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River Report - September 16, 2021

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

Fall is now.

In fact, it’s been here for weeks.  Cool, nighttime temperatures hugging either side of the fifty-degree mark have been sneaking into late afternoon seventies.  That’s Fall-like and perfect.

I’ve had Heating and Cooling guys hanging around, shuffling their feet, and loitering about the fly bins.  That’s as sure a sign of fantastic Fall weather as is a Robin a sign of Spring.  When the outside air is perfect, keeping your house at room temperature is as easy as opening a window.

And there are more September signals as to the season shift.  Whitetails are chafing velvet from their antlers.  Football games have started and kids are in school.  Best of all, the Brook Trout are podded up and colored up in preparation for Fall Spawning.

Water conditions are wonderful.  Our streams tend to be low this time of year, but right now we have better than normal streamflow’s and water temperatures that are ideal for pre-spawn feeding.  Rivers are running diurnally between 55 and 63 degrees—thermometer readings that encourage optimum trout feeding behavior.

And while there isn’t much in the way of major insect events on which trout might focus their efforts, those metabolisms are kicking and fish are seeking food.   That means fish are feeding opportunistically and anglers should focus less on fly pattern and more on creating easy meal opportunities.  Dry flies like ants, beetles, and grasshoppers are as fine a choice as attractor patterns like Chubby Chernobyls or Dirty Hippies, but wet flies and small streamers really are the order of the day.

Sure, you may find fish feeding consistently on any given day and if you do look closely to the water and figure out what’s happening—flying ants or blue-winged olives are likely suspects.  Or, if you’re below Mio Dam, certainly take white flies and hope and luck with you.

We have about 8 weeks a Fall in front of us.  The fishing will gather steam and crescendo in that time.  Salmon will spawn and die.  Small game season will mingle with archery season, and then it will snow.

Whatever you do, get outdoors in the finest of Northern Michigan’s seasons.

It’s already getting away.

Stay well,

PS Our new shopping website is up and operational. Please check it out.  We’re not experts yet, but page is looking pretty good and we’re starting to ship gear out daily.