Midwest Living Review
Michigan fly-fishing doesn’t get the press of Rocky Mountain streams, but the Au Sable River draws plenty of respect from sportsman worldwide. The river’s “Holy Water” stretch near Grayling is loaded with brown, brook and rainbow trout. The gentle current and gravel bottom make it perfect for both wading fisherman and those hiring a guide to take them out in one of the signature wooden Au Sable river boats. The most famous of the area’s lodge is Gates, which sits directly on the river’s banks. The restaurant serves meals all day, with specials like a venison burger topped with Brie, thick slabs of bacon and a cherry sauce (this IS Michigan, remember). The Orvis-authorized fly shop next door is packed with equipment, including rows of flies with names like Gray Scud, Rat Face McDougal and Olive Bugger. Guests can hire top-quality guides at the shop for half- and full-day floats, as well as hourly fly-fishing instruction. Gates also offers 16 motel-style rooms, all of which open directly to the river a few yards away.