April 2, 2017
Opening day of the 2017 Open Water Fishing Season in the Moosehead Lake Region is April 1st. The issue this year is the open water part of the equation is missing. Winter has a hard time loosing its grip and northern Maine remains frozen solid with lots of ice and snow hanging around. So for the first time even the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife announced last week that they were going to extend the ice fishing season, which always closes the last day of March, until April 15th and allow people to continue ice fishing under winter regulations.
We began posting flows today and will continue to post flows all season. And there is open water on our rivers. There will be nice weather in our future and opportunity to get out and flex a rod. The issue for a while will be access. At least three feet of snow pack still remains along with very icy conditions. Water temperatures are hanging at 34 degrees and a slip while wading can prove deadly so our best advise is use your wading staff, studded sole boots, never go over you’re knees and don’t go it alone.
What few fish are in the rivers will be holding close to the dams. They have been eking out a living grubbing around the bottom searching for nymphs. Smelt runs are a long ways off so fish won’t be feeding at the mouth of rivers and streams yet. The snow has to go first so streamers aren’t in season yet. You’ll need to bounce the bottom with heavily weighted stones or small mayfly and caddis nymphs.
Opening day and early season fishing in the north country is a get out of Dodge, enjoy a warm spring day and wet a line kind of outing. Conditions are going to get better it’s just not going to happen over night. There is a lot of run-off to come and lots of water still remains in the woods. It’s fairly safe to say we should expect a high water event in our near future.
So for now you’ll need to add the snowmobile and snowshoes to your early season gear list.