Au Sable River Michigan flyfishing report

Photos from our 2008 Salmon float trips on the Betsie River.

August 10th - We floated the Betsie River today for the first time this year looking for fresh run Chinook Salmon.  No hook ups today but did get to fish one pod of silver fish.  Numbers in the river right now are pretty low but there are a few around.  With the current weather pattern it will not be long now.  The last two days of north winds has good numbers of fish moving in close to river mouth and shoreline of Lake Michigan.  Some of these fish will start heading up stream very soon.  The Betsie River did not get much rain the last few days so river is low and clear right now.  With the cool weather river temps are ideal for this time of year - right around 60 this morning.  I start doing float trips full time this coming weekend (Aug 16th) on the Betsie so there will be current salmon reports for North West Michigan starting then.



August 15th - Rob Georgic with some nice fresh Kings on the Betsie River today!   The river is very low right now and in need of some major rain but we had excellent fishing today and put 4 in the net.  With the low water look for the salmon to be holding in the deepest slow sand holes.  With the cool nights of late new fish are moving in from Lake Michigan every day - just in huge numbers yet.  The salmon are running larger this year in Northern Lake Michigan.  Big fish today picture above was 23lbs!



August 21st - John O'Neil with nice big King Salmon.  We found a few holes with good numbers of fish today but still not a lot of fish in the river.  Below is one of a few good fights today!



August 22nd - Wendy Miller with a beautiful fresh run King Salmon on the Betsie River.  Had some good fishing today with some strange weather - a mixture of high heat, high humidity, and a few thunder storms.  Look for recent rains to bring more fish in from Lake Michigan.



August 26th - Jim Anson with a nice Chinook Salmon on the Betsie River.  We covered a lot water today and did not find any big numbers of salmon but did find a few here and there.  Ended up hooking about dozen today which was an improvement over the past couple of days.  Did see some nice silver fish in the river today and fishing should just keep getting better.



August 28th & 29th - Mike Sargent & Chris Poulus had some excellent fishing the past two days on the Betsie River!  They put around 10 fish in the net.  These fresh fish are quite the handful and a bunch more very lost.  A good push fish came in from Lake Michigan the last couple of days.  Look for fishing to just keep getting better.

Mike & Chris with a couple of fresh run Chinook Salmon!

The past two days we found some big pods of fish and hooked some great fighting fish!  Even a couple of double headers each day.




August 30th - Tom Olenczuk and his son Mathew with a beautiful silver Chinook Salmon.  Had excellent fishing today landing 6 salmon and fighting a bunch more.  The last few days we have found some big groups of fresh salmon by floating lots of miles of river.


August 30th - Today was Mathew's first trip out salmon fishing and he did great!  Landed a couple of good ones and lost a bunch.


August 30th -  Could not have had a better day on the river today!  We picked right on the section we floated today - almost no people and lots of salmon with summer like weather.



Sept 1st - Good numbers of fresh run Salmon on the Betsie River today!!



September 3rd - Barry Pratt with bright silver Chinook Salmon on the Betsie River.  Lots of fish on the move today!  Strong north wind has good numbers of fish moving in from Lake Michigan.  With cool weather and rain forecasted it should only get better.

Sept 3rd - Andy Trotogot & Barry Pratt with more Salmon from today's float.  Had great time on the river today with ideal weather and a bunch of fresh run salmon.  We landed 8 fish and had a bunch more hook ups.

Sept 3rd - Barry starting out the day right after just a couple of casts!  More of today's catch below.




September 4th - Dave Kessinger with a nice silver Chinook Salmon in the lower Betsie River.  We found some good fish today early in the day.  When rains came lots of big pods of fish went on the move upstream.

September 4th - Had a bunch of good fights today!  These fresh fish are not the easiest to land  but we put a few into the net.



September 5th - Brad Thomason with his first Michigan Salmon on the Betsie River.   Today had a slow start but after floating two sections we finally found good numbers of fish holding in some deeper holes.

September 5th - Brad, Lindsay (fighting a salmon) and there other buddy Mike were up from Alabama to fish Michigan Salmon.  Hooked some good fish today and had a very enjoyable float with them.



September 7th - Ed & Jeff with a big salmon on the Betsie River & Todd is in the background fighting another one!  Had a good time with the guys from Indy and we caught a few nice salmon.  The last couple of days there have been lots of fish on the move which is not the best conditions.  Today there were more holding in the deeper sand holes and fishing should just keep getting better.

