September Au Sable Trip

My family and I spent several days in Grayling, MI, and I was able to get on the river and even hook into some fish.

The first day had what I would consider normal fishing for this time of year. I was on the north branch of the river, and was expecting to get into some brook trout, and I did. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera this day and don’t have any pictures, but it was still fun to get into a handful of fish.

The next day was oddly slow. There were barely any bugs on the water, and streamers weren’t working. I did catch one really nice brookie on a beadhead streamer, but it was the only fish I saw all day.

brookie

That afternoon, I took my daughter fishing for the first time. I took her to an access point that is busy, but has a good chance of catching a fish, and is very shallow. She seemed to have a lot of fun.

fishin

The next day I stopped at Gates Lodge to pick up some flies and a streamers I was lacking…

sign

After picking up the streamers, we headed back to a different spot on the north branch, but it was another very slow day.
feet

I took the opportunity to head off to some waters I’ve never been to before. I was actually trying to do some creek fishing, but the creek I was targeting was barely a trickle upon my arrival. We decided to head to the main branch, and my father-in-law had landed a nice fish on second cast. It would be the only fish of the day, but I was glad to visit some new areas.

parmalee

That night a front rolled in, and I woke up to hear a downpour outside. The rain continued off and on, and I hit the stream mid-morning. After only a few minutes I hooked into this nice brown on a black bugger:

brown

Here’s a different angle of the same fish to see the length against my fly rod:

brown

We had a few more fish on, and a few more bites, as we waded downstream for the last time of our trip. The fishing was definitely slow, but it was still an amazing time.

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First Fishing Trip

This past weekend, I visited the “up north” as we call it. Really it is the Grayling and Mio area of Michigan, which my map calls the Northern Highlands.

I got to do some fishing, but I think I had more fun this year with teaching my daughter to fish. Prior to heading up north, I found a web site that sells toddler waders called Oaki Wear. The had a pair of 3T waders on clearance, so I couldn’t pass it up.

Additionally, I had spent the last few weeks building a pink fly rod for my daughter as well. I took her to a busy access point that I knew was shallow enough for her to walk in. I helped her get ready for her first steps into the river.

gettinready

It just so happened that Camp Barakel had a bus parked there waiting for their campers to finish a canoe float down the main branch of the Au Sable. My wife snapped a quick photo of my daughter standing in front of the bus, and I had a quick conversation with Paul who was driving the bus and patiently waiting the arrival of the campers.
first wade

I took my daughter out into the river, and I could tell she was having fun. She waved her hands in the water to make sure she wasn’t dreaming, and she remarked at how many rocks there were. I scooped her up, and waded out a bit to try and catch a fish with her new fly rod.

fishin

We didn’t catch any fish, but she had fun, and I think she will want to try fishing again.

One of the other non-fishing activities that I enjoyed doing was visiting two of the local Amish businesses. First we stopped at “The Bakery” which is just out side of Mio. We bought bread, an apple pie, cinnamon roles, and I even got a jar of blackberry jam and all for a very reasonable price. We then visited an Amish bulk food store only about a mile from the baker, and here I bought a large jar of honey and maple syrup. I will definitely be visiting these shops again in the future.