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River Report - April 23, 2020 Opening Day


The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

It’s nearly impossible to believe that this is already the Opening Week of trout season.  Yet, it feels like a long time coming.

Home for many weeks during this long, lingering early-Spring, life has ebbed between accomplishment and adventure and wasted time and boredom.  I have finished house projects, read books, tied flies, caught fish, and even tagged a great turkey.  All of that with my boy Jack on my heels.  We’ve made some fantastic memories; nearly all of them on the nicest days of the finest Spring Northern Michigan has witnessed in years.

But I’ve also played more games of Monopoly to fruition than I ever have in my entire life—most in my pajamas after waking up to another new blanket of snow.  I have learned exactly why they’re called “bored” games.  They are built for foul weather days.

And I have become completely fatigued with focusing on screens.  I may never watch Netflix again or even glance at social media.  I’ve stared at that car wreck long enough to know I don’t want to see anymore.

Plus, I don’t live in the woods to look at screens.

So on to the next, great, outdoor adventure.  The reason I live here—trout fishing.  And that, the finest hatch match dry fly angling game in the world.  I’m not talking about giant, dumb fish rising all day long to anything that floats overhead.  I’m talking about a mystery; chasing down the where and when bugs will appear and in which corner a fine, wild trout will rise.  It is a game that is predictable enough to make you like your chances, but capricious enough to generally beat even the most knowledgeable.

When you get started, and get it right, you can feel like a trout oracle—a trout whisperer.  And you’ll probably take a picture of every fish you catch just like it was your first one or your best one.  But once you’ve done it for a long time, you understand that all those “skills” you’ve built and all that time on the water just helps you take advantage when luck ambles along.  You are a small part of the picture.

Hendricksons are on the water and the River keeps moving.

I’ll be on it.

Take care out there,