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River Report - June 17, 2015

Hello Folks this is Andy with the Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
Okay, we’ve had enough rain now.  We didn’t get nearly the deluge that was predicted and we didn’t get as much as the folks downstate, but we did get enough to pump up the Au Sable River to spring run-off levels.  The North Branch of the Au Sable and the ever clear Manistee held up very well and remained good and fishable since the rains but the South Branch and the Mainstream of the Au Sable flexed their muscles and got pretty darn big.

The extra water, while an inconvenience over the past week, should pay off well for our summertime angling.  That said, all the streams have crested and are falling out and clearing nicely.  With a little luck, we should have some good trout fishing on all reaches of our area streams over the coming week.

And that’s a good thing because we have brown drakes getting going on the Manistee River as well as Isonychias and even the beginning of the fabled Hex hatch getting started on the Au Sable River.  The big bugs landed on our Old Au Sable Fly Shop sign last Monday night, and as much as I like to talk about hatch progressions and Lake Irises in bloom as a signal of bugs to come, nothing quite nods to the beginning of the “Great Hatch” as the actual insects on the sign at our fly shop.   It just doesn’t take a crystal ball . . .

We’ll see where they go from there, but one thing is for certain—they’re starting.

As I said in the last report, though, I wouldn’t wait around for the main event at dusk and even after into dark.  I’d fish.  The morning angling has been pretty good with olives and prospecting with stoneflies, Iso’s, and drakes has produced all day long.  The fishermen doing best have been fishing hard and the prospecting blindly to non-rising trout has fooled some of the best fish in the river, lately.  If you’re out there in the glory hour of the falling last light and the main event doesn’t happen, mess about dragging a mouse around and you may just be rewarded like our young, active military friend Joel, with a fine trophy brown.  Good things happen after dark this time of year.

And look to the area lakes like Jones and Wakely for some red hot bluegill fishing during the day.  They’re both catch and release gems and Wakely just opened on June 15th.  It’s nice to have the special reg’s we have in our county.  Crawford County is a pretty special place.  You can fish all day and all night right now and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We’ve had a really important cancellation in our newly refurbished lodging for the next couple of weeks and someone should do their best to snatch the dates.  The lodge comfortably sleeps six and is positioned in the heart of both the Au Sable and Manistee.  You can chase Hex with and easy drive to wherever they might show.  It’s inexpensive for a group at $120 a night and once you nail it down, you’ll have the rights to it for as many years as you like.  You can’t buy a cabin for that.  So get some folks together and pin these dates down.  Even if you can’t fill it this year, you can book it with as many as you’d like and get gang together for next year.  Circle the wagons on this one—it may not be available again.

Think of it this way . . . if you book the lodge for just 3 days and book 3 full day Hex trips with 6 anglers, each of you would only pay $435.00 for the entire  3 day deal.  That’s for the best of the best plus central air! It’s a no brainer and, by the way, that’s true of the entire year.  The group guide trip/lodging combo we offer is simply the best deal you will find on any blue-ribbon trout stream anywhere.

I’ve got one last tidbit from guide Jamie Clous.  Every once in a while, guides and clients just click and for a guide to be inspired enough to send a note to me about it . . . well, that’s just cool.  Here’s what Jamie had to say in his own words.

We often talk about great fishing in reports; rarely do we acknowledge great anglers.  The photos are of Max, an 18 year old whose parents don't fish but have encouraged his enthusiasm for fly fishing since he was 9.  However, that is only part of the story.

Not only does Max fish, he fishes exceptional well.  On this day his accuracy, line management, awareness of surroundings and all around skill is one of the best displays I have ever seen.  I could go on and on about how he was 4 for 4 on big fish opportunities or how I catch more trees myself than he did.  I'll just say it was very impressive.

Jamie Clous

It’s about to explode up here, so do your best to head on up.  Drive safe and we’ll see you soon,