A rented drift boat from Gott's Landing in Mio, Michigan.
What to do if you want to float a river in a drift boat and don’t already have one?
Rent a Drift boat!
The Au Sable river’s Trophy Water below Mio Dam is fairly big and while wadeable in many stretches, most of the wade access points in the big water are fairly difficult to wade, and the parts that are wadeable are crowded. My accomplice had fished the Au Sable last year and decided that the only way to effectively fish the trophy water was from a drift boat. Trouble is neither of us have one, yet. So we rented one for two days, covered the water very thoroughly, with every tactic we could think of, had a blast, and learned a lot about some new (to us) water.
The boat pictured above is the one we rented from Gott’s Landing Trophy Water’s Fly Shop on the Au Sable River in Mio, Michigan. While its not a marvelous wooden beauty, like we typical fawn over at the Fiddle and Creel, it worked fairly well. One thing we did was quiet down the oar locks with some duct tape. Before we did that they were super sloppy and sounded like we were slinging around a bag hammers in the boat, trout just love that. The folks at Gotts’ Landing also run a shuttle service for your tow vehicle for an extra ten bucks, well worth the money.
So the next time you’re thinking, man that looks like good water, but I just don’t have a drift boat, call some local fly shops and RENT ONE!
By the way, that really fishy deep run and subsequent junction of two threads in the background of the picture, looked like it should hold some nice fish, and probably does, but I couldn’t get them to chase anything. Alas, there were plenty of other great spots that did.
I spent the last weekend in Northern Michigan fishing the Au Sable River near the little town of Mio. Other than the Big Blackfoot of Norman Maclean’s A River Run’s Through It and Hemingway’s Big Two Hearted, (which actually took place on the Sucker or the Fox River, but he thought Big Two Hearted sounded better) there isn’t a more storied place than the Au Sable River. The first day we fished the North Branch of the Au Sable which is referred to as the “Holy Water”, as its the birthplace of Trout Unlimited.
Here we found braided sections of swirling riffles and pools, beautiful log jams, undercut banks, and perfect wading. The rain was off and on which is why I have on my ultra stealthy bright red jacket, which needs to be replaced. I found one little dink, pictured below, hanging out in the tail out of a pool. She was nothing to write home about but the conditions were tough and I was glad to get the skunk off the trip. Donnie pulled a few Brookies out this section as well. Overall, the first day of the trip was a dandy considering the difficult conditions and the fact we only fished the second half of the day. Pictures below were taken by Donnie Knight.
A Dink that fell for a Coper John.
One of the many islands in the stream.
Any fishing show that my wife likes is a one good right? As such, I am pleased to note that my wife’s favorite fishing show (an mine too) Trout Unlimited’s On the Rise third season will begin tomorrow evening on it’s new home the Sportman’s Channel . How cool. Frank’s honest / normal guy hosting skills are akin to the venerable Mike Rowe, in that he isn’t afraid to show the ordinary stuff (like getting skunked or catching trout no bigger than a creek chub). What we I like about it is that the show isn’t just one big trophy highlight reel like so many others. Since its backed by TU there are the expected preachy moments, which are good, and not heavy handed at all, which they could be very easily. I’ll be programming my DVR for sure. Season 3 Highlight reel is below, thanks You TUbe!