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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
1100 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
192 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
894 ft³/s

July 21, 2016 River Report

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report


The dog days of Summer can make trout fishing tough.  But we have yet to experience those doldrums on the trout streams of Northern Michigan.  Deep and regular cool downs have kept the waters of our upper rivers, well, cool.  Even better, the abrupt hot weather systems have rolled in behind the cold and the collision of the fronts has produced heavy rains.  That’s fantastic for our waters.  Our streams are essentially spring fed and healthy doses of rain charges up the aquifers and get those springs pumping clean cold water into creeks and rivers.

In short, the trout are having a fine Summer so far and the few fishermen that are finding time to spend on the water are reaping IMG_2452the rewards.

Tricos and olives are showing up in droves most mornings.  Trico fishing can be tough.  The patterns are small and on the best

mornings, they hit the currents wing to wing, so the trout have thousands of naturals from which to choose.  It’s tricky to make your offering to stand out from the horde.  You need accurate casts and perfectly timed drifts presented on spider web delicate tippet.  Some anglers live for that tough, technical dry fly angling but, personally, I like the tricks that make it easier.

It’s hopper/dropper time.  This technique is extremely effective.  You simply knot a more visible lead fly onto the end of you leader, tie a thin length of tippet to the bend of that fly’s hook and then twist on a wet fly to the end of that.  It’s a two fly rig.  The lead fly becomes an indicator fly—essentially a bobber with a hook in it.  If the trout bites that bug then simply set the hook.  If the fly is jerked under then set the hook—you’re getting a take on the wet fly.

There are some fine choices for an indicator fly during the trico hatch.  A favorite is the Robberfly.  The Robberfly is a predacious bug that looks something like a big house fly that’s been dipped in a

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChernobyl cooling pond.  They eat tricos and olives and occasionally fall helplessly to the water.  Another is an old Au Sable pattern popularized by T.U. founding member George Griffith.  The Griffith’s Gnat is designed to look like a cluster of tricos matted together and it floats like a cork.

Make your wet fly a trico wet and you’ll find lots of success.

You can continue to ply the two fly rig for the remainder of the afternoon.  Just upsize the indicator fly to some sort of terrestrial or a rubber-legged attractor pattern and change the wet fly to a bigger nymph like a size 18 Pheasant Tail or Prince Nymph.IMG_2448

Whatever you do this week, try to find some time in the cool waters of Northern Michigan.

Hope to see you all soon,


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