It has been unavoidably hot.
We’ve been spared the worst by the “cold” nights and the cool mornings, and the morning fishing has been quite good, with heavy hatches of tricos and BWOs, and rising fish until about 9 or 10 am. At dark, the bugs return to the water (mostly BWO spinners, but also a few cahills, Isos, and still some lingering hex), but the trout are really waiting for the coolness of true darkness. Last night Verlac texted me that his client had just caught a big trout. And she had! Tonja brings a lot of positive fishing energy. Such people, those of the undying optimism and love of the game, tend to find such trout.
Water temps at the lodge in the morning have been in the low to mid-sixties but by about 4 or 5 pm are at the 70 degree mark and don’t cool down until about nine pm. The best all-around fishing is in the morning, from 6 am – noon (by about 10 am it’s time for a dry and dropper or swinging small soft-hackles). The rivers are so low and clear that they trout are really keyed in on the tricos and will eat the emergers and the spinners. The spinners are better (more and better fish rising) but the trout are easier to catch during the emergence. Low water also tends to “reveal” the bottom topography quite well, meaning the drifts can be exceptionally difficult, and Au Sable trout are nobody’s fools. Tomorrow morning I’ll be out there bright and early looking for an hour of two of dry fly fishing before work. Tomorrow evening I think I’m ready for a little mouse session to kick off the long easy days of summer.
I think the fishing could be quite good this weekend if the daytime highs drop into the low to mid-eighties as forecasted. The Au Sable is a quick recovery system above Mio dam. The water temperatures fluctuate with every degree of air change, there are hundreds of springs and seeps, and even a minor cool down, like the one this weekend, will quickly fix the temperature problem. I expect good afternoon dry fly fishing to add to the morning and evening rise, and the midnight mousing.
The river below Mio dam, heated by the lake, will be too hot for catch and release fishing for quite some time. The trout make it through it, but it can’t be easy on them.
Check out what the boys and I found whilst taking the dogs for a river swim:
Three cubs! And a really mad mama who was on the other side of the road. We used the car to hold her there until M-72 was clear, and then backed up and she went running across the road. By then, her cubs were like seventy feet up this tree. It was an incredible, five-minute experience. Deer are beautiful and everywhere. A flushing grouse produces the same chemicals in me as a trout rise. But bears…they are just so wild. Like walking into the woods and coming, suddenly, upon a canyon.
Cranked a few of these for tomorrow morning. One of my favorite summer flies: