This Throwback article by Ed Tremewan of Flint appeared in our August/September 1950 issue, our second after relaunching in July 1950 following a pilot issue in January 1947. From 1950-1952, Michigan Out-of-Doors was a pocket magazine sponsored by Pfeifer Brewing Company and featuring iconic artwork evocative of period advertising. Trout anglers, we want to hear from you: does the advice in the article still hold up? Comment below!
By Ed Tremewan | AUGUST is the month when the fine art of fly fishing comes into its own. These are bright, warm sunny days and the streams have settled down to their lazy ways. The water is low and crystal clear. Trout are wary and choosey about their food.
Hatches are abundant, but in the main are of small insects. Gnats, midges and small millers are the order of the day - although grasshoppers should not be overlooked as a choice delicacy for the wily trout at this time.
Slow, thoughtful fishing is the most productive. Trout have been fished over for weeks and those that are left are wise to the ways of fishermen. Strategy must be employed to bring these fish to creel.
In every stream there are stretches easily fished with a dry fly. Everyone who fishes along the river will give these stretches a complete going over. The result is that by August the unwary trout have all been caught and the smarter ones have either moved to spots harder to reach or are so wise as not to be fooled by an artificial offering. It follows that in these same streams are many good places to fish in the late season because the average angler has by-passed them as too difficult. These are spots to watch for in August.
You will probably find these places on the deeper side of the stream, which makes wading a little tough. There is some overhanging brush or trees to hamper the backcast, or a tangled logjam to hang a fly on. But there are trout to be taken from these pools - trout that have retired to the cooler depths of the stream, under the shadows of bushes and trees, and around those log jams, to await the offerings of nature or the clever fly fisherman.
When your customary fly methods fail to bring results, especially in the August season, try fishing those places that have been a little tough up to now. Change to the other side of the stream for a while. Fish a shorter line, use a longer, finer leader and a smaller fly. Keep your line afloat but treat your leader so that it sinks beneath the surface. Fish out every cast and do not disturb the fish by casting repeatedly at one spot trying to get an extra foot of cast. Let every cast ride its course before picking up to cast again. Remember, you will not catch fish while your line is in the air and even a badly cast fly may catch a trout. The diturbance created by picking the fly up and laying it down again may frighten the fish until it will not rise.
The man who knows trout and trout water, and will take the time to fish the more difficult stretches of water, will take his limit more often than the race horse who goes through four miles of stream, but wets his line in only the easiest places. So take it easy, fish a tight line and keep your fly on the water.
Ed Tremewan is a veteran Michigan Trout fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He is a leader in the Flint YMCA Father and Son program and has been in the sporting goods business for many years. (August-September 1950)