May 24, 2018
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
Was finally able to find some time to get out and do a guide trip this past week on my old riverboat. Billy Lowes sanded her down and put a coat of fresh, dark green paint on her outside and many coats of fresh varnish on her insides. The old girl is shiny and has been scratching at the door like a winter weary bird dog to get into water.
I love that old boat.
Walt Mikesel built it sometime around nineteen fifty out of four, clear-cedar, twelve inch planks (wood that would be difficult to even find these days) and her lines are arrow straight and she is nimble and yar. I sold her for an old river family eleven years ago and always wanted her back. I’ve run her for four years now and I’ll pass her along to Jack someday and he’ll pass her along again—God willing. She’s battled scared, but her bones are strong. Best boat on the River but, of course, I’m biased. All Au Sable Riverboat guides love their boats and many spend as much time with them as they do with their loved ones and rub them lovingly with a clean diaper every time they’re dirty.
I need a name for my riverboat. She deserves one. She’s a lovely platform for the Au sable River.
Fishing is tricky with the eighty degree, sunny days. Trout like it cold, dark, and wet so hot, bright, and sunny makes middle of the day angling problematic. It’s plenty do-able, though. You just have to use every trick in your arsenal. We caught fish on big stoneflies rubbed against the wood, and we caught fish on single dry flies and even more on wet flies. Nothing worked all the time so we changed a lot and fooled a few.
There’s a plethora of aquatic trout fodder out there. We saw popcorn caddis, thrasher stones, and suplhurs just to name a few. And there’s many more to come. The early mornings and late evenings will be the time of focus, but the water is pumping cold and the whole system is fishable.
The unseasonably hot weather is cooking the muck banks and the first of the brown drakes will appear in the next ten days. It’s the greatest time to be a stream trout fisherman.
Have a great Holiday,