June 22, 2017
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
The Hex hatch is rolling on the Au Sable. And the fishing has been great.
It has been the strangest emergence I’ve ever witnessed. Our river is a giant spring creek and by its nature warms unevenly. Small springs, rivulets, creeks, and larger tributaries add volume and cold water along the river’s length. So we have a river that looks much like a small stream best suited for canoes at its headwaters in front of our fly shop and then like a thick bodied waterway that can handle even Western style drift boats. The sun warms the thin water more quickly than the fat water but cold springs complicate the process even further. What we end up with is widely varying temperatures and so, with insect hatches that move around the river systematically over the course of days and weeks. We call it the hatch progression.
That didn’t happen with the Hex this year. Conditions created a situation where the hatch started in all reaches of river nearly at once. It’s made for some fine angling. Generally, anglers descend on whichever stretch has bugs and the fishing can be crowded. The explosion of Hex this season has allowed fishermen to spread out across the breadth of our fine river so the fishing has been largely cordial and rewarding.
Fishing is at its peak right now on the Au Sable. And the Manistee is just starting to show its medal. Helped out by the recent cool down, the Hex fishing should continue through the end of the month. But don’t dawdle if you want a chance to have your rod doubled over by a heavy Au Sable River Brown Trout.
Even I almost missed it . . . busyness and responsibility nearly got the best of me. I swore off the Hex chase and the late nights associated with it hoping to find some semblance of balance. But good sense prevailed and I shirked off both those coils and was rewarded with my best fish of the year. One that took ten minutes of tug and give and pulls and chases that topped my waders and drowned my phone and finally filled both of my hands with a heavy trout.
There is no balance chasing trophies; there is just do.
Have fun and be good to each other out there—we’re all playing in the same sandbox,