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River Report - May 28, 2021

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
The carnival was in Grayling last week, and I guess Mother Nature got jealous because she giving us another rollercoaster ride with the weather.  Hot days had us opening the shop doors and turning on the air conditioning and then a cold front rolled in and forced the opposite.

We’ve struggled to find the usual May afternoon hatches and have been forced to fish a sparse rise at dusk to Sulphurs and mahogany spinners.  Though condensed, it hasn’t been all bad—my right-hand man at the shop, Gavin has been finding some big trout sipping Sulphurs in the dark.  I’m getting old for those little flies after dark.  It’s like Hex fishing with a size sixteen!  I need a bright headlamp and good glasses to knot one of those on when night falls.   There is nothing worse for me than to tangle with the tag alders in the dying of the light.

But brown drakes are on the horizon now.  Even I can handle a size ten in the failing sunshine.  We’ve had drakes show up on area lakes and that will put big brown trout to the surface.  Of course, the cold weather will through a wrench into the cogs.  Look for better afternoon fishing until everything straightens out after the holiday weekend.  Next week should be a firing pistol for the June angling run.  According to the rules of Hoyle, we should be creeping up on fat brown trout crushing fat mayflies very soon.

There seems to be a good population of better trout and plenty of brook trout in all reaches of the Au Sable and Manistee this season.  Fishing has been inconsistent, but we’re fooling some good ones on stoneflies while prospecting and catching all sizes when the Sulphurs show up.

Trout are extra spooky this year and just aren’t tolerating errant casts and heavy tippet in the sunshine.  Water is low and clear everywhere—anglers would be well advised to approach their target softly and make longer than comfortable casts.  Stealth is the key to success.

The shop is looking really good right now.  If we don’t have it, you probably don’t need it.  It’s been really nice seeing folks back that couldn’t make it up last year.  That alone makes this a great season!

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you on the River.