The 2020 Open Water Fishing Season hasn’t really begun just yet in the Moosehead Lake Region. Thoughts of an historically early iceout have faded for the time being. With over 18″ inches of fresh snow dumped yesterday it will likely take a week or more just to get back to where we were before this event. It would be unusual for April to be kinder than normal. We can only hope for early fishing conditions north of the Monson-Dixon Line. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. We have always said,”If the ice goes out before the beginning of May it’s early, if it goes out after May 10th it’s late.
With that in mind, if fishing is always focused on catching you’re playing the wrong game, especially this early in the season.
Fishermen who enjoy each and everyday on the water have a basic fundamental philosophy. We truly enjoy the wonders of mother nature and all she has to offer, not just the fish. It’s the eagle overhead, the loon and their lonely cries from the bay, the mink hunting along the streamer’s banks, and the pileated woodpecker that sounds like it came from the Congo that all add to the fishing experience. For many the fish are simply, just the bonus.
We alway consider early season open water fishing to be a wonderful outing and don’t expect to do a hole lot of catching.
We have jumped the gun and have gone “ way to early (for catching) way too may times” but have a great day anyway.
One example that always comes to mind is when the East Outlet began to open the first day of April instead of the first of May. The river was at minimum flow, 500 cfs (cubes feet per second) and the woods still held at lease two feet of snow so it took a hike on snowshoes to get to the middle pools. At 500 cfs one third of the river bed is dewatered so once in the river bed I could shed the snow shoes and easily walk the dry edges and easily accessible what were now isolated pools I had never seen before. I thought the days fishing would be like shooting fish in a barrel. But it was only the beginning of April with Moosehead still iced in so the river water temperature was maybe 36 degrees. I implemented every trick I knew at the time and nothing. The couple of tugs I had were more likely bottom than actual trout or salmon. I fished over a mile of river, fishless I might add, but what I discovered along the way I’ll never forget. I came onto groups of ducks in every pool because this river was one of only a few precious open water haunts they could find. And the deer that had been wintering along the river feeding on the white cedar tips now could hop down on the river bed away from two feet of snowpack and leisurely feed on all that cedar they couldn’t reach all winter long. Around every bend there were small groups of two to ten deer enjoying a fresh meal and their freedom from months of snow pack. I also discovered why I had been catching fish in certain spots over the years. It became clear there were deeper pockets of water and boulders I had no idea were there. That was a long time ago and I went home fishless but I remember that day like it was yesterday.
Productive fish catching days are coming and not any too soon but for now just getting out of the house and flexing that new rod is what we all need right now.
There are still 4 days left for our 20% Off Fly Sale at our On-Line Catalog.
Stay well and safe safe during these uncertain times ahead for us all.