Call for Cleanup!  We’re three weeks out from the Annual River Cleanup and we need help — your help.  For those of you new to the operation, we break the river into beats, assign teams of 2-5 people to the beats, and clean the river from top to bottom.  Once the trash is hauled back to the recycling team here at the lodge, there is a great lunch.  But the lunch, and any partying, is secondary.  What matters is that we get this river cleaned.  A high water spring means junk.  And even one sparsely attended year means twice as much garbage as next year.  The only reason the river looks pristine is because of two decades worth of annual cleaning.  This year, we need your help.  To join the effort on the upper Au Sable, please email me at [email protected]  The details: Saturday, September 7th, 9:45 am.  Bring waders and outdoor “stuff”.  Please RSVP ASAP to help us make sure we cover the river efficiently.  To help with the river below Mio: [email protected]

Thanks for the tussle, big fella

What a fun mixed bag of fishing.  The rivers are low and clear and technical, water temperatures are cool and conducive, the nights are dark for the midnight anglers, and the tricos are at their spectacular (and maddening) peak.

Let’s talk about the tricos.  The last three mornings have been exceptionally good, at least from my wader-less view at the lodge.  I took one person down to the water — he’d never seen the Au Sable — and asked if he saw that riffle off the dock.  He said he did.  I then revealed it wasn’t a riffle but the heads of a dozen rising trout.  He spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon fishing through the tricos, then the olives, and onto the terrestrials.  What is a good morning on tricos?  A good morning is the one you enjoyed.  8x.  Tiny flies.  Time the rise.  Bring some Griffith Gnats, black ants, some little beadheads (a deadly technique).

Other techniques: dry and droppers (7 and 8x, small flies), small terrestrials near the cover, white flies just starting below Mio (or so the rumor goes), flying ants (a few), and the swing of the big flies after dark.  Also, small streamers, tightline nymphing (see below) and, well, your angling imagination is the limit.

Quickly now the river will begin to turn fall-like.  Already, a few maples have turned.  The overnight lows have gone from the 60s all the way down to the high 30s.  The brookies are turning now too.  The next few rainy days should, in their sunny aftermath, produce some of the first good flights of flying ants.  I often joke that August is the month that makes us crave fall.  But August has some undeniable fun, and I’m hesitant, this year, to rush its passing.