Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Au Sable River - South Branch - Michigan

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Nymphs and Midge Morning and Evening 20-22 Buzzer Midge, Zebra Midge
Winter Stonefly Afternoon 16-18 Little Black Stonefly, Ghost Stone
February Nymphs and Midge Morning and Evening 20-22 Buzzer Midge, Griffith’s Gnat
Winter Stonefly Afternoon 16-18 Little Black Stonefly, Ghost Stone
March Nymphs, Midge, Early Black Stonefly Morning, Evening, Afternoon 14-22 BH Prince Nymph, Buzzer Midge, Black Stonefly Nymph
Blue Winged Olive Afternoon 18-20 Blue Winged Olive Dun, Pheasant Tail Nymph
April Blue Winged Olive, Hendrickson, Early Black Stonefly Afternoon 14-20 Hendrickson Dry Fly, Blue Quill, Black Stonefly Nymph
Caddis Morning and Evening 16-18 Henryville Special, LaFontaine’s Olive Deep Sparkle Pupa
May Sulphurs, March Browns, Gray Drake Afternoon and Evening 12-16 PMD Sparkle Dun, March Brown Dry Fly, Gray Drake Spinner
June Hexagenia Limbata, Brown Drake, Isonychia Bicolor Evening 10-12 Hex Dry Fly, Brown Drake Spinner, Iso Dun
July Tricos, Terrestrials (Ants, Beetles, Hoppers) Morning and Afternoon 18-22 for Tricos, 10-16 for Terrestrials Trico Spinner, Dave’s Hopper, Chernobyl Ant
August Terrestrials (Ants, Beetles, Grasshoppers), Tricos Morning and afternoon 18-22 for Tricos, 10-16 for Terrestrials Parachute Black Ant, Dave’s Hopper, CDC Trico Spinner
September Terrestrials, Blue Winged Olive Morning and afternoon 18-20 for Blue Winged Olive, 10-16 for Terrestrials Blue Winged Olive Dun, Hopper Juan, Chernobyl Ant
Isonychia Evening 12-14 Iso Parachute, Iso Dun
October Blue Winged Olive, Terrestrials Afternoon 18-20 for Blue Winged Olive, 10-16 for Terrestrials Parachute BWO, Ant Acid, Half and Half Hopper
November Nymphs, Midge Morning and Evening 18-22 Zebra Midge, Black Stonefly Nymph
December Nymphs, Midge Morning and Evening 18-22 Griffith’s Gnat, Zebra Midge, BH Prince Nymph

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Au Sable River – South Branch provides promising spots steeped in scenic beauty for fly fishing. Key spots include:
  • Connors Flats:This gravel bottom presents plenty of large rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Trout love the numerous bugs that populate the area.
  • The Mason Tract:This 10-mile stretch is ideal for peaceful fly fishing. The wildlife sanctuary with mostly wadeable sections is home for good-sized trout and whitefish.
  • Deward:The diverse bottom here caters to both wading and boat fishing experiences. Ample of trout and graylings are present.
  • Roscommon: This spot is best visited in the spring and fall. The clear and wadeable waters are full of feisty trout measurable in pounds.
  • South Branch at Chase Bridge: Public access, peaceful setting, prolific hatches, and trout-packed waters define this place.
Native insects and hatches add to the thrill of fly fishing in these spots, providing natural bait for the fish.

Best Access Points

The South Branch of the Au Sable River provides ample opportunities for fly fishermen to practice their sport. Several access points on the river give convenient entrance to prime spots: 1.
    Returns Access
– Situated about 3.5 miles downstream of Roscommon. Provides a riverboat launch and parking area. 2.
    Chase Bridge Access Site
– Located at Chase Bridge Road, this public access site includes a boat launch, restrooms, and plenty of parking spaces. 3.
    Smith Bridge
– Just upstream from Smith Bridge is another good fishing section. 4.
    High Banks
– A primitive access point about 4 miles upstream from the confluence with the Mainstream, primarily used for camping. 5.
    Canoe Harbor
– This is an excellent access point for wading or floating; located about 5 miles downstream from McMasters Bridge.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout – The Brown Trout is a prized catch amongst flyfishers due to its elusiveness and fighting spirit.
  • Brook Trout – The Brook Trout is a native species to the Au Sable River and a delight to catch due to its vibrant colors.
  • Rainbow Trout – Rainbow Trout are less common in the Au Sable River but are a thrilling catch due to their acrobatic leaps.
  • Atlantic Salmon – Introduced to the Au Sable River, Atlantic Salmon have thrived and present a fantastic catch opportunity.
  • Northern Pike – While not the main target for fly fishing, Northern Pike are found in the Au Sable River and can be a fun challenge to reel in.
  • Smallmouth Bass – The river’s slower sections are perfect habitats for Smallmouth Bass, providing a great variety for flyfishers.
  • Walleye – Walleye are less commonly targeted in fly fishing but they are a sporty fish found in the Au Sable River.
  • Whitefish – Whitefish can be found in the Au Sable River and are often targeted during winter months.

About The River

The Au Sable River – South Branch is a darling rivulet with an intriguing past. It’s a major tributary of the otherworldly beautiful Au Sable River in the U.S. state of Michigan. 300 miles in length, it’s noted for being remarkably scenic and hosts a variety of fish species, making it a hotspot for fishing, canoeing and bird-watching.

Historically, the Au Sable River system was a significant pathway for the Ojibwa people who migrated seasonally between their summer fishing villages and winter hunting grounds. Used extensively in the logging era, it played a critical role in transporting the logged timber to mills and markets.

Today, the South Branch is adorned with charming towns along its banks such as

  • Roscommon
  • Higgins Lake
The river is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who relish water sports, fishing and hiking along this historic and picturesque river.

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