Michigan Fish: Brook Trout, Bluegill, and Largemouth Bass
In Michigan, we entered the state by way of the Upper Peninsula. Rusty had trouble getting a license, so he did not fish for the first few days. We crossed the Mackinac Bridge into the lower Peninsula and went to the Au Sable River. The Au Sable was low and warm. We went to the upstream boundary of the Martin Tract. Rusty walked down the trail and got into the river about a mile downstream. The water temperature was 68 degrees when he began fishing. He started fishing with a hopper dropper and was not getting any hits. He changed to a Double Helix Blue Winged Olive and got a few looks, but no hits. He went through his fly box and found some No hackle Blue Wing Olives he had tied, probable 15 years ago. Rusty put one on and almost immediately, hooked an 8-inch brook trout. He released the fish without removing it from the water as it was stressed. He had several hook ups that self-released (they got off by themselves), then had to land another brook trout of about 9 inches. He kept moving up stream and covered the water in about two hours. He did not get any pictures of the fish as he only had his phone camera and did not want to keep the fish out of the water long enough to get a picture.
We then went to a Methodist church campground with a small lake called Blood Lake. We rented a boat and Cindy rowed while Rusty fished for sunfish and bass. Rusty caught both bluegill and largemouth bass on a variety of flies. The best was a bass that I caught on a Bucktail Streamer where we saw the strike. The fly was about 3 feet deep just above the weeds and the bass came in and slammed the fly. Rusty went out by himself in the afternoon and fished under overhanging trees with small Poppers and caught several bluegill and a few red eared sunfish. Rusty tried to troll for walleye with Barely Legal flies in olive and white with no success.