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04/08/11 – high water and fish

04/08/11 What a difference a week makes. Upcountry they still have a fair amount of snow in the woods but down here the ground is almost bare again. So far the melt has been slow and river levels are surprisingly good for this time of year. And speaking of flows don’t forget the river flow

Brown Trout

phone line is working again so if you want to check the flows for the Kennebec or Androscoggin Rivers dial 1-800-557-3569 and listen to the menu – they’ll talk you through the different locations and flows.

As I mentioned the flows are surprisingly good. Shawmut is too high to wade but Bingham is at 3,900CFS all day. Not a friendly flow – especially with today’s water temperature of 37 degrees – but not an unfishable flow by any means. Solon is pegged for a 4,500CFS flow and Madison will be at 5,900CFS.

Both on the high side but both fishable if you use some common sense and don’t wade too aggressively. Actually, there’s little need to wade aggressively because with these water temperatures the fish aren’t likely to hold in any strong current area. They’re still winter cold logy and holding in slower water. But they are feeding – finally.

Try as I might I couldn’t get anything to chase a streamer. Those Browns like it a little warmer before they start to chase. I’ll have to try for some Landlocks this weekend – they seem to chase no matter how cold it is 🙂

So since they wouldn’t chase I switched to nymphs and had good luck with red. I got out two days last weekend and on the first day the Red Copper John was the ticket. The next day – using the same rig – a smaller red midge was the fly of choice. They didn’t seem to Combination of flies commonly used in the springcare for the black and white Copper John on either day. But if the truth be known I don’t think the fly patterns mattered as much as the SSG (read that big) split-shot I had on my leader. Until I broke down and put an SSG on I simply didn’t get down to where they were holding.

Now I know some people out there think SSG sized split-shot isn’t fly fishing and to them I say – don’t worry – I was in General Law water so I wasn’t cheating 🙂

Anyway they are out there and feeding has started both in the streams and on the edges of the ponds that have opened up. Speaking of ponds remember you can’t break holes in the ice to open areas and you can’t stand on ice and fish open water. Well, I guess you can so let me re-word that – you can’t LEGALLY break holes in the ice or stand on ice and fish open water.

Anyway, as I said earlier, the flows are fairly good for this time of year. To some degree I wish we had gotten the rain they predicted. It would have kicked off the big melt that doesn’t seem to have started yet. Sometime soon this river will kick up to the 50,000 plus CFS flow and the mud will run. I would just as soon get that over with now rather than later. But if that isn’t to be then I’ll fish now and watch the high flow later.

And fishing Brown Trout in the netnow or this weekend might send me to the Dead River (only flowing at 315CFS today – who knows tomorrow be sure and call) or to the East Outlet (I’m ready for a salmon) which is flowing at 2,827CFS.

Now I know 2,827CFS in the East Outlet is a HARD AND DANGEROUS flow but like I said there’s no need to wade deep and be aggressive. I know some eddies I can reach (probably on snowshoes) that should hold some fish. Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be very warm (50s – 60s) with showers but since I don’t mind showers I’ll probably go. Besides the West Outlet is only 109CFS.

That is if I don’t go to the St. George or the Sheepscot – gas costing what it does I may decide to stay closer to home until water warms some more 🙂

One thing I’m fairly sure of is I won’t be fishing dries but the hatches are coming. All we have to do is wait until the high water comes and goes.