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> > May in the Mason Tract

Summer_doug has attached these 3 pictures to this report. The message is below.
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The only brown caught all trip
The only brown caught all trip
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More than 12 inches of beautiful wild brook trout
More than 12 inches of beautiful wild brook trout
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So many brook trout - this one was one of the "monsters" compared to the rest
So many brook trout - this one was one of the "monsters" compared to the rest

Report at a Glance

General RegionSouth Branch of Au Sable

Details and Discussion

Summer_dougMay 25th, 2021, 2:45 am
Detroit, MI

Posts: 56
My friend, Tim, and I headed to the South Branch in the hopes of dry fly action and we were not disappointed. Thanks to Mike (partsman) for helping with wading advice and convincing us to hit the Mason Tract. It truly is an amazing gem of Michigan.

There was bug activity pretty much all day, but the cooler nights put an unexpected damper on any spinner falls. Fish were rising everywhere and brookies between 4 and 8 inches seemed numberless. In the hopes of a chance at a bigger fish, we moved between access points and were rewarded.

Although my casting was very rusty, I was able to throw a size 18 parachute adams to drift right off a fallen log. About two feet into the drift, the water erupted and a brookie went airborne. It felt like my personal best so I prayed my 6x would stay out of the wood and I could get the brookie downstream. He jumped two or three more times before I finally brought him to the net. In the environs of the Mason Tract with no one around, it was an unforgettable moment. The trout even made it on Gates' river report for the week!

Sorry for the lack of interesting pictures, but with such little time to fish lately, we tried to keep the line wet as much as possible. In fact, we didn't even get a "picture" of my brook trout - it's a still from the video of releasing it. Side comment: I've found that I've caught more fish lately by simply keeping the line on the water for longer. I've been told that a million times, but it holds true.

Thanks again for letting me bug you about the South Branch, Mike!

From Michigan
RogueratMay 25th, 2021, 11:44 am
Posts: 472

NICE pics and this post reinforced my need to get on this water, sooner rather than later...sad to admit I've been fly fishing for some 35+ years now and have NEVER
Was the water low or warming on your outing? Crazy low flows and some borderline 'no trout fishing or you'll kill 'em' temps here in W MI and anglers are cautioning each other by word of mouth and even via some Guide websites too.
RogueratMay 25th, 2021, 11:48 am
Posts: 472
hit 'enter' with an errant keystroke, d'oh...

NEVER been on any parts of the Au Sable although I've crossed it (too) many times heading north to fish other waters.

Thanks for sharing your experience on this beautiful stream,


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Summer_dougMay 26th, 2021, 2:28 am
Detroit, MI

Posts: 56

The Mason Tract is truly a special place and extremely wadeable when the conditions are right (it tends to be the first one to rise and last one to fall after rain). I've only been there a couple times, but the sights and hatches are magical.

As for the temps, the Au Sable is extremely stable so I think you'd be alright. I fished the main branch at the end of July a few years ago and the temperature was 64 degrees. My guess is that water temp is really only an issue after the dam in Mio. The Holy Waters are sprinkled with springs that the brookies seem to love.

Make time to get out there - you won't regret it even if the fish don't cooperate.

From Michigan
MartinlfMay 26th, 2021, 10:33 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Nice work. That's a gorgeous brookie. Glad the Troutnut network helped put you on some fish. We have some great guys on the site.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Summer_dougMay 28th, 2021, 4:29 am
Detroit, MI

Posts: 56
The members of this forum have been really helpful.

When I started fly fishing a few years ago, I didn't know a single person who fished this way personally. Without a mentor, the learning curve is incredibly steep. Thanks to this forum (and others like it), I am able to be mentored from afar.

Mentorship is so important.
From Michigan
MartinlfMay 29th, 2021, 6:41 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
So glad to hear this, Doug. I think it's one of the most personal and friendly sites. Your success is a testament to your dedication and the mentorship of folks on the site. Glad you found a buddy to fly fish with too. I started off fishing solo mostly, but have come to really appreciate fishing with buddies in recent years.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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