22 Dec

Rusty, Remembrances from the Internet


A true river legend and conservationist was lost last night. Rusty Gates  lost his ongoing battle and is now at peace. He will be dearly missed here on the AuSable and everywhere else.

Rusty passed yesterday from a long and courageous fight with cancer. He owned Gates Au Sable Lodge, hard on the banks of our Holy Water. He was a true son of Michigan, a ferocious warrior determined to defend the rivers he loved against those who would harm them, and a mighty fine man in general. We’re sure going to miss him.
Godspeed, Mr Gates.

Calvin “Rusty” Gates. We will miss you!!!

Rusty had come to embody the Ausable and all those who love and care for it. Our memorial to him must be to carry on his spirit and his work.

Our condolences to the Gates family. It’s been a long time since a blizzard closed I-75, and we sought lodging along the old AuSable. Mary, you served up a great breakfast. We missed seeing Rusty. We appreciated the flowers he sent to Mom’s funeral last January. May you find peace.

Our whole family and many of our friends will miss
Whenever we return to the Ausable we’ll
feel his presence.

Rusty basically taught me how to fly fish, and I will be always grateful to him for that. His willingness to pass along his “secrets”, his eternally optimistic weather and hatch forecasts and his passion for his conservation efforts are but a few of his legacies he leaves behind. I will always wade his waters with great care, and think of him always, with a smile.

The river is quiet today because its spokesman has moved on to a new pool. But, he has left us with a legacy to uphold and with God’s help we will all uphold it. May God hold us all in the palm of His hand at this trying time.

He will be missed greatly. My heart goes out to his family and close friends in this time of grief. May no one forget what he meant to the river, the fishermen, hunters, and outdoorsmen who are lucky enough to enjoy the Ausable river

Another Season on the AuSable, tougher but with some good memories of a gentle and caring man.

Last night I checked into my email at the last minute before turning in for the night. This was the news I was hoping wouldn’t come yet. I am so sorry to hear it.

The Ausable River and the State of Michigan lost a good man. To me, he will always be the “River Keeper”. The guardian of the AuSable.

It was the words in his book, “Seasons of the AuSable” and in the weekly fishing reports, that brought me back to my old home waters…this time with a fly rod, instead of a canoe. ( I used to canoe the AuSable and Manistee in my youth). I enjoyed going into the shop and talking with him over a morning coffee, picking up little pieces of wisdom. The river became my “home waters” once again, as she just kept calling me back. (over 9 weeks on river there this year) I will miss, Da Gator, very much.

I also know I can find him again, in spirit, when I’m fishing the “Holy Waters” of the Ausable and the other rivers in Michigan. I’ll hear his voice in the splash of a fish, the sound of the river and in the voices of the woods.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Julie and the family and the rest of the “Gates Family”, those who came to know Rusty and his tireless work for the rivers of Michigan.

God speed my friend.

While I know Rusty is finally no longer in pain, the pain of those left behind still continues. My love and prayers go out to Julie and their family. We have truly lost a great advocate for the AuSable.

It is with my deepest reguards that I wish the familys my sympithys. Have lost those i have loved before during this time of you I know how hard it is. I didnt know the man but I bet I would have liked him. May the creator bless him with rivers overflowing with fish. and his familys with the stranght to go on and live every day knowing he is in their hearts…

Prayers go out to all Rusty’s loved ones.
He will be missed

We have ALL Lost another GOOD Friend.
GOD Speed, Rusty You will be Missed.

That is sad news. I met him while attending the MI Fish IN of 2008. This man was not only a staunch supporter of the Au Sable but was a wonderful man whom always had time to talk to a fisherman new or experienced.

I will never forget the first thing he said to me when we first met. I told him who I was and that I was rooming with ——. He had a colorfull comment about the people I ran with and gave me hell for a good five minutes

I will miss him as will all that have crossed paths with this gentleman.

My prayers go out to his family and friends.

God Bless you Rusty

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Rusty was a gift from God. He will be missed by his many friends. I pray that Gods love and grace bring peace to his family and friends in the days ahead.

Thank you Rusty for all you’ve done for fly fishing, the AuSable & FAOL. I’ll see you sooner than later. Say hi to Al and Jim for me. You are missed.

Being a Michigan guy since the day I was born and the Au Sable being my “Home waters” I had the pleasure of knowing Rusty. Gates was one of the very first fly shops I ever went into back in the 80’s and anytime we were up in Grayling we’d have to stop into the shop and BS with Rusty for a bit. He was really just a heck of a great guy. Always willing to share stories and info as well as just sit and chew the fat with ya. When I hadn’t heard any updates on him for awhile I somewhat had a feeling he might not have been doing all that well with the cancer.

This is certainly very sad news. The Au Sable has lost one of it’s best friends and biggest supporters in Rusty Gates. But what rusty accomplished in his life is something that we will all remember and enjoy for many years to come because of him.

Very sad. Prayers sent from Pennsylvania as well.

On Eagles Wings: Book of Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”.

Our prayers for Julie and family. Rusty was quite a force for the Au Sable! The world has lost a good’un for sure.

May God Bless Rusty, his family and all his friends!

My prayers and condolences go out to his family too.

He was such a great guy. I can remember my first trip to his shop, back in ’04. It was somewhat of a dream come true to be at the banks of that amazing little river. I must have spent hours talking to him over a few cups of coffee that first day. It was like that every time I went up there. It’s so sad to see the fly fishing industry losing so many great people this year…but then again, if you think about where they most likely are, I’m sure NONE of them are complaining!

We’ll miss you Rusty,

I am very sorry to see this news. I had fewer years of contact with him than most, but I quickly developed fondness and enormous respect for him. I wish him and his well. It speaks about his life that he is so heartily missed by so many.

What a great loss to the sport of flyfishing. I met Rusty two years ago, while visiting his shop to get some wader repair stuff. What a delightful man to talk too. My prayers and sympathies to his family.

Michigan has lost one of it’s best river stewards. Rusty Gates past away after a long fight with cancer.Gates Lodge
I can’t think of many that have done so much for the Au Sable river or for so many people.

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