Michigan Fly Fishing
AuSable River trout fishing report - Oct 18th
Fall is here in Northern Michigan! For those that like colorful trees its peak now but will be dropping off soon along the Au Sable River. The river is in great shape right now and the water levels are up a bit. All the rain this fall has been ideal for the river and water temps are in the upper 40's. Even a few a little blast of snow this week but it sure did not stick around long. Ideal time for those that like to chase big Brown Trout and streamer fishing is what produces best. This time of year when high water comes the large streamers (5-8") will be top producers but often this time of year streamers in 2" to 6" is what fishes the best. For streamers I like 9' 7wt or 8wt and my favorite is Winston BIII Plus. I loading up a Bauer SST reel with Airflo Streamer Max fly line in 280 grain or 320 for high water. Leader is pretty simple 4-5' of 15 lb flourocarbon and your good to go. Top streamers of late: Great Lakes Deceivers, Jointed GLD 4", Conrad Sculpin, JJ Special, Wool Head Sculpin and lots of different lead eyed buggers. When the streamer bite is not there this time of year its time to break out a 5wt with a floating line and indicator. Lots of different flies will work but I like those in the inch long size: Girdle bug, San Juan worm, buggers in small sizes, crayfish, jig patterns. Some dropper nymphs off these patterns are ideal: price nymph, stones, Iso nymphs. Some the best fall days are when its starting to feel like fall is leave and winter is coming with rain, wind, dark days and snow! Those days are when a lot of the bigger trout in the river are looking to feed heavy. A few of the Au Sable Browns are starting to spawn and redds should not be fished! The spawning process happens mostly over the next month and all trout do not spawn at one time. Pre and post spawning are heavy feeding trout. Spawning trout are not and should not be disturbed! From now thru December is a great time for those that want to hunt for big Brown Trout and looking for size not numbers.
We do have dates open for those looking for guided trout float trips this Fall and early Winter. Email at email@example.com or call 989-889-5374 if any questions.
October 10th - Been a lot of rainy, cool, windy and little snow of late kind of weather this week. Ideal for the streamer bite! This one crushed a Great Lakes Deceiver in olive/yellow in the Big Waters of the Au Sable.
White River Arkansas is coming soon this winter! For those looking for some top notch trout fishing during January, February and March this is the place. We offer day float trips for 1 or 2 anglers and also offer lodging with meals. Groups up to 12 anglers. Lodging right on the river at the White River Trout Lodge - awesome location with excellent wade fishing available. Prefect location to start are float trips. One of top Trophy Brown Trout river in the country. For more info go to our web page at: White River Arkansas 2019
October 5th - Ron with some nice brown trout on the Au Sable River! Its streamer time now and big browns are starting to wake up and look for some big meals.
Aug 20th – The White Fly hatch came very early this year and was about over in the high heat. Still had one decent week when the water cooled off. With some nice trout rising. Photo taken by Tom Buhr.
Aug 9th – Night time on the Au Sable River swinging mouse patterns! Now is the time for big trout.
Aug 5th – Tom with awesome brown trout on a new pattern we have started using. The glow mouse in purple is a winner!
July 22nd – Big brown trout love to feed in the dark in the summer months! Look for good action at least thru mid-September. This one ate my favorite mouse pattern and just an awesome design. Tied by Steve Yewchuck from New York.
July 20th – Ron with a beautiful night time brown trout caught mouse fishing! We had plenty of action with good numbers of trout coming to our mouse patterns. A very slow steady strip was what produced the best.
Here is our photos from the Drake and Hex hatch! Had a great 6 weeks traveling the Au Sable River and Northern Michigan.
May 21st – Jeff with a nice Au Sable River Brown Trout caught on a Regan Hendrickson spinner dry fly. Excellent spinner fall of Dark Hennies with a fall coming in the early afternoon and then a couple of hours before dark. Lots of nice trout up and feeding.
May 20th – Alex with a nice Au Sable River Brown Trout caught while streamer fishing. Today was an all-day on and off rain and made for some good streamer action. Good numbers of nice trout came to our stripped streamers. Dry fly fishing was not so good and bugs just never really got going.
May 19th – Our guide Eric Swies with a beautiful brown trout caught on #14 Hendrickson spinner dry fly. This is one hatch that will bring up the big browns! Spinner falls just right around dark is what these big trout like.
May 11th – Lance with an awesome Smallmouth Bass on the Au Sable River! These Smallies were out looking for streamers this afternoon.
