Water, water, Everywhere

May 24, 2019 – We hate to say it but the rainy season in Maine doesn’t officially end until mid-June. This seasons weather patterns have confirmed that many times. As a result our rivers have remained swollen due to a severe weather pattern that bombed through Maine a couple days ago. They (the water people) are still trying to get rid of that water. And another rain event came through during the overnight. Our leaves have just started to bud in the last couple days. The facts state run-off ends when the forest becomes green again. They need a lot of water to develop leaves so excess run-off should come to an end soon.

Smelt runs are pretty much over but fish that entered our rivers on the heals of a smelt run, remain in the rivers for a number of reasons. The first and most substantial being the discovery of the endless insect populations. As waters begin warming mayfly nymphs become active. Blue wing olives have already begun in earnest. Also caddis lava start to pupate so there is plenty of insect activity. Next in line is the sucker spawn, which shifts into high gear when water temps hit 48 degrees. That’s going on right now in many rivers and streams. It lasts for just about a week. And streamers continue to work until there are so many bugs hatching fish forget all about baitfish. So for the time being we’ll play three different games during any given day. It will be streamers and nymphs all morning and once the mayfly (Hendricksons) begin popping its dries all afternoon and maybe a spinner fall at dusk.

The Moose and East Outlet may remain be too high to wade fish this weekend. Now what? The West Outlet flows the same year round, 128 – 179 cfs (cubic feet per second). It’s a tiny dam and is only there to keep the lake level up. The West Outlet flows for eight miles before it enters Indian Pond and there is a road that runs along the north side for 5 miles. There are lots of easy access spots all the way to the railroad trestle (Summerset Junction). It’s not that much different than fishing the Roach River. The few folks we know that call the West Outlet their home water often boast of good fishing and no people.

Prime time is here for all our wild trout ponds. We know moving water fishermen have a hard time jumping ship to still water fishing but there is some fine fishing coming up on the ponds. Sinking lines with dragon fly nymphs or small woolly buggers will find feeding brookies cruising the edge of shoreslines. Midge hatches have started so trout are already looking to the surface for a meal. Try fishing a small standard hornberg just under the surface. A slow twitchy retrieve should get plenty of attention.

The Roach River has been cut back to 300 cfs. It’s a bit high but fishable. Line your rod with your sinking line then attach your favorite streamer. We like a Black Ghost Maribou right about now. You should find eager salmon throughout the entire river. They would have come in during higher water and remain in the river until it gets cut back to summer flows… 100-125 cfs. That won’t happen for a while.

This just in form Brookfield regarding the West Branch of the Penobscot weekend flows.
“I am just giving everyone a heads up that we will be reducing flow tomorrow afternoon.  We will be shutting the gates in an attempt to provide reasonable flows through the weekend.  This should allow rafting trips and better fishing for the holiday weekend.  We will be running at station capacity (3,500 – 3,600 cfs) from 5:00pm – 07:00am and 3,200 cfs from 07:00am – 5:00pm, daily.

I can’t stress enough that this is 100% dependent on inflows and we may not be able to offer these flows for very long.  We are expecting an inch or more of rain over the next couple of days and it may get to a point where we just can’t support this type of operation any longer.  I will send out follow up emails as soon as I know we will be increasing flows again. I hope Mother Nature cooperates and we are able to continue operating this way, but time will tell. “

Have a grand Memorial Day Weekend . The weather people are predicting a favorable weather pattern will prevail.

Ciera Hamlin and her father Richard were in the shop the other day with Ciera’s state record splake. 11.38 pounds caught in the Moosehead Lake Region. Splake which is a hybrid cross between a brook trout and a lake trout are stocked in many ponds around the state. They look like a brookie but have the potential to get very big.
Congratulations Ciera, she said she thought she had bottom. After a 30 minute battle the new state record was in their net.