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River Report - April 13, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
Finally!  We have a fantastic weather report in front of us.  It’s been a roller coaster ride this Spring but with unseasonably warm temperatures in front of us for the foreseeable future, we can call an end to winter.  Put away your snow blower—it’s time to trout fish.

Streamer fishing is going to be the name of the game for a bit, and with 60 and 70 degree days in the weather mix, there should be some great days of it.   Rising water temperatures will kick on the trout’s metabolism and those winter hungry brown trout will be looking for a big meal.  Tie on flies matched appropriately to the water you’re angling.  A good rule of thumb is to fish flies from two to five inches long in waters that are wadable and to fish bugs up to seven inches long in waters only fishable from a boat.

And remember that you’re also fishing to expectations.  Are you trophy fishing and what is a trophy to you?  True trophy trout, the fish that make the magazine covers, can live anywhere in our river systems, but are most likely to exist in numbers in the largest water bodies.  We’re talking here about trout that are better measured in pounds rather than inches.  Fish in any river system tend to drop back to the bigger aquarium of lower river reaches where the carrying capacity is greatest for both the predators and for potential prey species.  You can reasonably pitch a giant fly in those places to hope for a magnum trout.  You may not see one, but then again, fish like that only happen maybe once in a lifetime.

Or do you simply want to get a lot of action and maybe even land a truly fine trout by any estimation?  My favorite days are those in which I move around lots of trout and land fish in the mid-teens and maybe even break twenty.  I like bites, and yellow-sided flashes, and plenty of action.  Three to five inch streamers offer your best chance at those sorts of results.  You’re simply targeting more fish.  There’s no wrong way to approach trout fishing unless, of course, you’re operating outside reasonable expectations.  And then, who knows, maybe you’ll be surprised by that leviathan anyway.

So there’s that to do.

But I’m most excited by the entomological possibilities that may just occur between now and the Opening Day of Michigan’s trout season.  I’m rubbing my hands together and getting much too eager for those first rising trout of the year.   First, fish will rise to the blue-winged olives and then, with their appetites wet, will roll to Hendricksons.  Hendricksons are the first meaty fly of the year and hatch in mass at water temperatures that are in line with prime trout feeding.  It’s a perfect crescendo of situations, and when it happens, there is no finer fishing in the world.

I hope it happens perfectly this year, and I hope I’m there.  This is the best an early season has looked in a very long time.

There’s lots of great stuff going on at The Old Au Sable this Spring so be sure to check out the events page on our website.  One of the highlights is a one day beginner’s fly fishing class with industry pro Ben Hunting on May 14th and again on May 15th.  Cost is $199 and that includes a free fly rod and reel package valued at over $200.

Don’t forget to clear your schedule for our annual Trout Season’s Eve Party on April 29th.  All the food and fun will be there and Dennis Potter will be doing free fly tying demonstrations all weekend.  It should be a great Opener this year.

Last but not least we’re going to run a Spring special on trout fishing trips until April 21st this year.  We’re offering a 5 hour trip down the river and a streamside lunch for $275 for up to 2 anglers.  It’s a great deal and five hours is just about the right amount of time to spend on the stream in the early Spring.

It’s time to think Spring.

Quit wishing about it and get to doing it.  The season is here.  Hope to see you all soon,