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Au Sable & Manistee River Report : 5-28-2015

What a crazy Spring.  We’ve had amazing mid-eighty degree weather that was followed up by mornings in the twenties.  The weather has been a yoyo spinning between unseasonably warm and unseasonably cold temperatures, and flashing between dusty dry spells and multi-day soppers.  It’s made the fishing just as schizophrenic.

That said, it’s been a pretty good ride.  Especially, if last May is the measure.  Things are much improved this year, if even still a little screwy.  We’ve had some fine angling on the rivers after an early season that had folks scratching their heads and wondering if there was even a trout left to catch.

I stepped into the river the other day just like I do every night and fish were rising everywhere.  I’m not talking about a few.  I mean there were lots of fish in each bubble line and loaded in the slick feeding flats behind every riffle.  Now they were small, but I couldn’t have cared less—they were willing.   And then, there was a better one.  You could tell, not by the size of her rise but by the spot she chose.  You could also tell she was better by the way she moved around and didn’t just set up in a line.  Mostly, I could tell she was a better fish because no matter how many good drifts or how many patterns I tossed, I just couldn’t get that trout to go.  Sometimes you lose, but that’s what fishing is all about and I built back my fishing self-esteem by picking on the small ones a little bit.

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Nothing puts fishing in perspective like angling for bluegills.  It’s just fun and nearly always successful and they’re beautiful and a big one is only about nine inches long.   This year they’ve been elusive and behind schedule.  It’s just now that those guys are thinking romance and starting to get on their beds.  Strange year but things are looking up.

 

Finally, brown drakes have been hatching on Lake Margerethe and guide Jamie Clous drove through two miles of the heaviest hatch he’s ever seen while passing that water on his way back to the shop from the Manistee.  The drake watch is hourly now.  Any day.  Any minute. I don’t care about the weather.  They will certainly be thick very soon.  You should go.  I will and I just bet I’ll have a fish story.

Brown Drakes are simply cool.  Way better than Hex.  First of all they happen on all stretches of every river in our area, while Hex only happen in certain, isolated reaches of the rivers.  When it goes right, you can chase drakes for three weeks.  They bring up the best fish in the river  . . . these bugs are big at a ten or twelve.  The hatches are often heavy and sometimes happen during the day.  Drakes reach sexual maturity very quickly once they hatch and can spin within hours.  They can pour of after dark one night and be mating the very next evening if conditions are right.  And conditions are right.  Usually, I go out Sulphur spinner fishing and all of a sudden, the drakes darken the sky with an audible hum even though no one had seen even one yet.  When that happens, we all have a good night.

This year it will likely progress very quickly through the systems, so get on it as soon as possible.  June is here and if you like to trout fish, just squeeze your child, shirk work, and get some aqua-therapy.  It’s here.  Right now.   Expect Sulphurs and hope for drakes.

Guide trips are just about booked, so if you want to chase good ones give us a call to see if you can get in a boat with one of the boys.

It’s June.

Hope to see you soon,

Andy

Comments

  • Ken DeVaney

    I drove through that same 2 miles of Brown Drakes. It was as if they were heading up M-72 to TC. Fortunately it was raining or it would have been impossible to keep the windshield clean to see. I have never drove through anything like that before.

    Reply
    • Michael Majcher

      OOOhhh... Someone who has never been on Rock Creek for the salmonfly hatch, or tried driving through Seely Lake about the same time in July. Or Henry's fork any night of the week in August hahaha

      Reply
    • Michael Majcher

      OOOhhh... Someone who has never been on Rock Creek for the salmonfly hatch, or tried driving through Seeley Lake about the same time in July. Or Henry's fork any night of the week in August hahaha

      Reply
    • Andy

      I would have loved to have seen that, Ken. Sounded epic.

      Reply
  • Joel

    Stall them for another 2 weeks haha.

    Reply
    • Andy

      I would have loved to have seen that, Ken. Sounded epic.

      Reply
  • Rob Woodland

    Your essay is as excellent as always, Andy. You are a fine writer.

    Reply
    • Andy

      Appreciate it,Rob. Glad you're liking the reports.

      Reply
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