July 19, 2018
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
It’s hopper time on the Au Sable and Manistee. Water temperatures on the Upper Rivers are right where they should be this time of year and the ten day forecast shows nothing but seasonable weather. And that is just what we want at any given point in the year.
With lows in the Fifties and highs around Eighty, you’ll see tricos emerge around 8 a.m. and Slate-Winged Olives should show up about a half hour later. Be on the river as early as possible and you won’t miss a thing, but be sure to stay into the afternoon if you can. The early morning surface activity will get trout looking up and terrestrial and junk bug fishing should continue until mid-afternoon.
When prospecting, keep your flies in the shadow and along the river bottom transition lines. Keep the fly kicking and twitching and skittering between reasonable pauses—fish the fly like it’s alive.
DO SOME EXPLORING! Pull out your map and follow the thin, gray, straight lines to where they cross the thin, blue, squiggly lines and put a little adventure in your life. There’s somewhere between 11, 500 and 13,000 miles of trout stream in Michigan (depending on what you read) and most of it hardly sees an angler. Go find yourself a secret creek. There is wild left for those that seek it.
This is also a fine time to treat you and/or someone you love to a guided float trip down the Au Sable. Sharing time on the river with friends and family is time you keep forever. I’m learning that as Summers pass and Jack gets another year older. So drifting down the River and having someone else worry about all the knots and tangles and details makes a lot of sense for folks wanting to focus the people closest to them. I’m swapping a trip with our newest guide, Chris Lessaway. He’ll take Jack and I on a float and, in turn, I’ll take Chris and his daughter.
Guide trips are a special treat. I think of them like going out to a nice dinner. We can all cook a steak with the best of them, but it sure is nice to eat someone else’s—especially when it’s delivered to our seat, and someone else does the clean-up. I’d take a guided fishing trip three times a week if I could. And I’d poke that guide to cook me that steak on the River. And I’d never do dishes ever again!
Summer is settling in now and, somehow, it already feels like it’s slipping away. Only six weeks left in Jack’s five-year-old Summer. I’m going to have to make those days count. Try to make yours count too.
Fishing is solid. Night time fishing almost guarantees a heavy trout to hand. And the weather is Michigan perfect.
Hope you can find some time to get out and enjoy Northern Michigan,
PS It’s time to just simply go fishing. And it’s time to get new anglers introduced to this wonderful lifetime sport. The Old Au Sable is offering beginner classes August 18th and 19th. The class covers everything a new fisherman needs to know. Students will spend time learning on both dry ground and in the river. Our class is for all ages and families, lasts for four hours and includes a free rod and reel package. It’s a great deal and a wonderful way to get started down the path.