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Old AuSable Fly Shop


Currently in Grayling, MI:


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River Flows:

Mio Dam
1070 ft³/s
Smith Bridge
192 ft³/s
Parmalee Bridge
894 ft³/s

River Report May 17, 2019

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Our river systems have blown up with insect life. The sand flies are DSC_3446_NEFout - you know, those little black critters that draw blood from your ears and nick you around your hat line.  Mosquitos have to be close.  But the misery that the biting insects bring also means that other, water-born bugs - the ones we and the trout like, are here now too.

Hendricksons have exploded system wide along with little mahoganies and black caddis. The little olive stone flies are out DSC_3287_NEFalong with the mattress thrashers, too.  We went from hoping for one hatch and find ourselves, overnight, with at least five.

We wait twelve months for this stuff and for about seven of those months we endure snow, ice, slush, freezing rain, and generally awful weather. It’s here right now and we deserve it.  Everything looks to be coming together.  Even the rains in the forecast are relatively small events that should give us the cloud cover we need for good fishing.  The rivers can handle some rain and the morels will love it.

My fishing this last week was ultimately promising. It wasn’t riddled with big fish, though one client had a long brown trout wrap around a log and break off.  You’d think that was the best fish of the day, but DSC_3048_NEFit turned out that every brook trout rising in the pods was just as good.  Maybe better.  We waded to trout that poked their noses into our dry flies and we laughed every time one of those little jewels skated to the forceps.  When we glided into the end day landing, neither of us knew how many we caught.  We didn’t have a count clicker in the boat and no one cared.  My guy simply knew it was the most trout he’d ever caught.  We both knew it was fun.

For the record I love all fishing. If it’s the best time of the year to catch bullheads on worms—I’m in.  There is no wrong way to fish. DSC_3454_NEF Right tool right job.  The only right way to fish is to take what the River gives.  Right now, trout are rising under cloudy skies.

It only gets better from here.

Thanks for tuning in I’ll see you on the River,



  • Gerald Hungerink

    Just wondering if they found out what happened to the brookie population on the North Branch.

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