April 6, 2014
Open water fishing season is in full swing, if you can find any.
Moosehead Lake always had a May 1st opening day until this season. Because of earlier iceouts the last few years opening day was moved back to April 1st in an attempt to provide move fishing opportunity and be in line with the traditional opening day throughout the rest of the state. The last couple of years ice was long gone by late April. Not this year.
Although spring thaw is underway you’ll have a hard time finding any open water in these parts. The lakes and ponds still have 2’ of snow covering over 3’ of ice.
The Moose River, East Outlet, and Roach River all have an April 1st opening. There is open water to be found but you’ll need snowshoes to get to it. Without them you’ll have to wade through 4’ of snow and deal with lots of river ice. It may be very tempting but also very dangerous.
All you hardcore fishermen either have early trips already planned or are waiting for more melt before heading out. As you make your plans always pay close attention to windows of opportunity that will begin to open before long.
The first window of opportunity will be our smelt runs. That will not happen until most of the snow is gone from the woods and stream water temperature rise to over 40 degrees. Smaller streams will always see the first runs. Rivers usually begin a week or so later.
Remember, “The smaller the volume of flowing water the sooner the run, the larger the flow the later the run.” For example the Roach River will always see a run before the Moose River. The Roach River flows 6 miles under the warming sun before entering Moosehead. Often the water will be 10 degrees warmer by the time it reaches the lake. Moose River water flows at a higher volume and only flows a couple miles from Brassua Lake before reaching Moosehead.It would be lucky to gain a degree.
Keep this in mind while you’re making early season plans and you’ll increase your odds of finding the window of opportunity wide open. In the meantime polish up your favorite streamers and put a shine on your heaviest sinking lines. You’re going to need’em.