River Report August 7, 2023

It’s pin-drop quiet on Northern waters washed in orange sunrise.

There’s no one here. There’s no one in your way. Anglers have the rivers to themselves at dawn and dusk. Savvy fishermen won’t pull two trucks deep into any parking spot—there’s no reason. All of our fields are green and all of our streams crystal. All rivers have fine flows and cool water, and the fish are hungry.

Drought and warm water were once the bane of Au Sable and Manistee anglers who lamented spring hatches gone by. The only August fishing was after dark or in crowded cold stretches. That has all changed. The spring hatches, for the last few years, have been marred by hot weather and low flows, while Summertime conditions have turned wet and mild and consistent.  

The upper Au Sable is in great shape.

The summer trout fishing approach remains the same as in years past, but now we have many more miles of river where we can effectively apply those techniques.

Get up early. Be there at daylight. Watch for hatches of tricos and olives. Tie on just about any other favorite pattern when hatches are absent, and fish with confidence until the sun is high in the sky. Wet fly, dry fly . . . not matter—just fish. If it gets sunny and eighty-five at noon—go swimming and take naps or fish the lakes for bass. In the evening, simply rinse and repeat.

Trout like it cold, dark, and wet. Chase those conditions and you’ll be doing it right. And fish your fly like a living insect—twitch it and move it. Have you ever seen a grasshopper or ant fall on the water and just wait for a trout to find it? No, they kick and wiggle for their lives while trying to find dry land again.

Our bins are full of flies that work.

We even have flies for the salmon that have started to show up in the coastal streams.

We are also filled to the gills with discontinued gear, waders and boots that need to find new homes, so we’re slashing prices. Stop by the shop and bring in your trade-in gear to take advantage of spectacular savings.

It is going to be a great swansong to the summer season.

Back your truck up to the fly shop door, and I’ll help you load the boxes. Waders for Christmas for everyone!!

Hope to see you soon.


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