July 18, 2018 – It’s that time of season when a lot of the hatches have come and gone. The Green Drakes (Hex) hatches are just about over. They are the last big banquet fish see on our lakes and small trout ponds. And with summer settling in trout in the small ponds retreat into spring holes to wait out the heat of summer. Spring holes are where cool ground water enters from the bottom. Spring holes may not be any bigger than the foundation of your home but rout gather there in big numbers. The water temperature beyond the spring water which is in the high 50’s will be 70 degrees or greater. So trout wait it out in the cooler water until late season cooler weather arrives. They go to spring holes fat and happy after feeding to their heart’s content on all those may fly hatches that began back in May.
Spring hole fishing isn’t very glamorous but it can be extremely productive. You have to trade your floating line for a type 3 full sinking line. Carry two anchors so you can anchor your canoe on both ends so any wind won’t spin your canoe making it hard to fish your sinking line close to the bottom
.Spring holes are guarded secrets that you won’t find on a map. But you can find and print depth maps of your favorite ponds at the state fish and game site. You’ll find that link on our website. https://maineguideflyshop.com/remote-ponds-info/
Spring Hole fishing is very technical. Once you locate one cast as long a line as possible and let it sink for a while and retrieve your nymph slowly. If your fly comes back with a little green moss on it you are in the spring hole. You’ll want to count down the amount of time you let the line sinking. You want your fly to be only a couple feet off bottom getting as close to fish as possible. Once you catch one there will likely be many more along that same spot.
The catching on East Outlet has slowed down. Fish are well feed and can get very fussy. With fewer daytime hatches it gets harder to tease a fish into grabbing a dry on the surface film especially with small caddis. Try tossing a cheeseburger out there, give’em something worth the trip to the surface. Golden and black stones have been hatching for a while so fish are accustomed to seeing big stuff. Try a larger size Stimulator with a caddis trailer of maybe a bead head caddis pupa. We also start fooling more fish with soft hackle wet flies. Fish think they are dead or emerging caddis just under the surface film. They make a much easier nugget than a dry on top of the surface film.
The best advise we can give you this time of season is cover every square foot of water with your fly. If there is a feeding fish out there make sure it sees your flies. Also early morning and late evening can be busier when hatching are going on and low light conditions. And if your fly isn’t working change it. It often that’s any number of different flies to get the job done. We often start on the surface with dries then swing soft hackle for the fish that’s won’t take our dries. We also bounce some nymphs along the bottom in order to fool couch potatoes welded to the bottom. Big stone fly and caddis pupa nymphs often will do the job when the sun gets is in the sky. There are still plenty of fish to be caught, they are not as easily fooled as they were when caddis were hatching throughout the day.
The photo above is another high flying landlocked salmon up on the West Branch of the Penobscot. Look close and you’ll see the dropper fly connected to the lead fly which was a Royal Stimulator.
Have a wonderful time on the water.