AMERICA'S TROUT - GRAYLING
Grayling, Michigan is located in the middle of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, billed as the 'gateway to the north.' Located in the mid-west, the Au Sable River is truly one of America's greatest rivers. It is a world class trout stream with easy wading and dependable hatches. The watershed contains brook and rainbow trout but is best known for its world class brown trout fishing. Once a nucleus for the logging industry and later catering to the rich and famous for the now extinct 'grayling' it is still a fishing mecca for thousands of trout fishermen from most every country in the world many of whom come for our famous 'hex' hatch.
Being what I consider my 'home waters,' the Au Sable River and the Grayling area are extremely familiar to me. The river system basically consists of the main stream, the south branch and the north branch. The river bottom is sand, gravel or both depending on your location on the river. The Au Sable contains brook, brown and rainbow trout that generally are very cooperative with fishermen, especially during some of the rivers spectacular hatches. Most, if not all of the Au Sable is wadable at the posted access sites. With a little preplanning it's also an excellent river to canoe. There are over Kellogg Bridge Access Site
20 access sites on the river all of which are available within a 30 minute drive of downtown Grayling.
When fly fishing for trout in Michigan, pay special attention to regulations. Access sites in most cases will have them clearly posted. Non-resident fees are above average in cost. Most of the guide books written about Michigan streams and rivers do a more than adequate job.
In the immediate Grayling area there are two famous fly shops, the "Old Au Sable Fly Shop" located right down town on the banks of the main stream and "Gate's Au Sable Lodge," located just east of town by a few miles, also on the banks of the mainstream. Both shops are full service providing guides, tackle, flies and free information. Both stores maintain a staff of experienced professionals who are extremely knowledgeable.
There is a nice variety of motels in the Grayling area, located both north and south of town. You'll find something in the area to accommodate most every budget. There are also numerous eating establishments in the area. I would be remiss in my duties if I did not bring a couple of the more unique ones to your attention. "Spike's Keg O' Nails," is billed as 'the meeting place of the north,' and is home to the famous "Spike's Burger." Fishermen from around the world include this bar/restaurant as part of their pilgrimage to these famous waters. Their burgers are in fact great! Their soups, sandwiches and fish are also very delicious. River guides, locals and fisherman pack this restaurant every day! Fly fishing is the official language spoken at "Spike's." A souvenir t-shirt is a must! Your trip to Grayling should also include a stop at "Goodale's Bakery." Each morning the place fills up with locals and fishermen, sharing delicious coffee and some of the most delicious pastries I've ever had. Everything is fresh baked daily: pies, breads cookies, etc. Their quality is very high and their prices very low.
See you on the water…..
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Every fisherman dreams of places he wants to travel to. Our work and family obligations often prevent us from fulfilling our travels until such time that our responsibilities and obligations are met. That still doesn't stop us from dreaming and planning. I've shared with you several of my favorite (and famous) trout fishing towns. There are many more out there. I encourage all of you, readers and writers alike to share with us your favorite trout town it helps to keep us all dreaming.