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Thread: AuSable River

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Townsend, Tennessee

    Default AuSable River

    Rusty and Julie Gates were in the shop this morning. They own Gates AuSable Lodge in Grayling, Michigan. The AuSable is one of the most beautiful, easy to wade trout streams I've ever fished. Their lodge is on the river, prices are reasonable and the food she prepares in the restaurant is worth the trip alone. I'm wondering if anyone on the board has fished there.


  2. #2

    Default Re: AuSable River

    Byron I haven't fished it yet. I am hauling the drifter up there at the end of June for 5 days to catch part of the Hex hatch they have. I have seen footage of night fishing that made my knees shake and my heart trimble. I am completely stoked for this trip. I will give a report when I get back.

    Size 6 Hexs in the dark being swallowed by big ole browns!

    Petey 8-)
    You can't depend on your judgement when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: AuSable River


    My son in law and I fished the South Branch and the main body, the portion known as "The Holy Water" last September. The hatches were pretty much over and we were not prepared to fish the river. Part of a learning experience for me since I have crossed the AuSable numerous times going farther north and swore I would fish it yet in 2006.

    The stories I have heard and read on the hex hatch are unbelievable. Fish still taking flies while their gills are stuffed with naturals. While it is easy wading I would use caution wading it at night. What I have read suggest scouting a portion of river in the daylight and not straying much from it in the evening. Many sweepers to negotiate. A drift boat would be an excellent way to cover the water. There are many places to put in and take out along the river east of Grayling. Also lots of canoe liveries. I intend to try it again next year if possible. A guide for at least a day would probably be a good idea looking back on it.

    It is an absolutely beautiful place. Let us know how you do Petey.

    Regards, gary <*))))><

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: AuSable River

    A friend and I traveled there in May of 05. We were told we were between hatches. I was a little confused by this as I saw good numbers of caddis, hendricksons and sulphurs in the same week. The fish at that time were not interested for whatever reason. We fished the main stem, in the "holy water" and also the South Branch, which is just a nice area. On these two sections, the fish we caught were small. We rented a boat down below Mio and stuck a nice fish on a streamer, but that was about the only one we did catch. The water there was littered with Hendricksons.
    My first impression is that night fishing is when your best shot at good fish will be. I spied different stretches of river just looking for fish and it was tough to see very many. I absolutely love that North woods feel though, and the numbers of grouse drummimg across the area was really neat. I cracked up when we walked into the flyshop in Grayling and saw the size of those Hex patterns there. Wow. I keep Rusty's website on my favorites and keep in touch with whats going on up there. Not sure if I'll make it back up there, but it is a very nice river

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006


    Glad to hear Rusty was in b/c he's a great guy. He opened the shop up for me x-mas week after calling there when I was home at my parents house. Needed to grab a few things before I got back here. That's what makes people like you & your staff & him stand apart from the rest.

    I can proudly say I was lucky to begin this "obsession" 20 yrs ago on that river. Parents live on Big Bear Lake West of Lewiston or 15 min from the N. Branch/Lovells & 25 min from N. Down River Rd & Rusty's place. Spent many a hours on that river...

    Petey & I will give a report upon our return. Plan is June 21-25th. Hopefully the hex won't be late from the muck & we can catch a "big" evening hatch...

    Anyone needing any info, PM me

    p.s. and thanks to Joe & Daniel for hookin me up on my 2 new TFO's a couple weeks ago!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Being from Michigan, Gates Lodge is a great place to both visit the fly shop as well as somewhere to stay...

    Tha AuSable is a big river system, with multiple branches, each a little different.

    It is a great place to fish!

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