May 1st – Tom with excellent day of streamer fishing! Put a number of nice browns in the net and good rainbow. Bright sun and high winds and still a great streamer bite.
March 30th – Some excellent streamer fishing today! Water levels were a bit low and water was running very clear but some excellent streamer action. Our Great Lakes Deceivers was our top streamer and we put 4 nice browns in the net.
March 30th – Got 16 years in on this pattern and it's still my old reliable for big brown trout as it was last week! It's been copied, called different names, slight changes, etc but it's always been the Great Lakes Deceiver. In big tailwater rivers big browns love to eat a 5" trout. Large profile, light weight, awesome action and easy to cast. For online sales go to: Great Lakes Deceivers
December 19th – Nice warm up the best couple days and upper Au Sable and its branches are in great shape for trout fishing. These warm ups are ideal for streamer and some good action. This time of year, days are short and we do offer a 6-7 hour float trip for 1 or 2 anglers along with nice hot meal on the river for $275. It seems to work out just prefect for this part of winter.
October 1st – Here is photo from last Oct and this is coming so soon. I will be back on the Au Sable this week chasing big browns, ducks and grouse!
August 16th – Evan and Pete floating the Big Waters of Au Sable with me yesterday. Good dry fly fishing all evening. Lots of trout rising to small olives. Skunks and hoppers were both good producers. White flies came heavy just before dark and fish were keyed in on them. This was first time I have been in these waters since early June and nice to see it fishing well and in ideal conditions!
August 15th – Picked up new Stealthcraft Skiff today and put it to the test. Dragged it thru the woods a bit and dumped it down a hill then moused all night in tight water. That's one solid boat and it handled wonderfully. Extremely comfortable to fish out. It's a keeper! The mouse was very good with lots of action. Conditions are ideal with moon getting very small again. Should nice dark for the next couple of weeks.
August 4th – A good mouse bite tonight! No giants but good action.
July 28th – Tom with some awesome brown trout on our night time float! Good action tonight mousing till the early morning hour.
July 22nd – Dave with one giant brown trout! Got to love a true 30"er! Got to love a trout that will eat a rodent off the surface in the middle of the night!
July 21st – Eric with awesome Au Sable River brown trout! Conditions have been ideal of late for late night mousing.
A new mouse pattern for us that I have just been loving! Tied by Steve Yewchuck from New York. Trout have loving it and they chewed this one up pretty good.
July 18th – Dave with some awesome brown trout that were caught mousing! We got heavy showers right as we put in the boat but it all let off about 10:30pm. The trout like the conditions with great action till after midnight.
July 18th – Its mousing time now and late night floats looking for giant brown that are eating rodents!
July 5th – David with a couple of awesome brown trout caught dry fly fishing. Excellent Hex spinner fall tonight. The Regan Natural Hex was producing!
July 5th – Eric out doing what he does best – chasing big browns on the hex hatch!
July 2nd – Mark with a beautiful brown that just went off on spinners before it was totally dark! Lots of hex spinners tonight but that moon sure did not help.
June 30th – Jason with a beautiful brown trout on Hex dry fly!
June 29th – Jason with a nice brown trout just before dark that just crushed a hex hatcher. Excellent evening dry fishing and lots of brook rising to Iso spinners and slate wing olives.
June 30th – A beautiful brown trout on Hex dry fly!
June 28th – David and Kevin with a couple beautiful Browns caught dry fly fishing on the Hex Hatch! Weather has not been ideal with lots of rain of late but there are still great trout rising on these light spinner falls.
June 28th – John with a couple awesome Browns on the Hex Hatch while floating with our guide Eric Swies. Hex Hatch in the rain tonight!
June 27th – Bob with a great night on the Au Sable River! Cool night but great Hex spinner fall that started before dark. Some nice browns and couple big rainbows.
June 25th – Loving dry fly fishing on the Hex 7 nights a week till mid July!
June 23rd – Gary and son David with some great Brown Trout on the Hex! Not many bugs tonight but still some great trout rising.
June 22nd – Rob with awesome Brown Trout on the Hex at 1am!
June 20th – Ben with great it done on the Hex Hatch with our guide Eric Swies!
June 16th – Mark with a great night on the Au Sable fishing the Hex Hatch! Good spinner fall tonight. Hot weather and bugs last till very late night
June 15th – Big brown trout on Regan natural hex spinner! Bauer reels and Winston rods are the best.
June 14th – Gary with one heavy Au Sable River brown trout caught dry fly fishing in the dark!
June 13th – Tom with a great night on the Au Sable River! Good spinner fall tonight.
