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Our Mission

The mission of the Au Sable Big Water Preservation Association is to conserve and watch over the reach of river from Mio Dam to Alcona Pond and support the best interests of the entire Au Sable River system.


Sulphur Family Offers A Trio Of Bugs That Take Us To "What The Hell Are They Eating" Time

   We usually get about 10 days of just Dark Hendricksons, then Small Mahoganies and Sulphurs start to hatch.  When that happens it's time to put on your Thinking Cap.  It isn't easy any more.  Five mayflies, caddis, assorted stones, four life cycles, and trout that have just rediscovered looking up.  It'll drive a grown man to tears, but it's a blast!
   This is a time when it's hard to determine what fish are eating, and they may change preference in a blink of an eye.  You just have to stay with it.
   There are three sulphurs, two are also known as Hendricksons.  Confused?  Read on.
   The Sulphur that everybody calls a Sulphur is the Ephemerella dorothea.  Really cool guys call it the Pale Evening Dun, but not around me.
   It's Sulphur small at #16-18 and even #20 at the end of the hatch.  These are afternoon hatchers, at first, and get later as spring progresses.  They can hatch at sundown.  Look for big hatches once the water warms. 
   You'll know you're into Sulphurs because they are pale yellow to orange and even light brown. 
   This bug spins at sundown too and often well after dark.  It gets in the way of the Brown Drake and Hex, by sometimes putting mats of spinner biomass on the water. 
   Its bigger cousin is the Ephemerella invaria, most know it as the bigger (#14-16) Sulphur, but some call it the True Hendrickson.  It starts a couple of days after the dorothea.  This has brown and even red bands along with the yellow.  (The photo above is likely an invaria.)  It's likely our most common mayfly.
   Within the daily phase the invaria might hatch an hour or two before the dorothea, but there can be an overlap.  They spin at the same time of night and add to the chaos of late May.
   Finally comes the Ephemerella rotunda, the Light Hendrickson that everybody loves.   The biggest of the Sulphur clan at #14, rotunda is a trophy trout bug, but not necessarily a Super Hatch.  They mix in with their cousins both hatching and spinning, but in far less numbers and for a shorter time frame.
   The Roberts Yellow Drake is probably the best answer to the Sulpher question.  It covers duns and spinners, which constantly overlap.  Carry it on sizes from 14 to 18.