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River Report - April 7, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
A month ago the boys and I all sat around a wooden table with chilled beverages in tin cups in the spirit of John Voelker and bellied up a two cent ante about when the first day of Hendrickson fishing would occur this year. All the predictions were easy early to mid-April prognostications.  They were easy because it was sixty degree day buried in a string of sixty degree days and, while we knew we weren’t all guessing right, we all knew the first great dry fly fishing of the year would arrive early.

Well, we were wrong - very wrong. Since that day we’ve had three pretty big snow events and an extended cool down that put winter right back on the plate.  It seems as soon as we get rid of one storm another system spills down from the North.

But there’s good news. Maybe there’s good news only because I’m the one delivering it and I am, above all things, an optimistic angler.  What else can you be if you fish?  There’s nothing more important in hoping for a bite than the hope.

Anyway, the optimism comes from the idea that all the swamps and most of the ground frost has broken up and was released into the river last week. That should mean that once this blanket of snow melts, and no matter how unlikely it’s beginning to seem—it will melt, and the river will get back to normal flows pretty quickly.  In short, it’s looking like we’ll have dry fly angling starting about a week or so before the Opening Day of trout season on April 30th and very good streamer fishing starting very soon.

We actually had some great fishing last week in the Upper Rivers pitching size 6 trout streamers. Smaller, weighted, woolly buggers fished slowly on the end of a floating line is a fine tactic that should hold up well throughout these last throws of winter.

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 beginner’s fly fishing class with industry pro Ben Hunting on May 14th and again on May 15th.  Cost is $199 and 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.

We’ve finished up with the two day streamer classes for the Spring but are offering a one day class on April 16th and again on April 17th.   The one day class is consists of 6 hours of mixed instruction and a guided float trip down the river.  Lunch is included and cost is only $149 per person based on double occupancy. Email us to make a reservation at

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. Email us to book a trip at

It’s also time to dust off the gear, organize the flies, and patch those waders. We’ve been selected by Simms to be one of the few shops in the country that offer up a FREE wader test to all of our clients with the “Wader Inflator”.  It’s a bit of a Rube Goldberg contraption, but it works fantastically.  If you’re wader is leaking we’ll fix it for free with the Aquaseal you provide.  If we can’t fix your waders, we’ll give you cash for your old waders toward the purchase of a brand new pair.  You just can’t beat that deal.

It’s time to get out there.

Hope to see you all soon,