August 27, 2015
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
You just can’t beat a late August cool down. At least when you’re a Northern Michigan sportsman. Though August means the height of Summertime and all the fun that comes with it, for the outdoors person, August means fishing doldrums. A strong push of cold, wet weather like the one we’ve just experienced puts the smell of Fall in the air, gets the fish active, and makes the bird dogs eager.
The dip in temperature has the trout streams running cool again and the rain has pulled the river levels from Summer lows and back to nearly ideal flows. Cloudy, fall-like conditions have the trout feeding much better in the daylight. For the time being, at least, fishermen don’t have to be on the river at dawn and don’t have to ply flies into the darkness. Anglers can hit the stream after breakfast and have a fine time catching brook trout and brown trout on dry flies, nymphs, or streamers. This little patch of weather is a gift. We’ll be fishing in pleasant seventy degree weather over the weekend. It looks like we may have a hot spell coming during the middle of next week, which could slow down the mid-day angling and change the fishing back to early mornings and evenings. When that happens, go to Mio for white flies.
The insect hatch report hasn’t changed much on the upper river with a few tricos and olives making up most of the table fare. And flying ants should make a nice appearance over the coming days, as well. Attractor patterns like the Chernobyl Ant and Fuzzy Wuzzy are doing good stuff, but you’ll catch even more, though smaller, fish on smaller offering like the parachute Patriot and parachute Royal Coachman. We, at the Old Au Sable still tie our parachute Royal Coachman’s in house by the way—something maybe no other shop in the country still does. That pattern just remains that important to us.
A sleeper terrestrial pattern has been the bumble bee of all things. I haven’t fished one since I started fly fishing and had all but forgotten about it as a trout fly, but it’s working now. And let’s face it, that’s just a fun bug to tie on. I’m pretty sure my little boy would pick it from a box of flies and anything that can bring out the little kid in us is certainly worth a try.
White flies are the big game on the Au Sable. The action happens exclusively below Mio dam. If you are lucky enough to go in a boat in that big water, you’ll almost certainly have a bunch of action at dark on the warmest days. If you go, take some Isonychia patterns. I hear they made an appearance the other night and some much better fish took notice. Our guides would love to get you down there for some of the last, best dry fly fishing of the year.
Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you get to do it on some water in Northern Michigan.
Hope to see you soon and thank you,