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River Report - April 19, 2018

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
The highest April snowfall totals in many Northern Michigan communities happened.  We hit records.  Big records.  So I guess congratulations are in order?  But it’s hard to shout out a woohoo!  We were all of us Michiganders primed with Spring Fever and then the awful came to visit.  But like a bad house-guest, it will leave sooner or later.

It’s already started to melt.  That Spring sun is warm and even at seemingly low temperatures the snow is shrinking. But as much as we’re looking forward to the melt, the melt has its own implications.  A week ago it looked like we’d slip past any big Spring run-off, but now it’s obvious that we’ll see a seasonal, high push of water.  And the water that at first trickles, and then runs, pumps thirty three degree water into the River.  The event in front of us is complicated.  The push of water will turn on trout with the higher density of food in the drift, but the cool water temperatures may just slow down the bite.  Plus we’ll be watching the water rise drastically very soon.  So there’s a guaranteed, small window of good in front of us.  After that, the only thing we’re certain of is that we’ll be fishing streamers dressed in white and yellow and chartreuse.

But I’m trying to be much more hopeful than that.  I’m trying Ringo - I’m trying real hard.  For a few days leading up to this miserable, rotten, white storm beautiful, little blue-winged olives hatched and some small, willing, wonderful trout rose perfectly.  For a few moments every day the world was especially correct.  And we’ve seen them rise since the storm.  I think Hendricksons are closer than many believe.  I’m just not sure what waters we’ll have to fish.

That said, many years ago Cal Gates dubbed a stretch of Au Sable the “Holy Waters”.  Contrary to popular belief, the term never had a thing to do with catch and release.   He called those glorious nine miles by that name because “If God made a river it would look just like this” and “when every other river in the state is unfishable, the Holy Waters welcomes anglers”.  Loose quotes aside, we anglers can usually make something happen here in Crawford County.

We’ll see how that holds up over Trout Opener.

Opener is going to fun, regardless.  There are a ton of events throughout the weekend and we’ll kick them off right here at the Old Au Sable with our 11th Annual Before Opener Party starting Friday at 12:30 for lunch and beverages.  And then we wrap up your weekend on Sunday with a spectacular give-a-way.  We’ll be giving away one of the most expensive items in the shop.  Swing by the Old Au Sable for details.

This is going to be a great season.  I haven’t been this excited in years.

Hope to see you all soon,