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River Report - August 12, 2015

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.
I took a couple of much needed days off this week. It’s just working in a fly shop, but work still isn’t play and everyone needs an occasional breather. Just because you talk about fishing and being outside all day long, doesn’t mean you get to actually be outside all day long.

Gloria and I talked about packing up Jack and the dogs and the rubber totes labeled “Camping Stuff” and heading to the woods for a family camping trip. And then logic crept in with all its sensibilities telling us that our whole life is a camping trip. We hit the beaches and the rivers at will and have campfires in the backyard most nights. Why would we sleep on the dirt when we could stay at home and still have all the good stuff that the Northern Michigan outdoors offers and still catch the Tiger’s game and have a flush toilet?

So we stayed and we did all that stuff. We had campfires, went to the beach, and even snuck in a little fishing. Quality time for sure. Lots of fun. You know what, though? Chores crept in. I worked on cleaning the garage, did yard work, built yet another wood crib, and cleaned the house. When I sat down to watch the Tigers it felt like just another long day.

My advice? Head North.   Go camping. Get too far away from work to have its troubles matter. Wherever you live in Michigan, you can go to the beach, you can go fishing, and you can have a barbeque. What you can’t do at home is find solace from your everyday life.  Seek wilderness.   Turn off your phone. Disappear. Be present in your life.

Sure it’s nice to have a clean garage and a freshly mowed lawn. But I think I like it better when my grass is long and my stuff is disheveled because I went away for a while and played a little too hard.

There’s only a few weekends left this Summer and I just bet you won’t regret spending them in the woods and waters.

Area waters are fishing pretty well. Fish continue to rise in the mornings and evenings to small olives and tricos. And terrestrial and attractor dry and wet flies like Chernobyl ants and wet skunks are producing nicely.

For big fish, anglers should look to night fishing. The new moon and August is, perhaps, the best time to find large predators.   It’s true of stream trout for sure, but it is also true for any lake fish. When it comes to fishing, you should remember that apex predators act the same whether big Au Sable brown trout or inland lake bass, pike, and muskies. Right now, that means low light events like dawn and dusk and midnight adventures. Break out the headlamps, pull around big baits, and be ready for violent strikes.

Good luck out there and go have some fun,