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Field Reports - April 28, 2015

We received a couple reports on the fishing this weekend from our friends, and we're going to share those today. Remember, if you'd like to see your name up in lights on the Old Au Sable blog, go ahead and email your recent observations, stories, and pictures to

Jeff Clyma:

Opening weekend started out well. The water and heat started up in the cabin for the first time of the year just as it should and with a quick loop around the cabin I was assured that everything survived another winter. The south branch as normal was running a little high but the bank was visible across the river and the swamp, which is the view from my deck was teeming with birds freshly back from wherever they disappeared to last fall.

With everything in good shape at the cabin it allowed a trip up to the OAF shop and we were happy to see what they are doing with the place. As with the beginning of trout season every year, their where many optimistic fishermen. Happy faces were the norm and acquaintances that have been neglected over the winter where renewed with a solo cup in hand. The migration was then made to the Grayling library where the locals and wanna be locals embraced the importance of the upcoming season to this area in the middle of the mitt.

Saturday morning it was decided the North branch was the place to be and after the annual bloody Mary we launched the boat. The weather was sunny and the cedars and pines that line the bank showed a brilliant green in contrast to the grey pre leaf forest. We threw steamers and hoped for clouds as we worked our way downstream of Dam 4. The lack of fish this time of year is offset with the hope that if we see that flash toward the fly it may be a good one.

We were stuck by the beauty and solitude of the river even though we have been there many times before. We only passed a few fisherman and the smiles and optimism was genuine even though fishing was its usual difficult self in the early season conditions. The excitement of the day was when about half way through the float, while freeing a streamer from log for the middle fisherman, a size 2 streamer hook was embedded in my pinky finger. After a few chuckles naturally expected from my best buddies and an unsuccessful yank I came to the realization that pushing it through was the only option. After about 10 mins of pushing and cursing I was able to get the barb through and then it was easy enough to snip and pull out the hook.

The next day I broke down and fished nymphs and was able to get some fish smell on my hands but it was pretty much a typical opening weekend. Very soon the hatches will start and trees will green and we will see the river that we love come to life.  I am already looking forward to next weekend with optimism as I sit here at work getting ready to do what makes the rest possible. Until then we will look for reports of fish rising and analyzing weather trends.

- Jeff Clyma

Pete & Frances Wallace:

Unfortunately the recent cold snap stalled all the above water insect activity, but subsurface fishing was busy enough to catch some decent fish. It was a bit cold in the morning and didn't hit in the 40's until after 1:00pm. Nymphing and wooly buggers were the name of the game on ponds, and stood up well even next to the dreaded spinner fisherman that visited where we were on the opener.

We netted 2 and 1/2 fish with the spinner guys catching 2 a piece. Anytime you can catch them with hair and thread you tied next to the metal chuckers it makes your heart swell with a little pride. Most fly fisherman aren't stick your nose in the air arrogant, but there is a reverence most fly fisherman have for there quarry that isn't exuded by most others in their sport. A genuine love for the prey.

We watch and quarry as they swim away and enjoy that as much as the act of catching it. So here's to the stewards of the past future and present. And another opener come and passed. Happy trout opener 2015!

Remember, if you'd like to see your name up in lights on the Old Au Sable blog, go ahead and email your recent observations, stories, and pictures to