The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
June 24, 2015
It’s the end of June and there’s only one word that fly fishermen want to hear—Hex. The long fabled, Michigan Hexagenia Limbata hatch is the stuff of legend. Over the years, legions of fly anglers worldwide have come to our beloved Crawford County to ply the waters and try their luck on our streams and to match wits with the thick shouldered and rarely fooled trophy brown trout of the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers. So far this year, we’ve seen fishermen from France, Japan, and even Iceland coming to visit our streams.
It can be difficult for the non-fly angler to understand what drives that sort of travel to the sandy, jack pine plains of Northern Michigan. But any angler can understand the affliction. All fish-bitten fishermen would travel as far as their dollars would take them to experience world class angling. And while our fishing may not be world class every day, it is sometimes and some of those days are just in front of us.
The Hex hatch is system wide on the Au Sable River right now. I’d guess we’re going to be fishing these waters until the next report. The South Branch may only have a few days left in the tank, but the mainstream with its thigh-deep muck banks should hold up for a good while. Once they thin there, the Manistee River should pick up the slack. We’ve seen just a few on that stream, but their appearance in those currents is imminent.
Most of the phone calls I answer at the shop ask if it’s worth going fishing. I can tell you that it’s rarely perfect when you think it will be and it’s always better than staying home and mowing the lawn. We don’t have a big window here. So, I’d say just go when you can. The best night I had last week was on the coldest evening we’ve this June. My best fish was a whopper that was angry and heavy and held on the bottom before he launched into the air and landed fat and flat and loud on the water.
It’s here. The glory. The reward of suffering long winters. I know I’ll be out. I hope you hear my fish jump. I hope I hear yours.
I’ll see you on the river,
0 thoughts on “River Report June 24, 2915”
Fished last night, the 24th with Shawn (or perhaps it is Sean). We fished the Manistee from 1700 till 2400 and it was beautiful. The weather perfect and Sean is the best. He is a fellow bamboo rod builder so we talked a lot about rod building and details of construction and finishin. We were rewarded with only seeing one other boat all evening (think most were on the Ausable chain hoping for Hex). Caught a bunch of Brookies and a 12 inch Brown and the around 2300 Shawn saw and heard what I never did. A big Brown feeding. Long story short Shawn had me work the fish with a big dry first and then we took him on a large black Gallup style streamer on the surface. He was around 23 inches and heavy. Without Shawn I would have never seen him let alone taken him. Thanks Shawn and Andy of OAFS for such a quality operation and great guides, (had Donnie last year and he was great as well). I’ll be back again as long as the good Lord gives me days to fish and the body holds out.
Great to hear! So glad you had a fine time on one of our rivers.