Gearing Up For The Hex Hatch by Dave Leonhard


The big bugs are nearly here. Sulfurs (both of the tiny pale yellow mayflies ephemerella invarias #16 and ephemerella dorotheas #18), yellow stoneflies #12-14, brown drakes #10, isonychia bicolor #10, and of course, the hexagenia limbata (hex #4-6). It doesn’t

River Report June 14, 2019

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report

The rains keep falling. The rivers rise.  The hatches keep moving along.

Some reaches of river have become too high and clouded to effectively fish. It can be stressful for the anglers that have planned a fishing adventure some twelve months ago

Time To Rise!

(Muskegon River Brown Trout)

More times than not the opportunity at big brown trout is won or lost by the timing of the rise.  These trout although big in size don’t like to waste a lot of energy when feeding.  And with an over abundance of spent drakes floating

It’s Drakes

Of the last three nights, it was clear that Tuesday would be special…and it was.  A gentle 70-degree day turned windless evening with a good temperature drop and two hours of big rising trout.  Kyle and I found an open spot, walked to the river under a cloud of bouncing

June 12th 2019 | Relentless Rains

We are still getting absolutely blasted with rain. Every few days, there’s a sizable rainstorm. And there’s more on the way. It has made things fairly tough, especially for the wade angler. Nonetheless, fishing has been pretty damn good, with hatches becoming steadier by the day. Grey Drakes, Brown Drakes,

Mid-June Fly Fishing Report

The weather can’t make up it’s mind – it goes from cool spring-like weather to full-on summer, then back to cool and rainy. And the trout can’t decide whether they want to play our game or not. Trout fishing remains challenging on both the Manistee and Au Sable Rivers. Hatches

June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019

Shop Hours are 8am – 6pm seven days a week.  We have guides and lodging available…please call to inquire or book a trip/room – 231-745-3529.  Currently, my open Guide dates are : June 26, 27, 29, 30   July 1 – 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14 – 18….days/nights available.

The calendar says June and the banks of the river tell me it’s June, but the thermometer and rain gauge think it is still May.  It has been a very wet and cool trout season thus far with more of the same in the extended forecast.  The conditions are providing a healthy environment for the trout…they are fat and happy!  However, the conditions have been challenging for anglers.  We have been chasing our tails a little bit with the fluctuation in water levels and temperature swings, but I would much rather have this type of weather then 90 degrees and low clear water.

Ray with a great sipper on a gray drake

On Sunday, the watershed was re-filled with rain water.  The 24 hour precipitation map showed we received 1 – 1.5 inches over the main branch and 2 – 3 inches over the headwaters.  Needless to say the river is high at the moment, but visibility in the upper river is good.  It was dirty Monday, but cleared up nicely yesterday.  Our best action yesterday was actually on dry flies!!!  It seems to me; the river, the trout, the bugs and the anglers are all on the same page…enough is enough!  It has been frustrating, but you have to adjust with the conditions…”this too shall pass”.

Overall, we had a really good week of fishing.  Dry fly fishing was very good a couple days, excellent on a couple and tough Sunday & Monday.  It is rebounding…have some patience; we have time!   Gray Drakes, yellow sallies and stones have been my go to dries, but there are many other options that will draw a fish up to the surface right now.  Rubber legged attractors are a good searching pattern right now.  Streamer fishing is a great choice with the higher water!  Olive, black and yellow produced action the last couple days.  The weather does not control the fishing; it dictates how you fish!  Adjust to the conditions and enjoy your time on the river!

The best tools of the trade…Sage Fly Fishing & Stealthcraft Boats!!!

Over the past week, I have witnessed a few tell-tailed signs of summer…damsels fluttering around and lighting bugs in the evening.  The weather/river conditions are just another hurdle that are presenting opportunities.  A few hex are hatching on some local lakes, so with any luck we should see some on the river by next week…maybe???  It will happen sooner or later and I will keep you posted.  The hatches over the next 4 weeks will generate some magical memories, humble some trout bums and will test some relationships.  Are you ready?  I AM!!!!

Best of luck and please respect your fellow angler.  I will type at you next week…enjoy!!!



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