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22 Dec

Rusty, More Remembrances

I always looked forward to our too-short and too-infrequent stays at Rusty’s lodge and I always found the lodge to be just about perfect.  It wasn’t all frilly or too fancy.  It was always clean and comfortable and right on the banks of one of the best trout streams in the mid-west.  He was always more than willing to share some info on what to fish and where to fish and it was a treat to watch him tie a fly and pick up some advice on how to tie a particular fly.  He was a true gentleman; except when it came to the AuSable!  He was a warrior when it came to his beloved AuSable River.  

There are few in a generation with his sense of purpose and determination.  He will be greatly missed.

A great person gone too early.  He did so much for the river he loved and so much for people who wanted to share in its gifts.  He always had a glint in his eye when talking trout.  He truly left the world a better place.  I was fortunate to run into him in the the shop one last time late this summer, still working the shop and imparting his wisdom.  He will be missed.

Yup, Rusty was a great man. I was fortunate over the past few years to see a side of Rusty that most didn’t…that being his life outside of the shop. I think it would surprise a lot of folks.

I’ll miss the dinners, the camp fires and mostly sharing a log waiting for the bugs. Rusty was a very deliberate fisherman. I mean he would wade what he called the “home loop” but by and large, he sat on a log. He didn’t fish to fish, didn’t fish for numbers…he just enjoyed sitting on the river…two Labatt and a flask in the vest. Those logs were my class room and I had a pretty #ucking good instructor.

He loved that river and he loved those fish…almost to a fault, and we’re all better for it.

I will miss my friend.

loguse

Rusty sitting on a log, Michigan opener ’09

Sad news. Rusty Gates, owner of Gates Au Sable Lodge, flyfisherman and conservationist extraordinaire, died on December 19. Rusty’s legacy lives on in the river he loved and fought for. All who take pleasure in the Au Sable River owe Rusty eternal gratitude for his efforts to preserve and improve this great watershed. Information is posted at the Gates Lodge and Angler of the Au Sable websites: Question by MLH. Uploaded on This is very sad and shocking news to me. I have a cabin in Grayling and we flyfish the Au Sable every summer. We have always went to the Gates Au Sable Lodge Fly Shop to purchase flies and for some tips. Rusty did a lot for the river and we have to thank hime for this. My prayers go out to him and his famliy.

R.I.P. Rusty

Very sad news. Rusty was very well respected in Ohio. I have a lot of friends that frequent his lodge who I’m meeting with tonight to tie flies. I’ll speard the news.

Rusty was respected by many anglers in Ohio.

 Rusty Gates was a truly great man.  HIs commitment to conservation was unequalled.  We should all strive to take just a little of what Rusty taught us and carry that commitment forward on all our home waters as a tribute to Rusty’s legacy. He will be missed.  It is left to us to carry that legacy forward for generations to come.  Thanks Rusty.

 A sad day
Take a moment to bow your head and give thanks for this remarkable man. We are in his debt. Those who have fished the Au Sable are better off because of his efforts. RIP Rusty, your work lives on.

 Rusty lives on in the thousands of people he has touched and in the river he has protected. He has left a legacy we can all appreciate everytime we set foot in the Ausable.

Yup, Rusty was a great man. I was fortunate over the past few years to see a side of Rusty that most didn’t…that being his life outside of the shop. I think it would surprise a lot of folks.

I’ll miss the dinners, the camp fires and mostly sharing a log waiting for the bugs. Rusty was a very deliberate fisherman. I mean he would wade what he called the “home loop” but by and large, he sat on a log. He didn’t fish to fish, didn’t fish for numbers…he just enjoyed sitting on the river…two Labatt and a flask in the vest. Those logs were my class room and I had a pretty #ucking good instructor.

He loved that river and he loved those fish…almost to a fault, and we’re all better for it.

I will miss my friend.

God speed ‘gator
 
Tough year for keepers of the Au Sables.  The New York AuSable lost Fran Betters this summer.

 
The word “friend” keeps popping up in folks’ kind words about Rusty. When I got the word over the weekend, I truly felt like I had lost a long-time friend. Because I had. His dad, Cal, ran the Lodge well with his bride Mary. I found young Rusty to not be very comfortable with other people. Over the years, though, he matured into a wonderful man, who always made his guests feel welcome and appreciated. Julie and Rusty made a super pair, and our hearts and prayers go out to her and the rest of the family. God bless them all. To say he will be missed is, sadly, a large understatement.

Anyone that has ever fished the Au Sable river knows of the name Rusty Gates. Rusty was the owner of “Gates Au Sable Lodge”, director of “Anglers of the Au Sable”, and the lead force in any fight against issues that affected the Au Sable river here in Michigan. Rusty’s shop was one of the very first fly shops I ever went into back in the late 80’s and was one heck of a friendly guy. It was always a tradition to go into the shop and BS with Rusty anytime we were in Grayling to fish. About a year or so ago Rusty was diagnosed with Lung cancer, sadly he just passed away from his fight with it. Going into Gates shop won’t be the same without rusty there, and the Au Sable river has lost one of its best friends and biggest fighters for it.

Just a couple of months ago, I was on my September fishing outing and my cheap wading boots actually fell apart while floating the North Branch. I drove to Gates Lodge the next morning, and bought a new pair of boots. Rusty was working at the counter, and nothing seemed any different from all my other visits. As one of the most adamant protectors of the Au Sable, a prolific fly fisherman, and a generally nice guy – he will be missed in more ways than one.

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