This heat

If all the world is a stage, than the spotlight has been shining, uninhibited, for about ten scorching days.  At first this was welcome, and the bugs and fish loved it, and the fishing was, at times, exceptionally good.  Now, though, we’re just in a bit of a slump.  The brown drakes, as is their way, will gently break us out.  The promised cool down that was supposed to begin tomorrow has been pushed off until next week.  The drakes have begun, and will be system-wide this weekend.  The rivers are low and clear and, during the heat of the day, quite warm.  In short, it’s drake season.  I know this because I went to bed last night at about 3 am.  Because I spent the night previous driving all over the county looking for bugs.  Because I’ve heard more whippoorwills than I have songbirds.  I’ve become a creature of the night and, if you want to hit the drakes in this heat, you will as well.

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Kim with a great small-fly eating rainbow

The best fishing last night, mind you, was to a sweet little spinner fall of mahoganies that came after a brief thunderstorm that did nothing to alleviate our drought conditions but did get some flies on the water before dark.  It was a last gasp at May fishing, and as such we closed out May with a dandy brown that refused two flies but succumbed to the third and after an incredible fight was brought to the net.  He was a tall, strong trout.  It was 9:15 pm.  An hour later, we had drakes trickling and by midnight, June 1, we were drake fishing.  Good-bye May.

We are doing well blind-fishing stones, red and purple Patriots, Roberts Yellow Drakes, and the Awesome.  The Isos should show up soon, so watch the riffle water for big rises right at dark.  A sip is a drake spinner.  A thrashing, crushing rise is a rise to an Isonychia.

Drakes are a warm water bug and so it’s no accident than we’re seeing them now.  But the water can get pretty warm around dinnertime.  We advise focusing on the near-dark times (the water temps, particularly on the upper rivers, recover quickly) and in the mornings, when water temperatures have been in the low sixties.  I find fish don’t feed when they are stressed by heat.  This makes heat a somewhat self-regulating threat, but one that we do react to.

I’m beat.  That’s all I have.  Enjoy the magic and frustrating brown drakes!

June 3, R.L. Winston Day, 10 am – 4 pm

If we are synonymous with any rod company, it’s  the R.L. Winston.  Rusty got me into Winstons when I was teenager and I haven’t stopped being into them.  My rod rack glows with green sticks.  Winston has a stellar line-up right now, the best in years.  The throwback Pure, the delightful Air 2, the streamer-winging Air Salt and Alpha.  We will have package deals, giveaways, and a whole bunch of rods for you to test cast.  If you have Winstons on your mind, well, June 3 is the day to satisfy that urge.  Peter Gadd from Winston will be here to help you along the path of the green stick.

Previous Fishing Reports

Scorcher (and the reprieve)

It has been terrifically hot not only in northern Michigan, but across great swaths of the Midwest.  It culminated today in cancelled guide trips and, I think, a fair amount

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And so it begins

After a few false starts, the hex have come to the Au Sable.  Not wanting to fall victim to rumor, I made it to the river tonight for some first-person

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