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River Report - May 12, 2016

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
It’s hard to believe we’re already this deep into May. Hendrickson hatches are starting to wane, but there are lots of other bugs filling in the afternoon emergence.  The black caddis hatch has blown up and little mahoganies, olive stoneflies, black quills, and mattress thrasher stoneflies are all on the smorgasbord.  Best of all, there are a lot of fish taking notice.  We have a strong second year age class of trout in the river this year and that means lots of targets for afternoon anglers.

The Holy Waters has a pile of trout and a great number of rainbows in the eight to ten inch class. One angler landed a couple of dozen in a short afternoon wade.  Those fish would be “keepers” in most Midwestern streams, so that’s like catching twenty-four legal walleye—pretty cool.  The North Branch has the best numbers of nice brook trout that we’ve seen in years, and the South Branch is boasting the biggest brook trout that the Mason Tract has held since I started fishing it.

The evening fishing has also started to heat up, and with spinner flights of Hendricksons and mahoganies, we can expect to start finding more fish in the third and fourth year age classes rising to the dry fly. So far those larger trout have been content to keep their feeding subsurface.  We’ve been able to inventory them on small streamers and wet skunks, but with some solid biomass on the water in the failing light, it’s reasonable to expect that we’ll be getting better bends in our rods.

We’re on the hunt for the elusive Hendrickson spinner fall. It can be like spotting bigfoot, but the rewards are enormous for the faithful.

It’s been a great start to the season and it’s just going to keep getting better.

Sulphurs and popcorn caddis are on the horizon, so anglers would be wise to sprinkle a few of those patterns in their fly boxes. Things change quickly in May and you just don’t want to be caught fishing yesterday’s good stuff today.  Keep your head on a swivel and keep up with the changes.  Great anglers pay attention and make adjustments whenever necessary.

Hope to see you all soon,