As we say every fall, the key ingredients for a good fall river fishing is falling water temperatures and rising water levels. In the last ten days river water temperatures have gone from their peak at 72 degrees to the current temperature of 64 degrees. Nights have been in the low 50’s with daytime temps struggling to reach the mid-60’s. Fall is definitely in the air. Maples are already showing signs of what is to come. And to help the rising water level component flows were increased to on the East Outlet, Moose River, and Roach River. On the 3rd the East Outlet went form 1050 cfs to 1605 cfs. The Moose River went for 601 cfs to 1200cfs and the Roach is supposed to go from it’s summer flow of 118 to + – 200cfs. What this all means is the stars are lining up nicely to kick-start the fall spawning runs of trout and salmon.
Once that larger volume of cooler water hits a lake salmon and trout respond with an initial run of fish into the rivers. And it doesn’t take them long to filter throughout a river. It only takes a couple days. And when fall salmon and trout leave a lake and enter a river on their spawning run they are very aggressive and eager to chase down any number of streamer patterns. This is the time of season when colorful fall patterns like a Shufelt Special, Fox Hole Special or the infamous Montreal Whore get lots of attention. A floating line or maybe a sink-tip is all you’ll need for a while. Your favorite fall streamer can’t be too big to begin with. When fish leave the lake they are leaving a steady diet of smelt so size doesn’t seem to matter. Start by working your streamer close then slowly add a bit more line on each cast so to cover every bit of water. You’ll find fall fish holding in places you won’t find them any other time. Sure you’ll find them in traditional feeding lanes but they will often be in shallower water than earlier is the season so fish every inch. Be sure to use a good stout leader, 6 to 10 lb test. The strike tends to be quite violent and if you react in the same way to set the hook you’ll likely watch your salmon make a leap to safety with your fly attached to his lip if you don’t have a strong enough leader. The Moosehead Drainage has been growing some bragging sized brook trout and salmon lately so expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. We see some of the biggest fish of the season during the fall runs.
Word has it ponds have also cooled nicely and trout are vacating spring holes and can be found now cruising about looking for something to eat after going a month or more without a square meal. A small traditional Hornberg, Wood Special or Muddler Minnow fished wet of dry should attract plenty of attention. Trout will cruise around looking for a meal most of the month but as the days go by and spawning time nears they’ll migrate toward their spawning areas where they’ll begin gathering in large numbers.
We don’t want to wish away summer but this is without a doubt our favorite time of season. Bull moose begin showing up in the middle of the road looking like they just stepped out of Gillie’s Gym, their antlers all polished and often sporting a bit of an attitude, geese get restless, and grouse are seen feeding on the last of the tender green plants along the edges of the miles and miles of dirt roads. It’s a wonderful time of season when we also see some of the biggest fish. There will be grand animated tales of grand fish accompanied by grand photos and high fives as well as a fair share of sad stories of the big one that…. We’ve already spun a few tales about grand fish from yesteryears. They are what get us all fired up for what we anticipate is to come. Our only wish is September fishing should be three months long instead of three weeks.
It’s go time. Stop by the shop on your way by, in either direction. We have the stuff you need and we love grand tales of grand fish and the photos that go with them.
See you on the water.