April 7, 2017
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
We’ve just endured winter’s last stand here in Northern Michigan—I hope. That cranky old man shook his fist at us once again and we took it on the chin a little but his punch is getting weaker. Winter won’t stick. Warm weather will clean things up quickly. So keep your chin up.
I heard the Spring Peepers last Tuesday night. Those little frogs don’t sing until they believe it’s Spring. And they’ve been doing it for millennia. Their life literally depends on getting it right. Put your faith in the frogs. Springtime fun is close. Things can happen quickly even in April—the cruelest month of the year.
Fishing is holding up on our area streams. The Au Sable Mainstream and South Branch are running high. But the North Branch is looking good just like that sweet stream always does and the Manistee is, perhaps, an angler’s best choice. The fact that there’s nearly always a place to fish in our area is maybe the best reason to call this place a fisherman’s paradise.
The stretch of the Au Sable River downstream from Burton’s Landing to Wakely Bridge has long been hailed as “The Holy Waters”. That reach of river is regulated as “Flies Only and Catch and Release”. Anglers worldwide too often believe the moniker became the name because of the regulations. Not so. The name “Holy Waters” came, firstly, from the idea that God created a perfect trout stream and, secondly, from the fact that no matter how high and dirty and unfishable every other stream in Michigan might become, the “Holy Waters” and its stable flows are likely fishable. The waters here are special. Out of nearly twelve thousand miles of trout stream in Michigan we have a fair allotment of the specially regulated waters. We should, rightly, take pride in that fact. Special places deserve special treatment
It’s also nearly Turkey hunting time. Here that means we get a Spring “Cast and Blast” season in Crawford County. The tom turkeys are whiteheaded and gobbling. I see myself on April 17th waking early to call and then hitting the river at heat of day for hendricksons.
Spring is heating up.
We’ll see blue-winged olive during this coming warm up as well as black stoneflies. Water clarity looks good. Even though steelhead fishing is in full swing, you might want to start thinking about getting ready for trout.
It’s shaping up to be a great season.
Take care and I hope to see you soon,