Iso dun and Iso nymph – a great bug this time of year on the Au Sable
June 11th – Mike with a beautiful trophy brown trout on the Au Sable River caught on Regan Hex natural spinner.
June 5th – Awesome brown drake spinner fall this evening!
June 4th – Au Sable Brown Trout dry fly fishing on Regan Brown Drake spinner.
May 29th - A cool evening with hardly any bugs. Switched to swinging Iso nymphs and produced well.
May 24th - Spinner falls are getting later! Big rainbow sipping spinners. The Regan spent spinner has been our top fly of late.
Sulphurs and March Browns
May 17th - Streamer fishing the Big Waters of the Au Sable River.
May 16th - Mark with some good streamer action today!
May 14th - dry fly fishing on the Sulphur hatch.
May 13th - Joe with a beautiful trout on the Sulphur spinner fall!
May 10th – Tom with an awesome Au Sable River trout caught on Hendrickson dry fly. Spinner fall was light this evening with cool temps but some good trout were up and feeding.
These small sulphurs (pale evening dun) size #16 have started on the Au Sable in good numbers. This is major hatch and look for some very heavy hatches over the next week. One of best flies for this hatch is the Roberts Yellow Drake in sizes 14-18. Here is some great info on the sulphur hatch that was put together by Tom Buhr: http://www.asbwpa.org/Sulphurs.html
Great Speckled Olive spinner. A bug that is not commonly talked about but this big spinner will produce some big trout in May. With size being so large often trout will key in on them.
May 5th – Tom with nice big Au Sable River brown trout caught streamer fishing! Of late these big browns are really keying in on stocked the rainbow trout.
April 30th – Just an awesome photo and Au Sable River brown trout with such beautiful colors from our guide Eric Swies! Streamer time continues and now we have dry fly fishing with the Hendrickson going strong.
April 27th – Brian with a beautiful Au Sable River brown trout that just crushed a 7” Great Lakes Jointed Deceiver!
April 24th – You know its spring along the Au Sable River when the Hendrickson Hatch starts and Moral mushrooms start popping. The best for both of these is coming very soon!
April 18th – I enjoy seeing how our hatchery brown trout were raised today and helped clip fins! Some photos (taken by John Russell) from last week’s 3 day clipping effort of brown trout at Harrietta State Fish Hatchery. The 48,000 brown trout had their adipose fin manually removed, in order to facilitate DNR survey efforts and studies this fall (clipped versus non-clipped 1 year old fish). Thanks goes to the many volunteers who participated, particularly Terry Lyon for organizing the volunteers along with Anglers of the Au Sable.
April – Big Brown Trout or Smallmouth on the Au Sable River! This is a great time for either and they both like the same flies. Hard to beat a 5” rainbow pattern in the Big Waters of the Au Sable River.
March 26th – Dave and his daughter with a beautiful Au Sable River brown trout! It was a wet day with water levels rising – ideal for the hunt for big browns.
Our Glow White Jointed Great Lakes Deceiver has been one of our top patterns for years for high water Brown Trout. Have added a couple more colors and been having some great success. Glow flies in the day light!
March 25th – Trent with a nice Au Sable River brown trout caught on a Great Lakes Deceiver. River is getting to be in great shape for streamer fishing.
March 19th – Eric and Carl with some big trout on the Au Sable River today! Some excellent fishing and the trout did not mind the bright sun.
December 11th - The Big Waters of The Au Sable in a beautiful winter setting! We get the right conditions and I sure will be doing some float trips down this section of the Au Sable later on this month looking for some big browns. Currently in the bitter cold weather its a great place to walk in and swing some streamers. For those looking for some excellent winter trout fishing I will off to Arkansas's White River starting in late January and offering guide float trips and lodging/meals on this awesome river in the beautiful Ozarks. I will be there for about 7 weeks and looking for forward to chasing big trout with streamers, night time mousing and nymphs. We still have dates open and for a list of them and more info click here to our White River Report.
December 2nd - Stripping streamers in the Big Waters! This time of year its hunt for big trout.
October 16th - It was the perfect day for stripping streamers on the Au Sable River! Rain in the morning and thick fog made for good low light conditions. Not lots of action but a few big trout came to our streamers. Great Lakes Deceiver 8" jointed produced this beautiful brown trout!
A great new addition to our Great Lakes Deceivers! Jointed 4" is now in stock in these 3 colors along with yellow/olive and black. This down sized pattern is ideal in the fall with often water levels are not super high. Its going into our online sales later this week. If you want them now just drop me email.
