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Weather and Moon Phase
Weather and Moon


Stream Flow Data
Stream Flow Data

Fishing Report

Fishing Report

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One from yesterday

12/18/14 Going streamer fishing in the winter is funny enough, but it's more funny when you go winter streamer fishing with a bunch of fly tyers. You can hardly sleep, thinking of your flies. You text pictures of flies to each other. You can't wait to see how this one swims with the Fish Skull. Or this one, with the bucktail on the back hook. You fish hard. Maybe the trout chase, maybe they don't. And that night, you think of what you'd have done differently, what might have made the difference.

I've got four winners just sitting in my streamer box right now (and about 5 hours to get some sleep).

It seems that November was like December and December has been like November. We've had pretty good streamer fishing for the last seven days. Here's a picture from last week on what might have been the last sunny day:

A dandy from last week

Since then, the days have been the same: mid-thirties, cloudy, humid. The trout fishing has also been the same, with short windows of opportunity...but the chance of a big fish high enough to keep one thinking with each cast that this is the one. There are still lots of weeds in the Holy Waters and so nymphing has been best done in pools where the weeds are gone. The streamer fishing has been of the jig-strip and slow variety...but oddly enough most of the fish have chased from shallow runs. There's evening an active spawning bed just upstream of Stephan Bridge. I guess the super-chill of November shut the spawn down and the recent warmth has woken it back up.

Winter streamer fishing isn't fast and furious fishing. It is easy to go out on a good streamer day and get skunked, and hear about some other guys that caught a few big ones. The difference between success and failure is only one or two hungry fish. That said, keep changing it up. White and olive worked for us yesterday. It was black and olive a few days before.

It has been great -- a gift -- to be on the water as much as we've been able. And even on a recent fishless afternoon, there were cool things to see:

This snake scared the crap out of me. The water is obviously very clear (this was taken underwater) and the snake was very dead.

Lots of beaver sign along the river.

We had an inch of snow fall today, but overall the next week or so seems mild. Our full day float tomorrow happens to fall on what will likely be the coldest day so far this December. But at 25 or so degrees, I can live with it!

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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: