April 4, 2019
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
It’s April now. I don’t know much, but I know that. That means that your two thousand and eighteen Michigan fishing license is no longer valid. As of March thirty-first, Michigan anglers need to hold a twenty nineteen sticker to legally ply the waters of our peninsulas and Great Lakes. I swiped my driver’s license early this year and got current before the deadline. That’s actually rare for me. Far too
often I forget to pull my tag in the flurry of new license sales and end up having to make a too long trip back to the shop before splashing around in April’s new edition of the Au Sable.
The slow Spring run-off continues on the Au Sable and Manistee. We’ve gone through the “hooray it’s going to be forty degrees” days and are now hoping for fifties and sixties for high temperatures. The cool stuff has the rivers in great shape so far, but warmer times are coming. When we see those days, Spring Fever will swell in tandem with river levels. That should bring the inevitable high, dirty water we expect. And while we need to get past that roil for good dry fly angling, streamer fishing should be some of the best we see all year as the trout fry and sculpins hatch and wash into the currents.
Streamer fishing has been fair so far with just a sprinkling of pretty good. Drab flies dressed in olive, copper, and black have produced most consistently, but when the water turns tobacco brown, bright flies with flashes of white, yellow, and chartreuse should be in your box and knotted to the end of your line.
I’ve been out a little but not quite enough. But I’ve pushed through my taxes and listened to about enough evening news full of house fires and car wrecks and stumbling politicians. None of that exists on the River if you don’t let it. Everything disappears out there and is washed downstream. I’m ready for sunnier days. Those days on stream are worth the price of admission and invaluable to me.
We all deserve another halcyon day and a mellower light with a Kingfisher sliding through the tree tops.
We’re also getting close to our first two events for the year.