October 7th - John with a beautiful brown trout stripping streamers on the Au Sable. A small joint shad pattern did the job!
October 1st - Warm conditions continue this fall and big trout still eating mouse patterns on the Au Sable! Tom Buhr been getting few good ones putting his time in all the way into October. Here is awesome 21"er!
An awesome group from a few years ago that cleaned up the Big Waters of The Au Sable below Mio! With the hot summer this year the river really needs a good cleaning from all the extra canoes and tubes. This years annual cleanup sponsored by Anglers of the Au Sable Is September 10th and all the mainstream, North & South Branch and Big Waters will be covered. Boats and walkers are needed for the Big Waters and there will a BBQ following the cleanup at Noon. To sign up for the Big Waters contact Tom Buhr at 989-745-4957 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org For more info or to sign up for the upper river contact Josh at Gates Lodge and here is link to contact info: http://www.gateslodge.com/event/au-sable-river-cleanup/
Been looking for a boat to chase big trout and smallmouth bass in remote small streams in Northern Michigan and finally found it - the Stealthcraft Hooligan Raft! The last couple weeks I have been floating a number of different rivers with XL model and been very impressed. I love high tech river boats and a raft is sure not going to replace my Skiff or Power Drifter but there is so many place that these large boats will not work. The XL fished two anglers very well and it was very easy to control with the oars. In slower water it handled like a dream and was able to maneuver well and back row. In fast water it sure did not go back up stream like a small drift boat but it did steer well. Surprised at the speed I could get going on the down stream push. Handled some very shallow fast rocky water very well floated over it all as you could feel the rocks with your feet on the bottom of the raft. Very stable for standing and casting but floor is still a raft and a bit flexible. At times its easy to compare it to our drift boats and find faults but when floating water that our drift boat won't work in you realize that this raft is a pretty cool boat. Not sure what model is the ideal raft as the XL is a bit heavy but two of us did carried it up one steep hill at a take out bridge. The thing I really like about this raft is its a tough boat we ran into a few things at night, dragged it over some obstructions and it handled it all just fine! Rod storage was ideal also for someone like me who likes to bring lots of them - held 6 rods and very protected. Going to be adding one to the Streamside Custom Rod & Guide Service boats for next year and it will be getting lots of use in the mid summer for mousing for big trout at night in the smaller remote river and for chasing big smallmouth bass.
July 29th - Tom Buhr got this awesome trout mousing on the Au Sable River! Got a couple good photos of trout and of the release. With the current heat wave stay clear of the Big Waters due to over heated and look to the smaller cooler waters of the Au Sable River.
July 27th - Trent with a couple of beautiful trout tonight! With the current heat wave night time is the time for the trout fishing this time of year. We are currently in a very dark moon period and should have ideal mousing conditions all this week. Small streams with cool water are what you want this time of year.
July 5th - Trent with a beautiful trout on a Hex dry fly! Hatch is going strong in the cooler streams of Northern Michigan.
July 3rd - Ron with one hard fighting brown trout on a Hex dry fly!
July 1st - Doug and his first night time float on the Hex hatch - its worked out pretty good!!
One of my new favorites for our shore dinner - grilled sockeye salmon and good vegs!
June 29th - The guys thought it was going to be way too cold so I got to fish! Its was very cold but still plenty of hex to get up some great trout.
June 26th - Tony with an awesome trout on the Au Sable River! First timer on the hex hatch!
June 25th - Eric with a giant brown on a Hex dry fly on the Au Sable River! Got to love it when it was after 3am.
June 23rd - Billy with awesome trout on a Hex dry fly! Some big trout do start to rise as the first bug starts to hatch.
June 22nd - Just a awesome Au Sable River brown trout on the Hex! It can still work in just a massive spinner fall.
June 21st - Pre game before the Hex! Dry fly fishing and great meal. Always some nice brookies rising and some evening a few decent browns.
June 21st - James and Robb with a couple nice Au Sable trout on the Hex! Always a great time with these guys and looking forward to next year.
June 19th - Chuck and Mike spending fathers day the prefect way and some big trout! Love the new Winston 9' 6wt Plus. Ideal rod for big dry flies and large trout in the dark.
June 18th - Gary and Mark got it done tonight! Some awesome trout on the Hex!
June 17th - Tom and Eric catching big trout tonight!
June 16th - Tom with cool looking brown trout! Cold temps and light bugs but still some good chances.
The Sealed Drag reel from Abel in brown trout graphics! Preformed flawlessly - the ultimate reel for the hex hatch.
