Michigan Flyfishing trout photos from the Au Sable River 2008. 


Jan 7th - Winter trout fishing on the Au Sable River.  The waters from Mio Dam to 4001 bridge are closed to fishing this time of year but there is lots of water down stream still open.  Below Alcona Dam is a great place for trophy trout and open year round.  Big melt down started yesterday and river is on the rise today.  Rain showers today and warm temps has snow melting very fast.  This could cause some very high water later in the week.  Today was ideal for trout fishing - light rain, water rising, and very cloudy foggy weather.  Big trout above hit a big natural woolly bugger that was being fished down deep.  Trout were very active this afternoon!  Should be a excellent week for those looking to winter trout fish.


February 5th - Spend the afternoon on the South Branch of the Au Sable River and had just a wonderful time trout fishing today!  Slight warm up the last few days has river in great shape and trout were extremely active.  This time of year streamers are most productive and today black was the top color.  That black woolly bugger with red lead eyes (pictured in trout's mouth) caught a bunch of trout between 12" and 18".  The setup I used to today was 9' 6wt Sage Z-Axis with a Rio DC 24' 200grain sink tip.  Streamer are worked along all cover in the river and fly does need to be kept moving with a nice twitchy retrieve.  The Rio sink tips are the perfect lines for winter fishing - designed for cold weather use and no tangles.  Lots of great water to fish this time of year on the upper Au Sable & South Branch!


February 18th - A little on the cool side today but trout were very active this morning on the South of the Au Sable.  Water was up a couple of inches after yesterday ice/rain storm and river was in great shape for this time of year.  All fish today came on lead eyed black buggers.


March 31st - Tom Buhr with a nice trout on the South Branch of the Au Sable.  Cold rain today and some pretty good trout fishing.  Lots of nice trout were out chasing streamers and we caught a number trout between 14" - 16".  Had a couple of bigger ones almost get hooked!  Top fly today was lead eyed olive leech pattern.


March 31st - A couple of other nice Browns that Tom caught on float today.



May 7th - Here is what we are looking for when streamer fishing below Mio!  Eric Grajewski caught this giant brown and photo below shows what should be done with all trout on the Au Sable River - released back to the river.  Couple great photos taken by Matt Grajewski.  I love seeing anglers take a good accurate measurement and this was measured properly.  Everyone can guess on the size of this one for a few days and then I will post it. 



May 8th - Afternoon dry fly fishing in the Big Waters.  A tough casting to a huge trout into a stiff wind.  Almost got this one but it did not quite work out. 


May 8th - Tom Buhr fighting a big brown in the Big Water of the Au Sable River.  Had a very nice afternoon Hendrickson hatch and big trout were looking up!  High winds did not help the casting but he did a few big trout on dries.  Looked like it should be a perfect streamer day but that only produced a few small trout.  There were a few small spinner falls but late evening got very cold & windy and bugs were all gone for the day.


May 8th - Tom Buhr and Jeff Bocs with a couple of beautiful dry fly brown trout on the AuSable River.  Dun patterns were very effective today.  Typically Hendrickson's do float on the water for a long time and parachute & up wing patterns are top producers.  Look for the some good late evening spinners coming very soon!  Jerry Regan's spent wing spinner is our top pattern and I will get some pictures of these on site in next day or so.


May 9th - Steve and John with a couple of very nice looking Au Sable River browns.  Steve's was caught on large half & half in chartreuse/white.  John's was caught in late afternoon during on a dry fly during Hendrickson hatch.



May 14th - Dave Willertz and Tom Bushey with a couple of very nice trout caught streamer fishing.  Tom's trout did not want to have his picture taken and jumped back into river pretty quick.  Long day of throwing streamers with cold temps moving in just not much bug life today.  Had a couple of big trout chase streamers with our woolhead double bunny (black/chart) being top fly today.  The bigger bait fish patterns in chart/white also produced some good action and putting a JJ Special as a dropper was productive.



May 14th - Dave Willertz with a nice Northern Pike that was caught right in our trout water on the Au Sable River.  I'm sure this one has eaten a few trout and we were very surprise to find him up in river.


May 16th - Steve Buck with just a beautiful Au Sable River brown trout!  Big trout was caught streamer fishing mid day.  Had a very nice float today with Steve & Greg and had some action all day long.  A couple of other good trout came up to our streamers and plenty of dry fly action.  Sulphurs (size 14-16) are hatching now and this should produce some good evening dry fly fishing the next week. 


