Fall water increases key ingredient

September 6, 2106

Totally different water conditions apply for good fishing in the spring than do in the fall. In the spring we want falling water levels and rising water temperatures. After high spring run-off becomes more stable and water temperatures begin to rise, hatches start and fishing gets better and better. In the fall the opposite applies. Either fall rains or scheduled dam releases raise river levels and cooler fall weather conditions drop water temperatures fish enter the rivers from the lakes on their fall spawning runs. It’s a simple equation and very predictable.
This time of season the folks in charge of the water releases will bump flows to help attract trout and salmon into the rivers. Increases on the East Outlet are the result of a scheduled drawn down of Moosehead so the lake will be at a certain level by October 15th when lake trout begin to spawn around the shores of Moosehead.
There has been a rumor going around claiming Moosehead was to be pulled down 4 feet quickly so work could be done on the dam. That rumor proved not to be true. Someone was telling camp owners about a quick drop in lake level, in hopes to pick-up dock work around the lake. This is just another year. The East Outlet should see an increase in flow any day but nothing major.
The Roach saw and increase today from 83 cfs to 200 cfs, which should attract good numbers of trout and salmon in by this coming weekend. The Moose River usually sees its increase about mid-month.
New fish in the rivers tend to be very aggressive and willing to chance streamers. They have been feeding on bait in the lakes all summer. Once they settle down after being in the river for a while and seen enough streamers, nymphs and soft hackle wets will fool as many fish as streamers.
The nymphing game is different in the fall than during hatch season. Almost every species of insect has completed their hatch cycle and have begun their new life as nymphs much smaller than they will be next summer. The big thing is every species is down there crawling around the bottom. Fish will pick at this nymph and that and not key on any one thing. They really aren’t that hungry. They have their mind on other things. Because you catch a fish on a copper john doesn’t mean you have the answer to what fish want. It often takes 5 different nymphs to catch 5 fish out of one pool. We often say in the fall “When you do catch a fish just chop that fly off and put on a new one.”
Lastly we know there are drought conditions throughout New England. We have been fortunate and received enough rain over the season to allow good fall fishing flows. We hate to wish away summer but if the cooler weather continues the stars will align and we’ll catch some of the biggest fish of the season.
The red maples are telling us fall in just around the corner.