AuSable River – River of Sand



I am not sure who named the AuSable river but if I were to take an educated guess it was probably a French explorer (Samuel de Champlain) or trapper who was facinated by the sandy deposits that line the bottom of that river.  The French translation of Au Sable is “sand”.  After fishing the west branch of the AuSable River while on vacation last week I think the French should have named it AuRochers “Boulders”.

The many rocks and boulders create the perfect habitat for bugs and the trout that eat them.  Unfortunately the rocks are hard to manuver and the currents before, after, and around the rocks make it difficult to get a good drift on your fly.  After making your way to the right position and a little high sticking you will find the AuSable to be a very productive river.

Every Summer my father-in-law and I vacation with our family in the Adirondacks.  Every Summer we have successfully avoided the AuSable.  We have been told for years that the river is overrated and yeilds few large trout.  Although we did not find any large trout there were plenty of 10-
12″ browns many who were willing to take our flies.  We were told that tricos were on in the morning with small BWO, Caddis, Stonefly hatches during the day and to keep an eye out for the Isonychia (slate drake).  After trying many different flies and nymphs to start, I finally tied on a size 14 iso emerger and watched the fireworks.

If the fish were feeding I could put my iso emerger over just about any hole and get a take.  In many cases the fish would launch themselves from the bottom to the surface and through my fly.  It was quite exciting but I often found my fish wrapped around rocks underwater.  With a bit of coaxing I was able to get the fish out from beneath the rocks and land them.

In the end I would fish the AuSable again for sure.  It was a lot of fun and there was a ton of beautiful scenery.  I would, however, look to other rivers for the big fish.  In my opinion the Saranac, Salmon, and the Chateaugay rivers will produce bigger fish more often with less angling pressure.

Finally I would like to thank the AuSable River Two Fly Shop for giving us a lot of good information about the river for a successful fishing trip.  Be sure to stop by their shop in Wilmington NY before you head out on the river.

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Mike grew up fishing in Western NY. He has been fly fishing since the early nineties but has gained most of his knowledge from friends in Trout Unlimited chapter in the last several years. Most of his fishing trips / posts come from Western NY, the Adirondacks, the West Branch of the Delaware, and Montana. Mike Farney's Google Profile

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2 Responses

  1. Natalie says:

    Theresa: Thought this might amuse (if anything cesaus offense, apologies in advance. Humor is my sole intent). Looking at our other posters’ missives, boy, do I hope you have paragraph separation. If this arrives all in one heap, obviously, it was not intended to be.Hope you enjoyed NYSD. I was saddened that so fewer vendors were present, as opposed to earlier editions.Don Reed*****Today was NY Showcase Day. Enough about our opinions; this was the opportunity to ask the female fans at Belmont Park how they felt about the Churchill Downs ad.It wasn’t my day – I’ll explain – so getting involved with the surveying, fortunately, also distracted me from temptation. As a gag, $2 was bet to win on every horse in the 5th race. Return: $8.50. If it had been my day, the inspiration would have been $2 to PLACE (Joe Aquilino’s Majestic Raffy finished 2nd at 131-1 & paid $95.50).*****Survey #1: I didn’t happen to notice the Teamster logo on her sweatshirt & she broke my nose. With her binoculars.Survey #2: She liked the ad & then borrowed $20 from me for the upcoming 3rd race. (“Honest,” she’s going to pay me back on Tuesday.)Survey #3: An attractive candidate was avoided at the last second when I recognized her as an old girlfriend from college (it had ended badly).Survey #4: A female teller’s response was civil, yet discernibly cool. The ticket she sold me was a winner in Race 3 until I noticed on the way to cashing it that she had sold me a bet for tonight’s 8th race at Woodbine (harness). Musta been an honest mistake.Survey #5: Wanting to continue to upgrade the survey with women blessed with successful careers, I asked Gil’s wife. I think her response was colored by the time years ago when I needled Gil that he shared his Polk Journalism Award with a notorious previous honoree whose dispatches were later exposed as fairy tales. (Her irritation is understandable. Walter Duranty had received a Pulitzer Prize.) Survey #6: Continuing with the successful-achiever angle, I asked another female teller if she’d like a trip to Europe (I was getting bored with the original gambit). We sail a week from tomorrow (how to tell the missus?).Survey #7: Still somewhat bored, I smashed the interviewing glass ceiling & asked a young man who was getting on the elevator at the paddock level. His oddly effeminate response: “I’m having a sex change on Wednesday. Can you ask me that again on Friday?”Survey #8: I did look for that unforgettable lady, a Belmont paddock regular, last seen in a state of sublime semi-consciousness at a bar in Saratoga on August 2nd. She wasn’t in today.Survey #9: Resulted not in the asking of a question.Rather, on the way out the door after the 7th race, it was immensely satisfying to be able to shake the hand of a great retired jockey, Richard Migliore – thanking him for “everything” & to see his gratified smile, in return. (It is simply murder to see racing’s most articulate spokesman sitting on the media sidelines at the same time that far lesser-talented people have been hired, instead.)Survey #10: Not wanting to skew the results by asking only ladies at the race track, when we got into Manhattan, I stopped by the CBS theatre on Broadway & asked the obviously eligible members (this excluded only two employees hired by Mr. David Letterman since 1991) what they thought. They unanimously responded with heartfelt endorsements & avidly expressed the desire to pose for any subsequent editions of the ad campaign.(When I showed them the Australian ad, they showered me with affection & a life-time free pass to the show, entrance, back-stage door.)Louisville, the ball is in your court.

  2. mfarney says:

    UPDATE: We found out last night that our friends in the North Country have been devastated by flash floods produced by Hurricane Irene. Towns, homes, and roads have been completely washed away. Please consider giving to the Red Cross in Northeastern NY.

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