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River Report - June 19, 2019

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

The fishing since the last report on the Au Sable has been surprising. The hatches came off as predicted but with the unprecedented cold and high stream conditions, good catching was improbable.  We expected tough angling, but what we got was amazing.

High water continued to plague the river systems and wading was nearly impossible. But the boats experienced some of the best rise activity that we’ve seen since I planted myself here nearly twenty years ago.

This has been a tough year to understand. Continued high water has been a problem.  Water temperatures a nightmare.

Every ten days or so the rivers just start to get into shape and we have a couple of days where fish get to rising and then we get inches of rain followed by an enormous water temperature drop that shuts it all down. What it amounts to, in the end, is that we’ve had a fantastic run of some of the best fishing we’ve ever had here.  Only to be crippled again by impossible conditions.

The hatches last for about a week or so before the river gives up the next wave of bugs. It’s rare for an angler here that fishes every day to get the best out of every rise.  But this year we have.  In the end that has tallied into some fantastic fishing for big trout during every hatch cycle.   I’ve personally been witnessed truly nice trout rising to even the traditionally least important emergences or spinnerfalls.

It’s strange. I want to call this the worst May and June we’ve ever been a party to here.  We’ve struggled some days to have any real fishing at all.  Small fish have been nearly none existent, so catch rates are down.  But considering the facts, this has been the best big fish daytime angling (for boats mostly) that I’ve ever seen.  This is truly an odd and special year.

But that’s yesterday. In front of us we still have brown drakes to come on the Manistee and on Au Sable stretches as well as ISO’s everywhere.   Hex have blown up on local lakes and rivers are coming around.  The glory bugs should peak by the next report.

I’ll be there.

Should be really good for a while. Looking forward to July.

See you all soon,