June 6, 2019 – Everybody is looking up.
Water flows in all the rivers are finally down to manageable levels. Hallelujah!!
And the Hendrickson hatches are in full swing. What could be better!
Once mayfly season kicks in, fish begin looking up. Translation… sinking lines become far less important in the quest for catching fish. Now you can tie your favorite streamer to your favorite floating line and fish it over your favorite water and fish will come roaring to the surface to grab it. Continue fishing them in the traditional way… 45 degrees cross current with an upstream mend them let-em’ swing with a twitch of the rod tip every now and then. Start with a short line and slowly add more to each cast, covering as much water as possible. The strike is at the surface and violent. Make sure you use a good stout leader or that big salmon or brookie will be slowing his buddies the fly he stole from you. We also like to make-em’ chase it but casting 90 degrees cross current then throwing a downstream mend to make the streamer head downstream faster than the current. Fish often boil behind it and miss it but they give you their location. Our belief is once you interest a fish in your streamer they will likely return and mean business.
This is the time of season when we’ll fish streamers and nymphs all morning and dries and emergers all afternoon. Just remember when it comes to mayflies… a good drift is better than a good cast. Once mayflies begin to appear don’t be in a big rush to get your fly on the water. Watch what’s going on. When you find a feed fish, which is a fish that appears more than once, put him on the clock. You’ll often see a number of naturals go over him without a rise. Once a fish rises to the surface and takes a bug it takes time for him to get back to his lie and begin looking up for another morsel. Your watch will often show you it’s been 3-4 minutes between eats. The more you know about a feeding fish the better your odds of fooling him. And there is nothing more satisfying than finding a feeding fish, making the perfect drift and fooling that fish.
Pond fishing has peaked. Fish are keeping bankers hours and surface feeding often lasts all afternoon. If you aren’t seeing any mayflies or surface feeding going on, that doesn’t mean trout aren’t looking to the surface for their next meal. They have been feeding on mayfly hatches for some time. If activity seems to be slow try traditional wets flies fished just under the surface. Old timers use to build leaders that had three flies attached, it’s still legal today. To the trout they are the emergers of the adults… Blue Dunn, Adams, Quill Gordon, Black Gnat and the like. Give one a nice long cast then work them with a slow retrieve. A traditional roll-of-the wrist retrieve works the best. You’ll likely see a nice swirl and tug on your fly when a hungry trout blasts to the surface for the take. Fishing will hold up until the ponds heat from long hot days under the sun. That won’t happen for some time given all the cold weather we’ve been having.
The old timers always called it bog laurel and claimed when the Bog Laurel is in bloom the bass are in the shallows and taking poppers. It’s still true today. If you know a good smallmouth place you may what to pay it a visit and toss a popper around. Yellow, white and chartreuse are our favorites. We have been having some wonderful days casting bugs to shallow water structure. The photos speak for themselves. Have a look but don’t tell anyone.
So as we said earlier “Everyone is looking up” and if you do as well you just might see an eagle or two looking back, giving you a high for a grand day spent North of the Monson-Dixin line folks like to call the North Maine Woods.
The photo above is Brea Hatch with a 22″ brookie caught while on a drift boat trip with Chad Cray. Congratulations Brea!!