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> > South Branch Ausable River.

Partsman has attached these 2 pictures to this report. The message is below.
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Brown trout on a mattress thrasher.
Brown trout on a mattress thrasher.
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Report at a Glance

General RegionNorthern lp, Michigan
Time of Daylate afternoon/early evening
Fish CaughtBrown, brook trout
Conditions & HatchesVery warm, a slight breeze during the afternoon. Water levels were safe enough to wade. Lots of caddis and a few mayflies hatching. Also some yellow stoneflies.

Details and Discussion

PartsmanJune 10th, 2020, 3:33 am
bancroft michigan

Posts: 420
With water levels finally getting to a point that I feel safe wading I decided to head up and fish the afternoon and evening. I also planned to car camp the night and fish the early morning. I had just bought a new rod and reel and wanted to give it try. The early afternoon a few brookies, so after a quick bite to eat at the car I headed backdown to the river. I tied a mattress thrasher and caught a nice brown and a few more brookies. As darkness approached I switched to a brown drake pattern hoping for a hatch or spinner fall. As it got darker there were a few larger rise forms, one I tried to cast to was tight to sweeper with lots brush mixed in, I couldn't get a good cast to it. I then saw a small rise in front of me maybe 15 ft. away, I figured a small brookie but I thought a good way to end the night. Well, that small brookie turned into the biggest brown I have caught. I have not a fish fight like since my steelhead fishing days! I was amazed the 4x tippet held up, as I really had to put the screws to it when it tried to get into bankside logs. The rod in question a Gloomis nrx+ 4 wt. pushed to the max but did the job, Im not sure I will fish at night again with a 4 wt. I quickly took a couple of pics in the net, they don't do the fish justice, but I had a good case of the shakes, and it was pitch dark by now.
MartinlfJune 11th, 2020, 1:09 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3230
Love those shakes! Well done.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123June 11th, 2020, 2:16 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2610
Big beautiful brownie there, Mike! Well done! Estimated size? 18-20"? More??

It's surprising how large a fish can be found mid-stream once it starts getting dark, I've often thought "that's a little guy" and been surprised by a fat boy sitting in less than a foot and a half of water. Ah yes, the challenge of summer evenings, along with keeping the mosquitos out of your face when changing flies in total darkness...but that's when the big browns come out on the prowl! And, big flies are any day now.

My biggest frustration is that deer flies have come out early this year! Repellent will be a constant need from now until September...

Again, congrats! Biggest ever? How big is the one in the top photo, that's a nice one too!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PartsmanJune 11th, 2020, 3:21 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 420
Jonathon, I don't have a tape on me although that is on my list. The fish took the mattress thrasher around 7:00 pm, it was around 15-17 incher. I really try to get fish off the fly and back in the water as quickly as possible. The second fish was taken on the brown drake pattern at about 9:55 pm, my thoughts are it was 20 plus, and such a thick body. I did not at the time but there was witness, he must of come in behind me and he watched the whole thing. I apologized for getting so far down stream but really I could not stop this fish. He was cool with it and since the fish made a couple of nice jumps he got a half way decent look considering the light. I need to work on getting a better camera, although I don't think I would jeapordize a fish for a pic, but still I love to take river pictures and wildlife all around me so it would money well spent. So maybe the hex up next? I don't know, I worry a little more as I have gotten older, especially after my little swim back in early march up there. It really does suck getting older, I never thought I would be getting out of the water in a lot places I would have waded when I was younger, but I do now.
Jmd123June 12th, 2020, 5:14 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2610
Mike, get a Measure Net! I have both the medium and large sizes now:

You'll always know, good for bragging rights!

Again, that's a big old brownie, not easily fooled. Well done! On both fish!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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