April 20, 2017
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
So close. We’re so close to some fine dry fly fishing here in wondrous Northern Michigan on the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers. May just happen by the time you eager anglers hear this report.
I actually took off the first two days of my April 17th, first draw turkey season with the hopes of hunting in the rising morning light and dry fly fishing with Hendricksons during the warm afternoons. I was almost sure it would come together, and I was almost exactly right. It turns out that almost is almost good enough. But big rains swelled the river to the banks and beyond. Even the venerable Upper North Branch and Upper Manistee roiled with dark water. We gained many inches of river flow and lost too many degrees of water temperature for the fine dry fly fishing I hoped for.
Since then the River Valley has started to drain and the temperature has bounced and the Hendricksons and Olives have picked up from a mere trickle. Anglers are catching a few fish on surface again. We’ll see what the weather does in the coming days—torrential rains could push the dry fly fishing right back to the traditional opening day on April 29th.
The last Saturday of April opens up all of Michigan’s eleven and a half thousand miles of trout stream. It always astounds me—no matter how many times I peel off that number—how fortunate we are to live in such a fine state. To put things in perspective, the state of Colorado brags some six thousand glorious miles of trout stream—about half of our wonder. Another reason we love this place. Safe to say that if you live or recreate around here, you flat get it.
It’s rare that great dry fly, trout fishing, lines up with our opening day. This year it just may. This year it’s likely. And in the meantime, anglers with a strong tug to the river, may have to push against high waters and seek smaller reaches, but should be rewarded with solitude and the first gulping trout of their season.
I’d rather be a day early than a day late.
Cross your fingers for some dry weather and be sure to call the shop for the latest and most up to date conditions and bug report.
We’re only a week away from an event filled Opening Weekend. The night before trout opener, I’d like to invite you all to attend our 10 annual Trout Opener Eve Party. We’ve got spectacular specials, fun games and some great food lined up. We’ll also be giving away a Tibor Reel . . . you’ll have to swing by to see how you can enter to win.
It’s time to be excited—trout season is here!
See you soon,