October 1, 2017
We’ve been flat out with trips so I apologize for not being at the keyboard more. It’s that time of season. It too bad September isn’t four months long instead of four weeks.
It’s been an interesting September to say the least. Every river saw great early September runs of salmon and brookies. Fall fishing started with a bang. We saw some of the best fishing we’re seen in years shortly after flows were increased the day after Labor Day. All we needed was a big streamer on a floating line. If a fish missed it the first time they would come back on the very next cast and get the job done. It didn’t really matter what streamer it was. Life was very good and the fishing was easy for that first week.
But as it has in the past years September became our newer summer month and the water slowly became to warn during bluebird days and warm nights. As we have said in the past, good fall fishing depends on increased water flows and decreasing water temperatures. But when water temperature in the low 60’s start to climb back up fish get much less aggressive with every degree and the bite begins to ease off. And if it climbs back to the high 60’s catching gets real tough. You can easily go from ten fish per rod per day to 4 fish per rod per day to 2 fish per rod per day in the matter of a week.
A river full of fish weld themselves to the bottom and only move to get out of the way of any fly that comes too close. If river water warms back to 70 degrees or higher fish may drop back into a lake and wait until it cools before reentering. The biologists saw that very thing happen when they studied the migration of trout and salmon at the Roach River a few years ago. That is the “Feast or Famine” of fall fishing folks.
It’s been said by many skeptics “Climate chance is all in our heads.” And we’ve been saying for some time now “September has become our newest summer month.” This could very well be the first fall on record that the Moosehead Region did not see one frost during September.
Few waters remain open after the last day of September. It’s because brook trout spawn in October and now more than ever before fish biologists want wild brook trout populations to be left alone during spawning especially now that we know 50% or more perish during the spawn.
But if you consult your fishing law book you’ll find a number of trout ponds in our region remain open during October, like Mountain View, Prong, Indian, and a few others that are stocked throughout the season.
The East & West Outlets of the Kennebec are on that list. So it not over just yet. You have another entire month with a river full of fish and many more fish that will be entering the rivers during October.
Male salmon are never more handsome as are brook trout. If you haven’t already done so you’re likely going to hook your biggest fish of the season. This fall the word that best explains the quality of these fish is “Football”. They are impressive and powerful and when you hook into one on those tiny flies it often takes to entice them you had better hope everything goes your way. Fish of this caliber easily part even 3X tippet if you are the least bit heavy handed. This is when a good reel with a sophisticated drag will make the difference between getting a fish to the net or waving good bye as you and your fish part company.
The other thing about October fishing is it may take ten different flies to catch ten different fish. Our fly patches are always overflowing at the end of the day. Watch for yourself. You’ll see everyone bent over tying on another hopeful time and again.
There is a fish out there that may chase a streamer but refuse everything else and one that want some tiny nymph, or one that decided to rise to a big dry. The trick is getting two fish to eat the same fly. Our best advise this time of season is “ Once you catch a fish just chance the fly because it probably won’t fool another.
Oh, this month for sure bring your ear muffs and hand warmers. It’s finally fall and the colors are coming on strong.