Get that fishing gear out of storage and head for the AuSable or Manistee Rivers in the Grayling, Michigan area. What a great way to start off the warmer months. The leaves are budding, birds are migrating north, the snow is melted and, if it's a cool day, there are fewer mosquitoes or black flies to pester you! For help with gear or hiring a guide, check out Gates AuSable Lodge on the Mainstream, or North Branch Outing Club on the AuSable North Branch.

Fly fishing from a traditional AuSable riverboatThe rivers boast clear water with a sandy bottom and a slow current, perfect for fishing from a boat or wading. Do you want an adventure? Try fishing from an authentic AuSable Riverboat with one of those guides. Josh at Gates AuSable Lodge said “Spring on the Au Sable and Manistee is a can't-miss experience.  Great hatches, lots of rising trout, and the chance, for the careful angler, to cast at some very nice fish."

There are over 20 lakes in the county, most with boat access. See our 'Water Activities' pages for more information. The two biggest lakes are Higgins and Margrethe, large enough for pleasure boats as well. One of the smallest, Wakeley Lake, is on federal property, has walk-in access only with no motors allowed.

For access to any of the lakes, a Department of Natural Resources Recreation Permit is required.

For more information to help in planning, check out our Plan your Trip page.

Shake off any dust from your gear and head to Grayling for some spring fishing!