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Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Donnie Mio Donnie with a Hendrickson Fish

May 4, 2017

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Trout season 2017 is well underway.  We saw the best trout opening day that we’ve had in years.   The weather opened up just enough and collided with a sliver of decent water conditions to entertain anglers with a trout rise to blue-winged olives, hendricksons, and black caddis.  Folks caught fish between parties and comradery at generationally, long-standing trout camps and told fish stories over steaming pots of soup and campfires.  Michigan traditions are among the best in the land.

This year trout season also lined up with the best beginnings of the morel mushroom hunt.  I had one friend pluck couple hundred in a secret spot and another friend that found four hundred over the weekend.   I took my four year old Jack out in the steady rain in a raincoat that was about two sizes too big for him and we trudged a couple of short mushroom trudges.  But like Forest Gump on his first venture into the shrimping grounds, we only found five.  Couple of more and we would’ve had ‘shroom cocktail.  The whole thing has forced me to develop a new program at the shop.  It goes “show me your secret mushroom spots and I’ll show you my secret trout spots.”

We’ve had big rains again since the weekend and the rivers are struggling to give us good, wadable water.  The South is out of question for the foreseeable future, but the North and Manistee are do-able.  We’re hoping things straighten out enough for the Holy Water to be wade-able by the weekend.  Where there’s a will there’s a way.  It’s hard not to try.  The bugs will be there.

I sat on a moss covered bank the other day listening to river mutterings—rhythmic and right.  My feet dangled in the cool water.  And then a different gurgle spoke of a fine trout rising in the failing light.  I couldn’t find it by sound, but the boney log across the stream betrayed the rise spot with a wet splash stain.  It didn’t happen for me that night, but I did get the address.   Time on stream is always time well spent.

It’d be right for anglers to be just as excited for the bluegill bite.  They’re in the shallows on a pre-spawn mission.  And that water looks just fine.  I’ll be heading to a lake or two on the cooler evenings this week.  I almost chased gills last Wednsesday  (5/3) but Hendrickson spinners hung thick over the river crossing and you just can’t drive away from that.  The spinner fall was early but it was heavy.   I poked one fish that jumped six times.  I don’t think anyone expected that spinner flight.

Get to the water as soon and as often as possible.  If you wait for it to be perfect, you’ll never go and the season will be over.

Have fun out there,

Andy

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