March 3, 2017
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
Remind me to never again poke fun at the groundhog. Turns out that Punxsatauny Phil is a spiteful little cur.
Welcome to March in Northern Michigan. In like Lion—a great big, old, surly sun-of-a-gun with a thorn in his paw. Around here, he nearly always shows up like this in March. We traditionally get some of our greatest single event snowfalls this month. But no matter how thick of a blanket he lays down, another warm spell checks his cord and heels winter’s charge until, at last, winter is tamed into Spring. The coat racks in our cabins get heavy and crowded with every kind of garment we own and muddy boots and shoes pile in the doorway. You might start the day with a wind-breaker and end the day in goose down. Be ready for it all and keep the faith that Spring always arrives.
While ice fishing is flat out for me this year (it’s just too risky), open water fishing for trout and steelhead on our fine, winding streams is on the table. There’s beautiful weather in the ten day. Of course, the snow will melt again and the rain will likely accompany the warm so wade-able water will be scarce. I bet the river pops over the shop’s dock this week, but if you can get in a boat you just may find an eager, winter hungry brown trout to shark attack a big, flashy bait. Pitch your goods to the edges and cover and hang on tightly to your rod—yellow-sided ambush attacks are instant and can be beautifully brutal.
Pull your boat with a four wheel drive truck if you come. The landings will be a mess and even pulling off the main road will have you pushing through a plow truck’s snow bank. We’re living on the margins of Spring here. As always, preparedness is the mantra of life in in Michigan’s wilds. You can hope someone has jumper cables and a tow strap or you can have one on hand. A crisp twenty dollar bill also always helps.
Ride the tide of warm weather and I hope you can all make it to our Northern Michigan.
Have fun out there,