The fishing is starting to pick up. The past couple of weeks, it seemed every small fish in the river was willing to eat, while the larger ones were staying at bay. Sure, some large fish were taken (see the opening pic of our slideshow on our main page which was taken on a #14 Para Borcher’s 2 weeks ago below Mio). My guess is that all the high water that we encountered this past spring filled the fish up with garden hackle. We had what I would call 3 major high water events, and any one of the 3 would have put a normal spring run-off to shame. Case in point: a sand trap just upstream of our home on the AuSable that was dug out again this past fall, completely filled in this spring! Normally it takes 2 years to fill it just half full with sand!
While on a guided float last evening, I recorded the water temp at 66.5 degrees. The air temp was 85, and bright sun which helped add to the increased temperature reading. We fished the McMaster’s Bridge area, and I suspect, temperature readings in the Holy Water stretch could have easily been 5-10 degrees lower. Due to the bright, hot sun, fishing was slow at the onset. We did manage to connect on a few fish blind casting a #12 Ron’s Mahogany Drake including a brookie nearly a foot long! At dark, there was a smorgasbord of flies on the water, including small caddis in size #14-16, Mahogany Drakes in size #10-14, some larger stones in size #8, and a light hatch of Sulfur’s. The fish before dark were seemingly uninterested in eating, and appeared to want to eat out of wanton abandon, and didn’t have their mouths opened far enough to eat a well presented fly. Many good fish were picked or struck only to have them come unbuttoned. What did we present to the fish? The #12 Ron’s Mahogany Drake. When there are so many flies on the water at any given time, I always felt it was best to give them something big to eat rather that try to analyze what they want to eat.
The 7 day forecast is calling for temps in the 70’s and 80’s which is going to kick the hatches into high gear. With the Lilac’s in full bloom now, the Sulfur’s are in season too. We should see Brown Drakes in in the next week, especially on the lower North Branch, where they typically begin first.
Please feel free to contact us via the contact form, or simply call the shop at 989.344.2700 for updated hatch reports, water conditions, fishing questions, etc…
Thank You, and hope to see you in our fully stocked shop soon!