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River Report - June 1, 2020

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report.

It’s finally June. The trials and tribulations of May are behind us. High water is giving way to clearer, more fishable conditions. And, best of all, the drakes are started.

Anglers can find gray drakes on most of our waters and brown drakes have exploded on area lakes and have made their initial appearances on the River. Sulphurs and mahoganies and caddis still make up the most prominent emergence, but drakes are what we’ve all been waiting for and are showing up in the failing, civil twilight.

It’s safe to say that it is “go time” in Crawford County.

The Drake march starts on the North Branch of the Au Sable and generally moves to the Upper Manistee and South Branch before winding its way from the bottom reaches of the Au Sable and ending in the Holy Waters. This year we’re already seeing some flies emerge simultaneously from the all of the beginning spots. This next ten days should have bugs everywhere.

We’ve been swatting mosquitos and mashing down grassy banks and mossy, sitting logs for a number of days waiting for the first, best day. It’s now.

Waters are calming on the Au Sable. But careful wading will be the order of the day. Know your limits and pay attention and you will find plenty of river to fish. The angling pressure has been light. The fish are ready to feed, but I wouldn’t wait for the rise. Just go fishing. If trout aren’t looking to the surface, fish anyway. Pitch a streamer or a nymph and you won’t be just wasting time. These trout need to eat and bulk up for the Fall spawn. It’s mayhem in the watery world. Everything underwater eats everything else that swims or crawls and that it can fit in its mouth. And nothing in the river, no trout, wants to show itself in the daylight. Especially on the surface. But the trout will rise at dusk.

No flowery stories this week. No rhymes. Just getting on the river and letting it write the stories. There will be a lot of stories this month. Hope you get to write some.

Our guides are finding fish with their clients. There’s always somewhere to fish on our rivers if you know where to look.

Hope you are all well and we get to see you soon,