June 24th 2024

Au Sable River Fishing Report, Manistee River Fishing Report, Pere Marquette River Fishing Report -

June 24th 2024

Thursday night we launched the boat around 9 PM and were able to lock down a good-looking spot and wait for bugs. The water temp was perfect at 65 degrees. Sure enough, around 10 PM, we started seeing spinners flying up river. Not long after, they were all over the water. We were thinking, “man, are there any fish here? They should be rising by now”. We were about ready to pull anchor when the river came alive. Brad heard a good fish rise upstream and I had 2 or 3 feeding right in front of me. Brad caught his fish on the 2nd drift, a solid 19 incher.

I couldn’t get mine to eat a Regan spinner, so I switched to a smaller profile fly. One fish was feeding right up against a log. It was a risky drift, and I couldn’t see my fly. I sent one in deep and let it float until I could see my glow line just a few inches from the log and heard a gulp, hookset, fish on. Another stout 19 incher. We released the fish, and after all the commotion and red lights shining on the water, the other fish was still feeding. I sent one drift and the fish ate it immediately. Another upper teener fish.

We quietly floated downstream and the bugs had thinned out significantly, but the fish were still all over them. We picked off fish after fish until around 1 AM. A pretty stellar night, but we never broke the 20 inch mark.

The next day we launched in the afternoon in a lower section of river, hoping to find some streamer action and some larger fish eating hex. It didn’t pan out. The sun came out and the streamer bite was dead. We weren’t seeing any bugs in the cobwebs, and fish were not looking up at the very light spinner fall we had. A total bust.


Saturday called for around 2 inches of rain. After some debate, we decided to bundle up in our rain gear and launch the boat up high again. The water was up a few inches and had a slight stain. After a few fly changes, we started moving fish on a black and chartreuse deceiver. Brad made a cast in a deep bend under a low hanging cedar and a fish erupted on the fly as soon as it hit the water, but missed. I dropped anchor, we waited a minute or two, and he made another cast. The fish swiped the fly and missed, then missed again. He kept stripping the fly and came tight, “GOT HIM!”.

We caught a couple more decent fish and moved several others until it was hex time. We set up on a spot we had a good one feeding in on Thursday night. Every cabin dweller we talked to said “last night was the most epic hatch we’ve ever seen!”. The amount of bugs caught in the cobwebs verified their reports. The rain had finally stopped an hour before dark. We were pumped up. The only problem was….the bugs never came. And then the rain returned. We pushed out, pulled the boat out in the rain, changed into some dry clothes, and drove home.

Kelly Galloup once said, “If you wanna hit the hex, fish the thing for 10 days”. Can you get lucky and nail it on the 1st night like we did? Sure. But it doesn’t always pan out, even if the bugs were epic the night before. It’s a chess game, and mother nature is your opponent.