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Weather and Moon Phase
Weather and Moon


Stream Flow Data
Stream Flow Data

Fishing Report

Fishing Report

The last week of October is week of movement. It gets into human blood too. On a quiet dawn canoe trip this morning before opening the shop, I saw a number of enormous trout spawning, and a stunning, full-dress male wood duck. The leaves are gone from the trees, and even the golden tamaracks are losing their luster to the fall winds. The urge now is to be outside doing something. Soon the whipping showers of this afternoon will be snow.

It's a busy week for us closing down the lodge while also starting our winter projects in the rooms. We will have rooms open all year, and the shop will also be open from 9 am - 2 pm everyday. After January 1st, we'll begin our tying Saturdays. The dates for these will appear in mid-December. I'm not quite ready to be snowbound yet, though.

Larry with a very fine Au Sable brown on an otherwise dead day

There is certainly streamer fishing to be had. This weekend was TOUGH, but the last few days have been better. The perfect trout weather for this time of year is cold and crappy. Fish streamers close to wood and far up into the bank. It seems that fall fish spend a fair bit of time in the quiet water, probably resting from spawning, or waiting for their turn. My stripping finger is still sore from yesterday: a picture-perfect streamer day that just didn't materialize. It wasn't bad -- it never is -- but it wasn't awesome either. Just another day on the river. The kind of nondescript streamer day that will be remembered for what wasn't. There are a lot of those.

A surprise brook trout

Nymph fishing is always a good fall technique. In fact, when I first nymph fished the river it was November. It was good then, and it's good now. The upper rivers are full of fish this time of year, and working the deep pools thoroughly with a double nymph rig can provide its own, subtle magic. A couple of guides nymph fished this weekend and did okay, which, to a guide, is great on a day when the fish just won't chase streamers. Nymphing is like the emergency pizza you order after you burn the prime rib. It's not prime-rib, but it's better than you expected.

All area rivers have above average flows for this time of year. It was a great summer, and now fall, to be a trout. I recently wrote in an email that I hoped for a "nice, friendly, snowy, warm winter" to which a friend replied "it sounds like you're describing a walk-in freezer theme ride at Disney's Epcot." Still, one hopes for a warmer winter even if there is nothing we can do about it.

Or wait, yes there is. Like go to Mexico:

Yep, that's a riverboat on the flats in Mexico. All you have to do to make this happen is to custom weld together a roof rack on an old van, build a boat in five days, travel across two countries, be stopped about 100 times, pay off dudes with AK-47s, and have a good map. Any takers?


The River: a movie all about the Au Sable

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Truthfully, I wasn't really interested in writing a fishing book, but I had the opportunity to do something with Lyons Press, which had been a dream of mine in high school. Dreams and feelings change, but four years ago there was little indication I'd be owning a fly fishing lodge and lots of indications that I wouldn't. So I signed on for a book. Several extensions and kids later, it's done. And I hope those that buy it feel I did this very special region proud. It's available now with free shipping on the Gates Fly Shop website: