April 15, 2016
The Fly Shop will reopen for the season on Saturday, April 30th. We’re adding new fly fishing stuff, tying materials, and an exciting new line of flies. We looking forward to seeing old customers and meeting new one. We’ll be ready to help you in any way we can.
It won’t be long before fishing starts to perk up but earlier than normal ice out predictions for the Moosehead Lake Region were put on hold while Mother Nature decided it should return to normal April conditions for a spell.
As it stands right now everything is still iced in but warmer weather predictions should move things along so probably before next week ends ice will be long gone.
Smelt are certainly gathering at the mouth of rivers and streams but runs won’t begin until the ice goes and water water temps rise above 40 degree F. They will remain in the mid-30’s until ice leaves and the warming process begins. Exceptions will be smaller ponds. Snow is now completely gone in the woods and warmer days will allow the stream water to warm into the 40’s. This is going to be one of those years when smelt may run before the ice in gone in a few those places.
When you find open water at the mouth of a stream fish tend to cruise near the shade line of the remaining ice. They have been in the dark all winter and are not very anxious to venture into the bright area of open water. We always toss the canoe anchor on the ice then cast big smelt patterns along the ice line using fast sinking lines. Fish follow the shade line and will rocket out and grab a fly not far away. If you set-up out in the middle of open water you’ll probably not attract many fish. Once the ice in gone it business as usual with fish cruising about anywhere near the stream.
River flows are currently ideal, with run-off over and high water do to last weeks rain event now subsided. It’s up to Mother Nature now. If additional rainfall in normal wading conditions should remain good. For now your want to concentrate on the mouths where smelt are gathered and around dams where fish are holding looking for smelt to come throw the gates.
Once smelt runs begin salmon will run into the East Outlet, Moose & Roach rivers especially if we get more rain and have another high water event. That creates a perfect storm when rivers fill with fish overnight.
The vast system of back country roads are free of snow but haven’t seen the frost completely leave just yet so you want to be cautious where you go and don’t pull too far off the main traveled road ’cause you may find your vehicle sinking to the axles in mud. We always throw in a come along, chain and a long cable just in cause.
We’ll keep you posted on the progress of things and we look forward to seeing everyone and talk fishing again.
We also began posting water flows on our site. We’ll update them daily so you can keep an eye on what your favorite river is doing.
Have a great beginning to your season. See you on the water.