June 15th - Tom with nice trout today! Cool temps made for some decent streamer actions. Light hex but still had a few good chances.
June 14th - Jim and Dave tore it up tonight on the Hex! It was Jim's first time fly fishing and 3 over 20" with a 24".
June 13th - Cold night and very light hex spinner fall. Still some good chances and Tom got a nice one.
June 12th - Susan dry fly fishing on the North Branch and lots of trout rising and had a great time!
June 9th - Chris and Brian with great trout on the Au Sable River - Hex is going!
June 6th - Hex are going! Just love this Winston 6wt Plus. The prefect fast action fly rod.
June 5th - Fishing crayfish patterns can be very effective! This Pat Cohen pattern below is one of my favorites.
May 27th - Kevin and Tom with some awesome big browns on the Au Sable River! Good spinner fall of light hendrickson's and sulphur that started right before dark.
Love seeing trout like these in the Au Sable River and even better they were caught dry fly fishing! Light Hennie spinner fall just before dark has been excellent the past week. The trout are sure thicker and chunkier this year. Great trout and photos by Tom Buhr.
May 22nd - Found this beauty rising away just before dark! Got this one on Regan #14 Sulphur spent wing spinner.
May 21st - The prefect night - Big Browns, Big Bookie and Big Rainbow! Excellent spinner today and we got them all on same fly - Regan #14 Sulpher spinner.
May 18th - Tom with beautiful Au Sable River trout! Night fishing has started with spinner falls lasting into darkness. This one might be our toughest fighting trout in the Au Sable River!
May 17th - Just a wonderful evening of dry fly fishing on the Au Sable River! Temps were a bit cool but still plenty of Light Hendrickson spinner fell and some nice trout were up and rising. The past mild winter sure was good for our trout in the Big Waters of the Au Sable River below Mio this year as many are already nice and thick - no skinny trout this year.
Last week was the time for Dark Hendrickson spinner falls on the Au Sable River! Some great trout and photos by long time angler of the Big Waters - Tom Buhr. Sure nice to see more quality this spring and been loving our dry fly fishing.
May 12th - John with a beautiful Au Sable River brown trout caught dry fly fishing on a #14 Hendrickson. Clouds and a bit of rain made for a buggy day and some nice trout rising. Was ideal until evening rains brought the bugs to a halt.
May 7th - Joe with just an awesome Au Sable River brown trout caught on a #14 Hendrickson dry fly. This big brown was feeding in very shallow water on emergers and duns. After working this fish for close to an hour went to a spare thorax Hendrickson dry with no floatin and letting fly ride just under surface. Only took about about 4 cast for it to produce! Here is fly:
May 2nd - A great close up photo of a Dark Hendrickson dun - photo by Tom Buhr. This is the bug right now and it will bring up some big trout in the afternoons and evenings!
May 2nd - Its Hendrickson hatch time now on the Au Sable River. Here are my favorite patterns for this hatch and all tied by Jerry Regan. Hendrickson parachute in size #12-14, Borchers parachute #14, spent wing spinner pattern size #14 and Rusty spinner size #14. We currently have all in stock and they can be shipped right out.
April 28th - Just an awesome 26" brown trout from the Au Sable River today streamer fishing. My new oversize catch and release net was prefect and so gentle on big trout. Love been able to let them swim in net before releasing. Hoop on this one is 34"x17" and built to hold a 20lb trout, steelhead or salmon! If interested in a hand built net give Todd Inman of http://www.roguelandingnets.com/ a call. On top of size and strength net is just beautiful!
April 28th - Brian and Brian with some huge browns today in the Big Waters of the Au Sable River! Streamer action was excellent for big fish and had some shots at others also. Only bummer today was the biggest trout of day was lost into a log pile. At least I know where you live now!
April 7th - Jim with just a beautiful brown trout from the Big Waters of the Au Sable River! Tough conditions of late with winter like weather but the river is coming around and getting in better shape. The big browns will keep coming to those that put in there time.
Big brown that crushed one of our Great Lakes Deceivers!
Beautiful Au Sable River brown trout being released. These big trout should all be handled with care and released back to the river!
March 18th - Spring came early this year and some good streamer fishing today on the Au Sable River!
October 26th - One of most beautiful trout in the Au Sable and taped at 30.5". Lots of rain the last the couple days and the river is way. This is big streamer time in the Big Waters of the Au Sable! Today it was a 9' 8wt Sage ONE with 300 grain Rio 24' sink tip and our jointed Great Lakes Deceiver in fire tiger.
Michigan fly fishing opportunities this season include: