Spring has been a little slow in coming this year but starting to feel a lot like it now. Had our heavy April snow storm last weekend and hopefully those are over now.
This week all that snow melted and some heavy rain has put the Au Sable River in a high state with some flooding. The lower river below Foote Dam is still in good shape for steelhead fishing. Water levels are very high but it is running clear and levels are already on the way down. Big volumes of water like this are ideal for the Steelhead run and should bring a nice push of bright fish from Lake Huron. Currently there are some real nice chrome Steelhead in the river and the main spring run is just getting going.
Very typical time frame for the Au Sable as its the latest steelhead run in the Michigan lower peninsula. We should have another good month now! A few fish have started to spawn and most are still in the deep fast gravel runs and also in the slower winter holding water. Been a good spring for Atlantic Salmon in the Au Sable! Most thought this would only be a fall river fishery the winter and spring have been very good. These fish seem to sure like the Au Sable and there have been some caught from September thru April so far.
Sure May will produce some also. Currently numbers are pretty low as these Atlantics are dropping out of the system and heading for Lake Huron. Look for some bright silver ones to show up down around the piers and in the very lower river in late April or early May.
Currently for steelhead best setup with the high water is some deep water nymping and you will need some weight. Water temps are around 42 now and top flies have been lots of different egg patterns (nuke eggs, micro cluster, glo bug and sucker spawn). Of late nymphs are starting to produce and top flies have been: black stones, great lakes shrimp, hex, hares ear and green caddis. For those looking for Atlantic Salmon its streamer time and they like thing moving. Top patterns have been flashing white intruders, sparkle minnow, mud puppet and buggers in olive or white.
Steelhead have been stocked in the lower river now and they are moving thru the river toward the mouth. Lots of predators at the mouth looking for them and great time to strip streamers. Our Great Lakes Deceiver in 8″ cotton candy or rainbow is the perfect stocked steelhead imitation and can produce big Lake Trout, Walleyes, Brown Trout and even Steelhead.