September 6th - Jeff Conrad with a big Chinnok Salmon on the Betsie River!



September 8th - Jeff Georgic with a beautiful fresh run Chinook Salmon.  Lots of fish in the deep holes today with excellent fishing.

September 8th - Rob & Jeff with a couple of big salmon from today's float.


September 8th - A double hookup with salmon going different directions!  Excellent fishing today.



September 10th - John & Carl had huge day on the river today!  Landed over 20 fish today and lost a bunch of others.  Bright colored egg flies, hex nymphs, green caddis and peacock stones were all working well.  Of late wave of fish has been coming up the Betsie every few days.  Today lots of fish were holding tight in the deeper holes making for some excellent fishing.

September 10th - More photos from today's float.

September 11th - Carl & John with some nice Chinook Salmon on the Betsie River.  The two fished with me the last two days and we had excellent fishing!  Right now the river is very low and rain is needed.  Good rains are forecasted for the coming weekend.  Still lots of fish in Lake Michigan and salmon fishing should remain excellent for the next couple of weeks.



September 12th - A few less fish around today but still some good hook ups.



September 13th - Vince Gaglione with his first salmon and it was a big one!  After just a excellent week of salmon fishing on the Betsie the last couple of days has been a little slow.  Finally some good rain this weekend!  Look for a good push of new fish coming from Lake Michigan in the next couple of days.



September 15th - Tom & Pat with some bright silver Chinook Salmon.  After two days of rain and wind lots of new fish moved into the river!  Muddlers fished on a floating line with just a little split shot was the top producer today.  A down and across slow swing was very effective.  Double digits in the net today!



September 16th - Bob & Jim with some nice fresh run Chinook Salmon.  Lots of fish around today!!  Some of the best fishing I have seen in years with 20 plus put in the net.  These bright fish were pretty aggressive today.  Muddlers and leeches were our top patterns.



September 17th - Ross & Dan with some nice silver Chinook Salmon on the Betsie River.  Good numbers of fish are in the river now after the weekend rain.  The Betsie is getting fairly clear and is in great shape for salmon fishing.  Today we put 15 in the net with good numbers of silver fish.



Lots of chrome fish of late!  With these fresh run fish muddlers and leeches are top producers.  Of late we have been getting lots of hard biting Kings with a down and across slow swing. 



September 19th - Susan and Merritt Anderson with a couple of Betsie River salmon.  Had very nice float today and found good numbers of salmon.



September 20th - Dave Powell with a big Chinook Salmon on the Betsie River.  We found good numbers of fish in the deep sand holes today.

September 20th - Dave & Jim with a couple of real nice Betsie River salmon.  Had a good day on the river today with a bunch of hooked and landed.

September 21st - Dave Powell with a nice Platte River Coho Salmon.  We found a few big pods of Coho Salmon this morning in the Platte but fish were very spooky.  Salmon run is just getting going on this river.  Look for more fish to move in as this river cools down - still in the mid 60's.



September 22nd - Todd & Mike Gignilliat fishing the Betsie River.  Such a nice day on the river today with summer like weather.  Cool and some rain would be much better for salmon fishing but still had a pretty day.  Found good numbers of salmon in the gravel runs and fresh fish in the deeper sand holes.  Still lots of fish in Lake Michigan and next rain should bring in another wave of fresh fish.

September 22nd - Todd Gignilliat with a couple of very Betsie River salmon.  Today we put five in the net and lost a bunch of them.  Of late with the low clear river small nymphs and egg patterns have been top producers. 



September 23rd - David Frizzell fighting a nice salmon in the upper Betsie.



September 26th - Bruce Hambell fighting a big Chinook Salmon.  Hot weather and good numbers of fish in the upper river on gravel.



September 27th - Jeff & Bryant with a couple of real nice salmon.  More hot weather today and good numbers of fish were in the upper Betsie River.



September 28th - Here is such a great place to streamer for Chinook & Coho Salmon - the mouth of the Platte River.  The last couple hundred yards of river is great place to look for aggressive fish.  Hard to go wrong with a sink tip line and Alwive pattern.  Look for this section to fish very well after or during a strong north wind.



September 29th - Paul Aiello with a huge fresh run Chinook Salmon!  Excellent fishing today!

September 29th - Finally some rain today!  Look for more fish to keep moving in from Lake Michigan.

September 29th - Andy Denny with one of the most spotted Chinook Salmon I have seen this year. 

September 29th - Jim Aiello and guide Ted Kraimer fighing and landing a huge Chinook Salmon.