May 16th - Jeff Boks with a huge Au Sable River brown trout caught on dry fly right at dark.   The story for tonight was a larger trout got away right at the boat!  Jeff is a excellent angler & guide on the Au Sable and will be doing some trips for Streamside this summer.  My calendar is pretty much full for trout days this summer but if your looking for open dates we can set you up with Jeff.  The next six weeks is prime time for trout fishing in the Big Waters of the Au Sable.



May 17th - Rick Palazzini and his son Chris working a good run on the Au Sable River.  A number of rainbows today but could not hook a big brown.  We did see one monster size brown trout follow in a rainbow and try to eat him off the line at the side of boat.  It was a very cool sight and we try to get him to come back for a streamer afterwards but no luck.



May 18th - Kris Walley with a nice streamer caught brown trout on the Au Sable River.  Today fell like a late fall day with temps in the middle 40's and extremely high winds.  Morning was a bit slow but had a excellent afternoon with a bunch of nice browns chasing our streamers.  Top patterns today were sculpin patterns with the best one being our grizzly yellow deer hair sculpin.


May 18th - Good late afternoon action today!  We a number of browns like this one chasing our streamers.  This one ate a cream tail woolly sculpin.



May 23rd - This is the time of night when hunting for big trout starts with our dry flies.  There are some huge browns in the Au Sable River but many do not come out to feed till low light.  To catch these big trout you need to locate trout and minimize your casting.  More casting will spook big trout and put them down.  Locate fish and only cast while there are rising. 


May 24th - Bugs came a little early this evening and had some nice trout up and rising.  The two flies picture above were the top patterns today.



May 26th - Tom Buhr with a huge dry fly caught Au Sable River brown trout!  After a busy weekend on the river all was very quiet this evening.  Conditions were a bit windy but with the warm temps there was a huge spinner fall of light hennies and sulphurs.  On warm bright days just after dark is the time to hunt big trout rising with dry flies. 


June 2rd - Mike Sargent with one the most beautiful AuSable River brown trout that I have seen in a while!  Streamer fishing in bright sun with low water can produce big trout. 


June 3rd - Mike Sargent with a nice streamer caught brown trout.   Had pretty good streamer fishing this afternoon with a number of trout between 12" and 16".  River is in need of some rain and hopefully it comes soon.


June 4th - Tom Buhr with a nice Au Sable Big Waters brown trout.  With the cloudy cool day brown drakes were hatching all afternoon and evening but not in big numbers.  Good spinner fall of March Browns right before dark and that is what trout above was catch on.  The next week should be peak for brown drake hatch and produce some good night time dry fly fishing. 



June 7th - A beautiful brown trout in the Big Waters of the Au Sable River!  Trout were pretty active this evening to nymphs and streamers.  Hot weather of late has hatches coming off right at dark the last couple of nights.  Best dry fly fishing of late is right at dark with good numbers of Brown Drakes.


June 14th - The river is extremely high and dirty but there were a couple trout rising today!  Had one of heaviest brown drakes hatches that I have seen just before dark and found two giants up and feeding - got one 26" brown trout (pictured above) and broke one off.  Heavy Hex spinner fall right after dark and also one nasty thunder storm to go with it.  Some pretty intense lightning for the float out.  The last two days I have cancelled our guide trips due to very poor conditions.  Myself I have a very bad problem of not being able to stop fishing regardless of conditions and tonight it paid off!



June 14th - Finally Hex Hatch is going strong!  Big spinner fall tonight that was trashed by thunder storms.  Lots of late night bugs were hatching after storm went by.  Will the fish feed at night in dirty water?  They did not tonight but rain was a major problem.  Hopefully tomorrow night they will.


June 11th - Dry fly fishing in the Big Waters just before dark.  This evening we had a good spinner fall of brown drakes and a number of fish were up and rising.  Also good number of isonychia (maroon drakes) hatching.  Still no Hex and with the current conditions it might be a few days before this bugs gets going.


June 16th - When trout are not rising it is time to go back to streamers!  This big guy hit a articulated wool head in chartreuse/white.  With cool weather the next few days streamer fishing should be very good.


