Icons of the Fly Vest: Au Sable Skunk

Renowned Au Sable guide Earl Madsen invented the Au Sable Skunk back about the 1950’s, and it has become a go-to fly for fishermen throughout the hot summer days when springtime flies have lost their effectiveness. Unlike many flies, this fly is fished as a dry fly (floating on top of the water) and as a wet fly (underwater). Some fishermen contend it is perhaps the best all-around underwater fly today. “Earl was a real nice guy, kind of quiet,” says longtime Grayling guide Jerry McClain. Madsen and his fishing partner, Jerry Weber, would eat their lunch sitting on a log by a little creek, a spring hole, on the South Branch, McClain recalls. And that Au Sable Skunk, “it was a fish killer.”

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