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River Report - April 14, 2020

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Ponds are alive with croaks and creaks and peepers are peeping. Fish are moving around the rivers and into the shallow bays and shelves on area lakes. The songbirds are cheerfully back on sunshine mornings. An occasional trout is eating an occasional fly from the surface of our constantly moving Rivers. That’s right, we’ve seen the first fish of the season rise. Spring is here.

The black stoneflies have been around for many weeks and now they’ve been joined by Blue-winged olives and the very earliest of our Hendricksons. I’ve yet to personally see a Hendrickson, and I’m always a little reticent to confirm their first emergence until I’ve seen them for myself. Every season Spring-fevered folks mistakenly shout Hendricksons when the first Olives pop. There’s no character flaw in it; people love to be harbingers of happiness. And it really doesn’t much matter—Hendricksons are due and, while I wouldn’t go to the River expecting them, I certainly wouldn’t go to the River without them in my box. We can ship you some from the shop if you need ‘em.

Barring any further restrictions, there’s a lot of great stuff to do in the woods and waters in the coming weeks. The fish will be rising on the Au Sable and Manistee soon. Bluegills are moving toward beds. Mushroom picking is lingering on the horizon. Turkeys are strutting and the first gobbler shoot opens on April 18th. There seem to be lots of leftover tags around the state if you’d like to get in on the first opportunity. And all sorts of fishing seasons open soon. Your 2020 license is required as of April 1st. The traditional, real trout season opens the last Saturday of April as always virus or no virus.

Speaking of which there are a lot of restrictions in place about personal movement. Campgrounds are closed to camping. The back and forth to vacation homes is prohibited, as is all non-essential travel. You can’t buy gardening or home improvement supplies. And, for whatever reason, you can’t use a motorboat—you can use canoes and kayaks and sailboats, however. Whatever you do, please do it smartly and while thinking about protecting yourself and others even if you’re just walking in the wild.

The woods are still open. The waters are still open.

Jack caught a 30 inch Northern the other day. It was out of season and big and toothy so we didn’t hold it up for pictures but you should have seen the smile on that kid’s face.

If you need us to ship you flies or supplies, please call Jeff at the shop (989-348-3330) or e-mail him at . I’ve been deemed non-essential—something that weighs on me. Hope this is over soon. I’m curious to see what it all looks like in the end. Until then, I’m happy to go fishing by myself.

Take care or yourselves and others,