June 17th - Chris Poulus and Mike Sargent with a couple of real nice Au Sable River brown trout!  Today was supposed to be a late night Hex hatch float trip but turned into a all day streamer trip in a cold rain.  Saw a number of big trout chase our streamers today.  The key on streamers of late is going big.  Today big rainbow patterns and chart/white deceivers had the most action.  No dry fly action today but  should come back as soon as weather warms a bit.   


June 21st - Randy Fogle with a couple of nice dry fly caught trout on the Au Sable River.  Lots of rainbows rising starting in the evening and lasting till dark.  Today's best pattern was a yellow or olive stonefly dry with a isonychia nymph dropper.  At dark there was a good spinner fall of hex and few big fish were up and rising.  Should have some excellent night time dry fly fishing for the next few weeks.



June 21st - Marc Hoyt with a very nice trout caught streamer fishing today on trip with guide Jeff Boks.  Lots of action today with a few nice browns and lots of rainbow.  With the water levels being up a bit streamer fishing has been very good of late.


June 23rd - Hex hatch is going strong on the Au Sable River!  Lots of spinners and duns tonight and a bunch of fish up and rising.  Landed two huge trout and lost one other.  Trout like this 27" brown are why we are fishing late at night this time of year.



June 24th - Kris Walley and Tom Olenczuk getting the job done on the Hex Hatch!  These two have caught some of the largest night time trout I have seen in recent years and tonight they paired up for a float trip.  Had a excellent spinner fall of Hex and good bugs till well after midnight.  Kris got the big fish of the night and it was measured at 26".



June 28th - Jim M. with a couple of really nice Au Sable River trout.  Had pretty good fishing today floating the Big Waters of the Au Sable River above Mio Pond.  Like all good fish stories the two big ones got away!  One broke off and one pull out after a jump.  Rain at 9pm did not help the Hex Hatch but still got a good spinner fall and some nice fish were up and rising.  Should have at least another week or two of good night Hex Hatch.


July 6th - Still a fair number of hex hatching in the upper Au Sable and Manistee River.  Right now you want to fish the coolest water sections.  Above M-72 on Manistee River is a perfect place right now.  You can see lots of hex shucks in the net around this trout as a lot of bugs were hatching just after dark tonight.  Should have at least another week of good night time bugs and then it is time to get out the mouse patterns. 



July 7th - Right now there is some excellent smallmouth bass fly fishing on the lower Au Sable River.  Below Alcona, Loud, Five Channels, Cooke and Foote Dam all offer some excellent fly fishing for smallies.  Day time streamer fishing and top water action in low light.  Next big hatch in the Big Waters below Mio is the White Fly hatch and that typically gets going in mid to late August.  For those thinking of fishing the Mio water in July here is great article to read Riverwatch_Mio_Heat


July 11th - Late evening dry fly fishing in the Big Waters of the Au Sable.  A nice time on the river today with Matt, Jay, Marvin.  Had very slow day time fishing but things did improve in the late evening with a good number of smaller rainbows were up and rising.  Today was a very cool day for mid July and water temps were still very warm (upper 60's) and this is the main reason for slow fishing this time of year.


July 11th - Guide Jeff Boks getting ready to net a rainbow for Jay on today's float.  We are done doing trout floats in the Big Waters below Mio until mid August and that is white fly hatch time.  Mid August is early Salmon time and I will be off doing trips in Northwest Michigan.  Jeff will be doing all of our late August and early September guided floats in Big Waters and we do have some dates open.


July 31st - Dark hex hatch is peaking right now and the Smallmouth Bass just love this bug!  Look for hatch to start around 9pm and swinging a natural woolly bugger will produce some good fish (left photo).  When spinners hit the water look for bass to start rising (right photo).  Typically by 10pm bug are all done but fish can still be very active and will take mouse patterns or surface poppers.


July 29th - Water temps are extremely high in the Big Waters of the Au Sable below Mio right now - over 70 degrees all night long.  With the poor trout fishing there is some excellent smallmouth fishing in the lower river.  The new Sage smallmouth rod has been working great and is pictured above with this nice smallie.  It is amazing how far this short rod will cast a fly with very little effort.  Should have excellent river smallie fishing for the next few weeks.  I will be out doing some night time trout fishing and will put some up to date info on this page very soon.  Got a few new places to fish mouse patterns and early Aug is typically a excellent time for this.


