Last winter hung in there longer than anyone wanted or expected. Mother Nature didn’t loosen her grip until well into April. At the time ice-out predictions implied mid-May at the earliest.
But warmer weather finally arrived and conditions changed quickly. A perfect storm for run-off developed and within a ten day stretch snow was quickly dissapearing sending run-off was into full swing. In a few short days lakes filled to the brim, ice-out was back on schedule and officially called on May 5th. The rain ended and within a week high water subsided and great fishing conditions prevailed.
Smelt runs in all of Moosehead’s tributaries were as good as anyone has seen in resent history. Biologist told us they had small sampling nets out and documented smelt runs in every stream around the lake. A tremdous run at the Moose River produced early season trolling as good as it gets with some very impressive salmon and brookies caught.
When high water comes on the East Outlet every spring we’ll see a good run of salmon enter the river from Indian Pond as well as drop through the gates at the dam on Moosehead. The bonus associated with this kind of early season event is big Moosehead brookies drop out of the lake as well and remain in the river for some time. Fishermen were boasting of 3-4 lb brookies being caught. We had some of our guided customers bring real some beauties to net on a number of outings. As predicted 18 – 20″ landlocks were common creatures. Sinking lines and streamers did the trick throughout the month of May. And trolling the shorelines the first couple weeks after ice-out proved very productive. Customers not only talked about boating some huge brookies they had photos on their phones to prove it. Our son Alex caught a 5 lb. 2oz bruiser while trolling a tandem Grey Ghost streamer along the shoreline in sight of downtown Greenville. Fishing season was off to a very impressive start.
Hatches came right on schedule and small pond trout fishermen had a grand time the last week of May and the first week of June. Green Drakes were right on time so pond fishing held up throughout the month of June.
Caddis hatches prevailed through the end of June and well into July. Eighty-degree days came early though and relentless heat was dominant throughout the summer. We had to dig out the air conditioners. Something that doesn’t happen most years. It was great camping weather but the hot summer warmed the rivers to the point where fish moved back into the lakes and colder water.
When the heat of summer comes we typically head for the West Branch of the Penobscot and it’s tail water fishery. Even that was warmer that usual but fishing held up pretty well throughout the heat of summer.
Once cooler weather came around spawning runs kicked in and big fish began showing up. When they first enter a river they are very aggressive and eager to globber a streamer. Fall fishing is hard to beat. Hard hitting, high flying landlocks put smiles on a lot of fishermen’s faces. Anglers brought football shape salmon pushing four pounds to their nets. Thinking back on those days helps get you through that long spell of down time.
We posted some wonderful outdoor photos throughout the season at our “Photos” page of our website. Have a peak. It’s helps get the juices flowing again and inspires you to get this season’s trips in the works. Planning a outing to your favorite fishing hole is a prescribed cabin fever reliever when all you currently have to look at is cover in white. Our website also has a “Videos” page if you want to see some moving water and leaping fish. You might even pick up a hit or two on how to fool a fussy fish or two.
The Moosehead Region has a good compliment of snow so water should not be an issue this coming season. It’s getting to be that time of season when we begin our countdown to another season opener.