August 21, 2015
As summer sunshine warms the waters of Moosehead Lake and its tributaries trout and salmon begin retreating to the lakes seeking cooler waters in the depths of the lake. Many of the E.O. residents either drop back into Indian Pond or pass through the fish ladder into Moosehead Lake. Although fish still remain in the river trout and salmon numbers in the rivers fall off. 10-12″ salmon that have spent the first year and a half of their life decide a diet of only insects is not enough and head to the lake to seek cooler water and begin feeding on a diet of smelt, the high protein food they need to mature into adult fish. The same goes for the Roach & Moose River.
The West Branch of the Penobscot below Ripogenus Dam is a different story. It’s a very unique landlocked salmon fishery where fish are born and spend their entire life in a river environment. Their is no fish ladder at Rip Dam so fish are stuck in the river. The reason they thrive is the passage of smelt through the power plant turbines and through flood gates during high water events. There is enough smelt dumped into the river to maintain a large healthy population of salmon and trout. It’s a unique situation that exists in very few places.
Because it is a tailwater fishery angling remains very good during the heat of summer. Caddis and stone fly hatches hold up and fish continue feeding on top all summer long.
Below the Seboomook Lake dam is another late summer sleeper. As water warms downstream of the dam salmon that are in the river work their way upstream toward the cooler water below the dam. Hatches continue there just like everywhere else but there are also very small yellow perch present as well. It’s one of the few places that this time of season a streamer on a dry line can get lots of attention.
It’s a little out of the way but you should be pleasantly surprised with the results and don’t forget a few #10 yellow perch patterns.
The photo above is just a subtle reminder of what is to come. A branch here and there have already begun to make an appearance. We hate to wish away summer but our very favorite time of the season in just around the corner. In our next report we should have a good idea when waters flows on the Roach will be increased to higher fall flows.
Don’t forget to support your local fly shop.