathon starts at 9 p.m. July 28 in Grayling and runs all night for the next 120 river miles to Lake Huron. It’s billed as the “World Toughest Spectator Race,” and people drive from bridge to bridge to cheer them on in the dark. It’s kind of a big rolling party and a lot of fun.

--Alan from Detroit
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