September on the AuSable

This seems like the continuing saga of Deb and the AuSable River.  I was there, yet again.  It’s hard not to keep going back.  It’s like fly fishing itself. Once bitten, you’re hooked and destined to return again and again. 

This summer was somewhat of a disaster.  I had a nice time up to Mid July, (see previous post).  I then picked up a viral bronchitis that turned into a real monster.   I started feeling ‘crappy" on July 22.  My birthday was the 26th, and I had been looking forward to heading down to mom’s for some family time with her and my sisters for the weekend.  I had to call and cancel out because I wasn’t feeling up to it.  That virus hung on like a Pope , with lots of coughing but no fevers.  Five weeks later , still coughing and not getting any better, actually getting weaker by the day, , I got my hiney into the docs.  Turns out I had a pretty good case of double pneumonia by this time.   I also couldn’t smell or taste a thing for weeks.  The bonus was a few pounds started falling off.  I went home loading with a prescription…$200 later,  The not so good part is that first round of (STRONG) antibiotics didn’t nail it.  Another round of different STRONG stuff and another $180…That didn’t get rid of it either, BUT I was feeling well enough to make the planned September trip to the AuSable, so with the docs blessing and more meds I managed a nice two weeks fishing my heart out, getting some of my inner spirit back and just enjoying life.   I’m still not 100% though I’m feeling stronger and starting to smell things again.  I’m now deaf in one ear and have been for two weeks now.  It’s driving me NUTS.  All I hear is white noise.   I’m hoping that will clear up in time….like the smell thing.  I’m now on MORE meds…this time steroids for the sinuses and the chest…another $180 and he wanted me to start doing nasal lavage with a little gadget that looks like a little tea pot that you pore up one nostril and watch it shoot out the other.  Honest!

  I haven’t heard back about the x-rays they took, as the digital imager thingy broke down the day I got the xrays, so they can’t email them on.  Not that it will probably matter much.  It’s frustrating. 

One thing for sure…."Getting older is NOT for sissies."


So what I really meant to go on about was the last outing.   Two weeks camping out at Canoe Harbor on the South Branch of the AuSable.  The weather couldn’t have been better….and neither could the fishing.  We did get a bit of an interruption when Hurricane Ike made it up the Mississippi and into this part of Michigan in record time.    Talk about rain!  We had friends come up and camp with us.  For the first time in my camping career, I got talked into caving in for a night in a hotel.   I have to admit it was a nice break from soggy cold. 

   After setting up the tent, I went for a walk down to the river to see what was happening.  It’s always nice to have a welcome sign posted by the local hatch.  No guessing work there!!    It got me this beauty.  My biggest brook trout to date on a #16 parachute ant.   That certainly was a good start to the holiday.



A cute little brown hit my version of the  Michigan Skunk…or rather several browns did.    I just don’t have a lot of photos….and that story is coming shortly. 

The Rainbows like it too. 


(my usual cookie cutter fish photos…I need to work on that.)

The fishing was hot for all but one day…when the low pressure system coming in front of Ike moved in. 

Part way into the vacation, friends came up to stay with us on site.  It was my goal to get Ted into his first trout.   He’s new to fly angling so I took him up to Dam 4 as I thought it was a good spot for beginners to get acquainted with the river.

This is Ted’s first trout.


This little brookie was all it took to boost his confidence. 

I let him go about fishing on his own after that.  He went on to catch several more and some decent sized ones too.   Looks like a pro, doesn’t he?

Sue, like my husband would rather read a good book and observe.  I don’t get it. 


Later that week we went for a paddle from Chase Bridge to  Smith’s Bridge. This time of year we had the whole river to ourselves.  It was truly beautiful.


It also didn’t go quite as smoothly as expected.

This was probably bad (or funny) enough but there’s more.  After Sue and Ted went for an unexpected swim, I was holding in an eddy until they sorted things out.  I came to thinking about my fly rods…if I went in I didn’t want to loose them so I started tying things down.  In doing so I accidentally dropped my paddle overboard…made a quick (and bad) move   to retrieve it and promptly found myself in the water.  Talk about embarrassing!   I haven’t kissed water from my canoe in decades. The rods and paddle were safe but my dignity and camera wasn’t.   D’uh!!    IT was SOAKED!!  Luckily it wasn’t ON when it went in.  I figured I had a small chance of saving it. 

So that was the end of the photos for this trip I’m afraid.    It was too bad too, as I did get some nice fish later in the week…and some of the most beautifully colored as well.  Oh well.  The good news is, I dried it out…over a course of a couple of weeks, and then fired her up a couple of days ago.  She works!!  So there will be more reports in the future.  Hopefully some steelhead this fall!   In the mean time, I think I’ll save up for another camera anyway.  The thought of being without one was just too much. 


One comment on “September on the AuSable

  1. Ron says:

    Hey Deb nice spot to be. perhaps you could inform me how I could arrange a trip there maybe club members would be interested. Ron

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