September 30th - Mike Burns with a bright silver Chinook Salmon.  Pretty hard to think the salmon run is winding down with fish like this around!  Some excellent fishing today.  High north winds and some rain today should keep bringing more fresh fish in from Lake Michigan.

September 30th - Gene and Mike with a couple of more great fish from today's float trip.

September 30th - Gene with just a beautiful Chinook Salmon!


Oct 2nd - Lots of chrome fish around today!  Chinook, Coho and a few Steelhead on the Platte River.  Coho run has been way down this year on this river.  There is still hope that these fish are still to come but well over half of the typical run has not shown up yet. 



Oct 6th - A fresh run Chinook Salmon in the lower Betsie River.  With the low clear water smaller streamers have been working very well of late.  Woolly buggers, leeches, and muddlers.  Best presentation is with a floating line, long leader, and just a little slit shot.



October 7th - A big lake run brown on the Betsie River!  Starting to see a few steelhead and big browns around.  Peak time for these fish are Nov and Dec.



Oct 8th - This is the first one of these I have ever caught.  Not sure what species this is but looks like Pink/Chinook cross.  I have found pictures of these from Canada and UP but this one if from the Platte River.  Have not even seen Pink Salmon in this river in the past so it is little strange but a very cool looking fish.  Anyone with info do email it along.

Oct 8th - Tom Olenczuk with a couple very fresh run Chinook Salmon.  Had very good fishing today on the Platte and Betsie River!  We fished both rivers today and found plenty of salmon in each of them.



Oct 10th & 11th - David Frizzell with some very nice fresh run Chinook Salmon on the Platte River!  The last two days fishing was great yesterday and very slow today.  It is getting very late in run but good fish keep showing up with every rain.  After a couple bright sunny days fish can be hard to find.  Both the Platte and Betsie are very low and clear right now.  Best patterns of late have been natural hex nymphs, muddlers, and prince nymphs.  Also egg patterns are always good producers.  Both of these rivers typically get a good late run of Coho in October and so far very few have shown up.  Next batch of cold weather & rain should bring some new salmon and more steelhead.




Oct 12th - Had a nice two boat float today on the Betsie River.  Patrick got the best salmon of day and pictured above - very nice group picture but one got left out.   All hooked a few fish today but salmon numbers have drop a bit of late.


Oct 12th - Drew with nice salmon that was brought to the net!  Peak fall colors are here now.



Oct 13th - Dave & Phil Tatman with a couple of nice salmon on the Betsie River.  Had a nice float today on the Betsie & Platte River and caught a number of Chinook Salmon.  Fall color is peak now and it is just a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors.

Oct 13th - Lots of good fall color around right now.  Salmon numbers have dropped off some but still a few good fish around.

Oct 13th - Phil Tatman with a nice Platte River salmon. 



Nov 7th - A nice float today of the Betsie River but not lots of action.  Did find a few browns (10" to 18") holding behind old spawning salmon and did see a few adult steelhead.  River is very low and in need of a good rain.  If we get some better water before winter sets in we should have much better steelhead fishing.



Jan 12th - Tom Olenczuk with a nice big winter steelhead on the Betsie River.  River is in great shape with the water being up a bit from recent melt down.  The high water did bring some fresh fish in from Lake Michigan this week.  Fishing was a little slow today but there were a few other fish landed today on the river.



March 13th - Tom Olenczuk with nice Betsie River steelhead.  Extreme cold temps this morning (below zero) made for some tough conditions.  Lots of floating slush for the first couple of hours but conditions improved as temps warmed.   We put two steelhead in the net today which for the day's conditions was not too bad.  Steelhead are still in the winter mode and look for them in slow deep pools and runs.  This river typically gets a good March run of steelhead and look for fishing to really improve this coming week with the warmer weather.  Top flies right now - nuke eggs in chartreuse or orange, black stones, hares ear, hex nymphs.



April 4th - A beautiful Betsie River steelhead!  Good numbers of fresh run steelhead have been moving thru the lower Betsie up to the old Homestead Dam.  The river has been pretty high and dirty but fishing has been pretty good below dam down to US-31.  There is still snow melting back in the woods and water temps have been staying cold.  As river clears and temps come up look for the upper Betsie to really take off.  



April 4th - As you can see river is up and dirty but fishing has been pretty good of late.




April 11th - Dennis Stolz with a beautiful Betsie River steelhead.  Had nice float today with very few anglers on the upper Betsie.  There are few fish around but a good rain is needed to bring in more fish.





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