2017 – Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report –
A lot has happened during May. Smelt runs have come and gone. There was way to much wet, cold weather and two major high water events that left rivers unfishable. Water temps remained in the low 40’s making fishing difficult to say the least. Through it all the Moose River lived up to it’s reputation when it filled with spawning smelt with trout and salmon right on their heals. Fishermen quickly commented on the quality of Moosehead fish. “They’re all like foot balls, we haven’t seen fish in such good shape in a long time.” And our fisheries biologists had told us Moosehead’s brook trout are in great shape so expect to see some real beauties. With that in mind we played a couple of “Window of Opportunity” cards and tricked a bunch of beautiful brookies that you measure in pounds not inches with one weighting around 4 lbs and another 24”- 5 lb plus beauty. You’ll be happy to know they are all still swimming around and remain in the gene pool.
As the water warmed, after a colder than normal start, fishing has gotten better everyday. There is still a lot of streamer stripping with heavy sinking lines going on but now that the smelt spawn is over smaller streamers seem to be getting more attention than the larger version. Suckers began spawning this week when water temps made it to the high 40’s. In the right places fish won’t leave a sucker egg pattern alone.
As a result of the high water events there are a lot of fish in the rivers. After fish have been in the river for awhile they discover the tremendous insect populations and begin to pay a little more attention to all creatures crawling around on the bottom. The last few days we have been doing just as well with nymphs as with streamers. Every aquatic insect is crawling around down there and with no major hatches fish happening yet fish aren’t keyed into any particular species of nymph. It’s that time of season when it may take 5 different nymphs patterns to catch 5 different fish. Fish have been partial to small black stones, which will be hatching soon and also chartreuse nymphs. There is a bright green caddis lava that is pupating so a chartreuse copper john, or caddis lava is getting some attention but so is an olive hare’s ear, pheasant tails and sucker spawn. Variety is the ticket right now. There have been some blue wing olives hatching so that tells us the Hendrickson hatches aren’t to far away.
High water has been a major issue this spring but flows have been dropping all this week. We just got a call from Brookfield Energy and Rick (the dam keeper) gave us great news. The East Outlet will be at 1800 cfs, starting today and staying there throughout the holiday weekend. The Roach is now at 200 cfs, which is perfect, and the Moose down to 1700. We’ll continue to post daily flows on our web site but it looks like everything will likely stay the same at least through the holiday weekend.
Our trout ponds have now lit up. A crew of guys, we know have been catching lots of brookies on a number of different remote ponds. They said they haven’t seen any hatches but trout are after small wets fished just under the surface. A hornberg, wood special or small muddler should do the trick. Mayflies like a Blue Dunn, Adams, or Black Gnat will be headliners any day now.
So the stars are all lined and fishing, as we often say this time of season, is just getting better and better. We are in for a long stretch of some very fine fishing.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. And please raise a glass to all who have given so much to our country so we are able to enjoy this great land we live in.