Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fishing the Au Sable, Foote Dam to Lake Huron

Cold and raw yesterday for an 11am football game at Spencerville...a JV contest as the season winds down{except for those varsity teams that will be involved in the playoffs through November and early December}...just one more contest for me, that will be Junior High game at Antwerp on Tuesday. My first Basketball rules meeting will be Wednesday night in Van Wert. Not a lot of time, between seasons, especially for guys like me, that do 3 sports....keeps me busy.

Sam was home to work the Spencerville-Waynesfield game with me{the visiting team came away with a 22-8 win}...he will head back to Columbus tonight, and after OSU classes tomorrow he will finish up his football work with a City League game in Columbus.

Today and tomorrow look, weather wise, to be improved...60 and 65 respectively for highs, with plenty of sunshine.

Fishing the Au Sable River___

This coming Friday me and my old fishing, hunting, drinking, buddy Nick head north to the Au Sable River in Northeastern lower Michigan for our second straight year of some cold/cool weather Salmon/Steelhead fishing...As I mentioned last October on this blog, we had originally fished this area back in 1984, when we took Nick's dad, Gabe to Tawas City/Oscoda and fished for a weekend in late October of that year...last year marked the first time we had been there in a quarter of a century.

A few things had changed. Our fishing spot along the outlet to Lake Huron was gone, taken over by a park and a marina...but the Foote Damn was left unchanged, and we found a few other spots to drop our lines in...we came back with plenty of Salmon...this year, we are hopeful of hauling in some Steelhead Trout and maybe some Salmon as well. Nick has a cookout for another 40 or 50 folks planned for November 7th, and we are hoping that we can add some fresh and smoked fish to the menu.

Finding the Au Sable 1976____

Patricia and I first found the Au Sable on a camping trip to the Higgins/Kneff Lake area of north central Michigan back in the mid 70s...we took off with Rag and Max the original Airedales we had and head up US 127...we ended up camping at the semi-primitive Kneff Lake, and later at the more modern campgrounds of Higgins Lake to the south of Grayling.

Grayling, Michigan, sets along side the Au Sable, and in addition to fly fishing, this area of the Au Sable is a famous canoe river....we enjoyed the area, when you are in your 20s, that type of camping can be enjoyable...not so much when you hit the 50s and beyond.


Nick, me, and Gabe had no idea what we were in for when we first decided to Salmon fish the Au Sable back in 84...

First off we were allowed to camp at a small park next to the river as it flowed into Lake Huron...Nick and I grabbed a couple of lawn chairs, a radio, and spent that Saturday listening to Ohio State come-from-behind to defeat Illinois in Big Ten Football...we downs a fifth of Jack Daniels as well...and caught ZERO Salmon. The next day we headed to the Foote Dam, a few miles inland, and watched a hundred of so morons fishing with treble hooks...the type of guys that "snagged" the large fish for the meat, not because there was any sport involved in it...not our type of "fishing"...or the type that any true sportsman would want to my dad would have said...'Kind of like Fishing for Trout in a Bathtub".

We headed home empty....but had a good time, none-the-less


Last year we headed up to the same area...we were undecided until the last minutes as to go to cold and wet Michigan, or wet and warmer Tennessee....turns out we made the right decision, at least in our eyes.

Fishing the outflow of the Au Sable, and the shorelines of Lake Huron, we had better luck this time around{probably because we studied the time and habits of the fish, and stayed away from the Jack Daniels}...our luck at the Foote Damn, drift fishing, was not that good, we got shutout there...

We also found a nice small little motel for cheap called the Aurora Resort{actually just a small summer time aging motel laying next to Lake Huron}....much better than sleeping with bags in the back of the Pick-Up Truck we drove up there. $25 a night in the off season, the place was AAA rated as far as we were concerned....we could watch the games on Cable, smoke cigars, and drink our beers in comfort.


Not sure what awaits us this year...but we will find out soon enough come next Friday. We plan on leaving early Friday morning and are hopeful of getting to Oscoda sometime after 12 Noon. We will get a room at the Aurora "Resort", grab our license and some Salmon Eggs, and see what we can gather before the trip home on Monday November 2nd....

Meanwhile I will spend some spare hours this week, getting my rods and equipment ready, packing for the trip{always pack as lite as possible}, and finishing up any catch up work for the Dartball Season, Basketball, and putting away my Football Officiating clothes for another year.

back later>>>>
Photos-Top Left-A "Sick"{but true} Halloween Cartoon and a shot with the new camera out my back kitchen window of the neighbor's changing color tree.....Kneff Lake and Higgins Lake, Patricia and I discovered these places on our first camping trip to Michigan in 1976...along with the Au Sable River. And the Au Sable near Tawas City and Oscoda, Michigan...The Foote Dam, where the Salmon and Steelhead gather, and the River as it flows into Lake Huron on it's final destination.

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