The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
It’s June and that means one thing above all others in Northern Michigan—it’s time to go fishing. It’s prime time angling for nearly every fish that swims in our lakes and streams.
The Bluegill fishing is prime right now. I took Jack to a little, puddle lake the other day with the promise that we’d put a few in the bucket so we could cook them for dinner. I let him pick out the fly and ended up knotting on a big, goofy, rubber-legged fly to the leader. It ended up being a perfect temptation for the gills and in short order we had more than this Daddy wanted to clean so I talked him into dumping the bucket because they were all so nice and we’d be able to catch more if we let them go. It took some doing but he agreed and back to the water they went. When the bucket filled again, I asked what he thought about letting the new crop go and he looked into the bucket and said, “Yeah, these are pretty nice ones, let’s pour them out”. So we did and for a second after we watched them swim back into the lake I could see his face screwed up and the cogs of his brain turning. He looked at me and said, “Now let’s try to catch some bad ones”. I like when kids are accidentally funny.
The rivers are in fine shape for dry fly fishing. There are lots of bugs to fill up the daytime and evening fishing. We have Sulphers, olive and yellow stoneflies, and all sorts of caddis. The hatches combined with the extremely seasonable forecast should make for some very good daytime trout fishing.
Brown Drakes have also emerged on much of the Au Sable and on some reaches of the Manistee River. This hatch represents the best of what Michigan dry fly fishing has to offer. The big mayfly pattern makes an excellent day time prospecting fly and handles a nymph dropper well. And, like it did last week on the North Branch of the Au Sable, often shows up in unfathomable numbers at dusk.
The weather this week will be cooler than the last, so look for the drakes to fall when the sun gets just below the tree line and be prepared to stay until after dark. If it gets too cool, rise and drink your coffee on the way to the stream in the morning. Spinners that flew back into the trees at dusk on too cool nights, will often come back to the water early in the morning to finish what they started. And be sure to fish longest in the days that rain. Cloudy, rainy days can produce the drake all day long.
Hatch fishing isn’t always perfectly predictable and that’s why I love it so much. Fly fishing mimics a lesson we learn while getting older in life and that’s the fact that we don’t and won’t know everything and that the fun is in the mystery and surprises. And the best of everything is in the experiences.
Don’t forget to sign up you and/or your loved ones for our beginning fly fishing class with myself and industry professional Ben Hunting on Sunday June 12. Class starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Lunch is included as well as a fly rod and reel package. Cost is $200 for a class/gear package that retails for $365. It’s a great deal and a fantastic way to introduce a newcomer into the weird little world of fly fishing. Plus, I simply love teaching class . . .
I hope to see you all soon,