September 6, 2017
Everything has come together nicely for wonderful fall fishing conditions. First the water temperature has gone from a high of 72 degrees in late August to the low 60’s in the last ten days, and it’s currently raining 59 degree water. Remember, in the fall, fish love falling water temperatures and rising water levels.
Last Friday the Roach River went from 93 cfs – 200 cfs. That doesn’t sound like much but when flows double and the water temp is in the low 60’s, spawning age fish respond. The very next day fresh fish were in the lower pools and now, five days later, fresh fish are being caught throughout the river. When the stars are lined up right fish respond.
Yesterday, September 5th, the Moose River flow went from 485 cfs to 1005 cfs and the East Outlet went from 1000 cfs to 1800 cfs so fish should be responding to the increased flow of cool water and already entering those rivers.
All spawning age fish don’t enter a river at the same time. As conditions continue to change fish respond accordingly, another abrupt rise in flow and/or a decrease in water temperature another wave of fish will show-up and so on.
Also we can experience the opposite effect if flows drop and water warms. If we get a couple 75-80 degree days in a row and river warm warms a few degrees fish stop entering and if the water warms too much fish already there may begin to drop out. Brook trout usually spawn around mid-October and salmon not until November so they don’t need to get to their spawning areas until then. The earlier the stars line up, the sooner fish show-up, its quite predictable.
And the bite follows a similar path. If the water stays cold and the flow remains up fishing generally remains very good. If the water begins to warm and flows begin to drop you can have a river full of fish that can’t be caught. That’s why we say fall fishing can be “Feast or Famine.”
New fish to a river are very aggressive and eager to grab a streamer. After all they just left a lake and their steady diet of smelt that they had to hunt. Once they are in a river for a while and settle comfortably into a spot they can become couch potatoes and not as fond of chasing streamers as they were when they first showed up. But couch potatoes like Lays potato chips. It’s common knowledge, spawning fish aren’t that interested in food after they have been in the river for a while, but if you drift a nymph (Lays potato chip) by their nose they just might pick one up now and then. The same goes for a soft hackle wet fly. To the fish it looks like a spent caddis in the film of the water, an easy tidbit they often can’t resist.
Our maples have already starting to color up nicely, the rivers are already in prime fall conditions and the fall spawning runs have already become. All the stars have lined up nicely and it’s time to catch some of the biggest fish of the season.
We only have one October Overnight left for two anglers.
October 12-13. Click Here for details and cost.
And we want to thank everyone who purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win a guided fishing trip with Dan. The proceeds all went to the Maine Professional Guides Association, a great organization that protects our sporting heritage. Joe Gilmore was drawn as the winner of a drift boat trip on the East Outlet or the West Branch of the Penobscot or a guided flats trip in Everglades National Park.
Remember to support your local fly shop and have a great week on the water.