Anglers of the Au Sable Logo


Weather and Moon Phase
Weather and Moon


Stream Flow Data
Stream Flow Data

Fishing Report

Fishing Report

Please take the time to send your comments on the recent oil and gas nominations. Information below the report. This is VERY IMPORTANT to the health of the river...

Keith S. with a great shot of the river

08/12/14 To all who made this weekend spectacular, a great big "thank you" from all of us at Gates Lodge. We raised a bunch of money for the river, were humbled by the moon on the water, and over thirty kids improved their casting and even caught some fish. A young angler who participated in the kid's event returned to the shop today, went on a wade trip with his dad and guide Mark, and caught 8 trout. He's hooked. Dad's hooked. And that is as cool as it gets!

Jordan with a rare North Branch kidding

The big moon has affected the night fishing. Catches were slim among most anglers, including those that fished hard. Those most successful fished the river blind, with "small" flies, in the places where the trout normally rise.

Moonlit river

But the daytime fishing continues to be better than par. It takes a long leader. Small flies. Fine tippet. But if one adheres to these rules, the trout will rise to the fly. This sort of a + b = c fishing has been so welcome that I've been hard-pressed to wander the midnight river. The #18 olives are still hatching. Good fish are eating cahills and yellow stones as well. The tricos have been strong in the late morning and early afternoon. If only every summer were this good. And we're STILL waiting on white flies to get rolling below Mio. With great water temperatures below the dam this year, I think it'll be a spectacular fall in the Trophy Waters.

Wood rod, net, brook trout. All good things...

The forecast is for continued cool. Today felt like September, and the hunting dogs seemed especially frisky. These cool days mean more daytime fishing. And the big rains that flooded some of the state left us with an extra inch of water in the upper river and that was it. At this rate, the veggies will be yummy and the trout will keep rising.

We're getting very near flying ant season. This enigmatic "hatch" occurs best after a rain or heavy dew when the sun comes out. The ants take to the air in huge mating flights and somehow -- luckily -- they seem hellbent on dying on the water. It's awesome. A good flying ant day is the kind of thing that seems a blessing. It can take a slow August day and make it unbelievable. The ants tend to be black or cinnamon, and can range in sizes from a #24 (might as well fish a trico!) to a #12, though most tend to be #16s and #18s. The fish are looking for them now -- maybe they've seen a few flying ants already, or maybe they just like ants -- and blind fishing an ant against the wood is already raising fish.


Here We Go Again! Terrible oil and gas nominations require anglers comments!

The last time we needed to save the Holy Waters -- now it's the whole river. The latest nominations for oil and gas leases by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) includes such treasures as Hartwick Pines State Park, the headwaters of the South Branch, the Manistee below M-72, and in and along the Holy Waters (including a parcel beneath Gates Au Sable Lodge). If that sounds bad, it's because it is.
Despite many of these parcels being listed as non-development, Anglers believes even putting such sensitive parcels on the auction block is contrary to the credo of the Michigan DNR. We also believe that such listings could potentially be reversed, contrary to assurances from the DNR.
Assurances aren't enough.
Last December we thought that our position had been made clear: These are special places let them stay as they are. With regard to The Holy Waters, DNR agreed and crafted a set of guidelines toward that end. Unfortunately these latest actions give us pause for concern.
A recent article in The Bridge illustrates just how much is at stake.
The sheer amount of acreage up for auction in Crawford and Roscommon Counties is disheartening. It isn't limited to just a few parcels here and there, this auction is for thousands of acres in and around our beloved rivers and forested areas. There are numerous parcels very near Higgins and Houghton lakes as well and while those lakes are not in our watershed, the number of parcels in that area and the Hartwick Pines parcels shows a blatant disregard of preserving the state's recreation resources. Again, not just a few key parcels, enormous areas some of which are literally in the back yards of area residents. The fact that it seems to incorporate so many of our waterways makes responses from those receiving this email, and your friends, families, and conservations groups, all the more essential.
Let's be heard.
Contact info:

Written comments may be sent to

Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Minerals
Management Section, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952.

Email comments to: Julie Manson, [email protected]

Let them know that you absolutely oppose the parcels highlighted by the Anglers of the Au Sable in our public comment to the DNR.


Sign up for the Clean-Up: It's time to clean the river. And it needs it. From Grayling to below Mio, from Lovells to Parmalee, and from Smith to Conners. It's a top-to-bottom scrubbing to make the river look the way it should. From Rusty's poking sticks, to friendships and hard work, to a fine barbecue, this is one of the best days of the year. Saturday, September 6. No one ever has a bad time at river clean-up!

To clean the upper river contact me at: [email protected].

To clean the river below Mio contact or send an email to the address above and I'll forward you to Tom.


The River: a movie all about the Au Sable

To View the Trailer:

To order, visit our online store at:


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: