It's hopper time here in Northern Michigan!
What a great time of year it is here in Northern Michigan to be fishing! These past couple weeks have been pretty spectacular. We’ve had a bit cooler temps, and the fishing has really picked up. With so many different fishing options right now, it’s hard to choose what to do. These past couple weeks, we have been out chasing everything from Smallmouth bass on poppers, trout on small tricos, big browns on a mouse pattern, hopper fishing during the afternoon, and even Musky on the fly!
Matthew and his mom came out last week for a float and found some nice Brookies rising to BWO's and Tricos. Way to go Matthew!
Jim worked hard on a sunny day to find this beautiful brown trout on a hopper pattern.
Gotta love it when the Smallmouth are crushing poppers on the surface!
Earlier this week, I had the chance to get out and scout out the musky fishing for some up coming guide trips. Needless to say, we had some great action, with plenty of musky following and had a good handful eat the fly. If you're looking to get out for the musky, give me a shout. I have limited days open through the end of August and September.
Salmon are starting to enter the streams as well and reports have it that they have been bigger than average this year. Even heard of a 41 pounder being caught. I also have a few dates open for salmon this season.
With all the different fishing opportunities going on right now, its hard to choose which one to pick, so spin the wheel and choose your adventure. It's a great time to be in Northern Michigan right now!
Chris Lessway (Head Guide)
Hard to believe it’s already the middle of July. While the occasional hex or two makes an appearance in certain stretches of the river, we are now concentrating our efforts on other hatches and methods. I often refer to this time of year as the 2nd half of the season. While the major hatches and big bugs are about done, there are plenty of opportunities available.
If you’re still caught up in the night game, mousing has been bringing some good fish to the surface. Swinging a big deer hair mouse or slow stripping a gurggler across the current will often bring about some violent strikes.
If the night game isn’t for you, turn your efforts towards terrestrials. Hoppers, stones and other attractors fished close to logs are turning some very good fish as Paul found out in the photo above.
For you early risers, the Trico hatch is in full swing here on the North Branch. While this hatch isn’t typically known for bringing big fish to the surface, it often sends the brookies in to a feeding frenzy. In addition to the Tricos, BWOs, Patriots, and other attractors are always a good option.
The Bass fishing on the Au Sable is also taking off. The bass fishing is always a good option when the streams become to hot for the trout. Streamers such as Circus Peanuts and Clousers work well during the afternoon. As evening approaches, throwing a small gurggler or popper will bring fish to the surface. Topwater bass on the Au Sable is a blast! With all the opportunities available, July and August are a great time to be on the river!
Chris Lessway (Head Guide)
Ask any angler who has been out for the Hex hatch this season and you are likely to hear a variety of reports. We had a rollercoaster of weather patterns this past June. Some cold nights with temps dropping into the 40s, as well as our fair share of storms made for some inconsistent hatches. This past week brought some warmer temps and got things going again. We are still seeing good numbers of bugs and finding some good fish feeding. The Hex are still rolling for those who wish to still purse them.
If you’ve had your fill of the Hex, there are plenty of other options. Isos, Cahills, stones and Olives are bringing some good fish to the surface.
The daytime fishing has been great. Attractor patterns, such as Patriots and Missing Links have been holding their own. For those early risers, we are also starting to see a few Tricos here on the North Branch. For those wishing to hit the evening hatch , tiny BWOs are bringing plenty of trout to the surface.
The water this season so far has been higher and a little cooler than average. The good news is the trout are loving it! If you are looking to hit the river this summer, don't hesitate to give us a shout!
Hope to see you on the river!
Chris Lessway (Head guide)
Nothing beats a breathtaking sunset and fish rising to dry flies on the Au Sable river.
First off I would just like to apologize for the lack of fishing reports lately. We have a new website this year and just getting things figured out, as well as a busy start to the season.
Looking back the past couple weeks to the “Trout Opener”, we have been fortunate to have some great dry fly fishing! We have had good variety of weather, from cold rainy days to beautiful sunny evenings.
The Hendrickson hatch has been an excellent one this season. We’ve had great numbers of bugs and plenty of trout eager to take your fly. While the Dark Hendricksons are about finishing up their cycle, the Light Hendricksons are here. Other bugs rounding out the menu are Caddis, Mahoganies, and Stoneflies.
Sorry again for the delay in the river reports. We will do our best to keep you updated on the river conditions and hatches. Brown Drakes should be around in the next couple weeks. If you're looking to hit the river, don't hesitate to give us a ring! I have a few dates available in May and June for guide trips. (May 23, 25, 26, and 29th. June 10th, 13th, 14, and 28th.) If these dates don't work, we have other guides available as well.
Hope to see you on the river!
Here we are the middle of July and mother nature has really turned up the heat. With the warmer temps, the best fishing has been early morning or late evening. The Tricos are going strong here on the North Branch and can provide some incredible, yet challenging dry fly action for the brookies. The evenings have been also holding their own with some great Blue winged olive spinnerfalls. Don’t be surprised if you find a good brown sipping on these size 18 spinners. In addition to the Olives and Tricos, we’ve been finding some good Isos as well as Cahills. Fishing with terrestrials has been picking up along with night time mousing.