August 16th - Above are the two species of Hex that have been hatching of late.  These are not the same bugs that hatch in June on the Au Sable River - similar but a different species of the Hexagenia.  Hatches and spinner falls are typically from 8:30pm to 10pm.  This is not a after dark bug like the June species.  This hatch can produce some very nice rising smallmouth bass and trout.  When hatch first starts swinging small woolly buggers on a floating line can be very productive.  Typically best fish start rising when spinners hit the water.


August 9th - Cool weather has trout fishing going much better in the Big Waters of the Au Sable.  Dark hex have been going strong the last week and some nice trout are rising to this bug now.  For pictures of these bugs go to our smallmouth report page.  White Fly hatch will be starting soon and we should have some excellent trout fishing unless weather turns extremely hot again.


August 28th - Jack Diana doing some evening nymph fishing on the Big Waters of the Au Sable River.  Jack floated today with river guide Jeff Boks and caught a bunch of nice rainbows and browns. Of late there has been some good late afternoon and evening fishing with the trout being very active.  Should have good late evening White Fly hatches till mid September with rising trout.  This hatch does not always produce the biggest trout in the river but it does produce some good steady dry fly action.


Sept 6th - Clean up in the Big Waters below Mio Dam.  Clean up was put on by the Au Sable Big Waters Preservation Association www.asbwpa.org and all did a great job picking up all of the summer trash.  Thank you very much for all that helped with this event.


September 14th - Tom Olenczuk and Tom Bushy with a couple of really nice browns on the Big Waters of the Au Sable.  With all the rain now is the time for streamer fishing!  Should have some good action over the next two weeks and I'm sure a few trophy size trout will be caught.


September 24th - River guide Jeff Boks with a huge brown trout on the South Branch of the Au Sable River.  Big day today with a number of trout over 20"!  With fall coming big browns are going on the feed and streamer fishing is the way to go.


September - Don Wood with a couple of more huge trout from today's float with Jeff.  This is just such a nice time to float the Au Sable with very little pressure and fall weather.


September 24th - Big Trout just inhaled this woolhead sculpin!


October 26th - Trout fished and duck hunted on the Au Sable River below Alcona Dam today.  Had some good action with both!  This section had a tree drop done in September and new river cover looks very nice (pictured above) and was positioned perfectly.  This section we do fish for smallmouth during mid summer but it does have some huge browns in it.  If you look down at our trout photos this year from June 14th to 20th was all down in this section.  Today we had two big browns chase streamers in to the boat but neither was hooked.  Did catch a few smaller rainbows and one nice walleye.  There were good numbers of ducks around and did get two mallards and a wood duck. 


Nov 2nd - A beautiful Au Sable River brown trout!  Floated today trout fishing and river duck hunting.  Had a little action on both and just a nice time of the year to enjoy the outdoors. 



November 14th - Lots of big empty trout redds today below Alcona Dam on the Au Sable.  The cover next to this redd was placed there several years ago during a tree drop and it shows that these structures are being used.  Seems like most of the brown trout have spawned in this section.  Had good streamer fishing today and lost one huge brown right at the boat.  The post spawn period is a excellent time to streamer fish!  Browns are very aggressive now and will just smash big streamers under the right conditions.  Cloudy periods and after rains or snow melt this time of year can be ideal.  Of late our best patterns have been Half & Half in chartreuse/white, Murdich Minnow, Conrad Sculpin in black, Woolly Sculpin in black or olive.  As we get more into the winter with cooler water temps it is hard to beat a lead eyed woolly bugger in black or olive.


Nov 23rd - A real nice 16" brown trout caught by Tom Buhr on the South Branch of the Au Sable River.  Had some good streamer fishing today just before dark with a number of trout in the teens.  Top streamer was a lead eyed black woolly bugger.  If you avoid the bitter cold periods of winter trout fishing can be very good all winter long on the Au Sable River. 


Dec 27th - Big melt down today and excellent conditions for trout fishing on the Au Sable River.  Water levels were just starting to rise this afternoon and trout were were aggressive.  Winter trout fishing is all picking your days and the weather of this past weekend was ideal.


Dec 27th - This time of year when water starts to rise look for trout to just smash streamers!  Today I fished leeches and sculpins in black & olive and both produced some nice browns.  Work flies with lots of actions (strips and jerks) along log piles and deep pools.  Slacks spots along heavy currents are ideal in the winter.




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