Au Sable/Manistee Fishing Report – June 12th                  

– by Eric Swies

                Let’s get right to it – , well, let’s face it, we’re addicted to drakes.  It’s a special one, and this weekend saw the beginning of this hatch in many places on our sister rivers.  By all accounts, that would be a week late or possibly more.  Still included in the mix on any warm(er) evening has been the miscellaneous batch of brown bugs, and the last of the sulphurs still hanging in there.  Larger trout have grown tired of these smaller offerings, however, and are ready to feed on bugs of more signification proportion.  Next time you find yourself staring at a blanket of sulphurs and march browns on the water at dusk, with no rising fish, speculating wildly as to the reason, think – ‘risk vs. reward’, from a trout’s perspective.   The bugs that will garner their attention are here.  They’ll be here on the cooler, cloudy afternoons, in the evening, and in the darkness.   And it will get better, regardless of the temperatures you see in the forecast, only to be marred by heavy rain events and adverse spikes in water levels.

                This season has received lots of undue negativity surrounding the weather and rising fish.  I can get on board with those dissatisfied due to the constant rain and lack of heat.  Is it ideal?  No.  But if you describe your idea of a ‘perfect spring’, weather-wise, it’s a scenario that isn’t likely to happen most years.  Some will be closer to that perfect vision, some will be farther away.  This one has been a little farther off the mark, but some outstanding trout have been casted to, fought, and brought to the net.  And think of the bright side, when it comes to a cooler, high water spring – we’re talking about a spring where many fish have not been disturbed by anglers, a spring where the fish we have caught have been stout and fought exceptionally well, and a spring that will hopefully turn into a summer where smaller trout have a high chance of making it to the next year.  Nighttime dry fly fishing is here and should be for some time.  The best way to find out if fish are rising, is to be staring at a bank where fish live, as the sun is disappearing.  It really is as simple as that.