04/10/09 – Well call me crazy but I’m sticking with my prediction of wading Shawmut by May 12th. We’ve had what I call a good melt, so far. It certainly could change with a big rain but the forecast has a few showers during the next week and a string of 50 degree days. Great for continued fast but not furious melt.
Add that to the light water content of the snow that remains and things are looking good. In fact, I’m almost tempted to move the predicted date up a bit – but I won’t. The 12th is what I’m sticking with. Just for reference the 1st of May was the earliest I remember being able to wade Shawmut (for more than one low day here or there) and June 1st in the latest I remember for a late start of wading day.
This map shows the latest water content survey from the State of Maine website. I know it may be a little on the small side for you to read the print but here’s what the colors indicate. Those white areas show a snow pack with water content in the middle 50% of historic levels. The lavender (most of the state) shows a snow pack with water content in the lowest 25% of historic levels. And if you look real close there are some darker – almost purple – areas which show a snow pack with water content in the lowest 10% of historic levels. That’s all good from my point of view.
There are still some areas with deep snow in the woods north of us and over west but that snow isn’t saturated and when it melts the flows shouldn’t jump too high.
Ice Out dates are also on target or a little early. Sebago has large open areas. Big Bay is wide open, South Cove, in Standish is wide open with some ice behind Indian Island but some other areas like Jordan Bay are still locked in. I don’t know about you but my sneaking around the ice days are over. I quit after being trapped for two days by shifting ice. Thankfully, I was at my camp and so comfortable but until the wind shifted the ice away from my shoreline I was trapped. So if you hit Sebago stick to the open areas and don’t try sneaking into places between the shoreline and ice sheets.
Speaking of my camp on Pemadumcook Lake it will still be awhile. Some kind soul has installed a webcam there and when I looked at it this morning the sun was shining brightly on that snow covered ice. Hopefully it will be out by Mother’s Day because I plan on being there. I also plan on doing some drift and cast fly-fishing out on the big water. Terry Walsh and some others have been giving me some pointers on Irish Lake Fishing techniques and I’ve tied up a bunch of flies for the outing. I’m anxious to try it out and will report back on how it works out.
So all in all it’s shaping up well. If you know of ice outs on lakes or ponds in your area I’d appreciate you putting up a post saying so on this forum thread – Ice out on your lake or pond?
And just a couple of additional items. The next three Saturdays (starting tomorrow) Tom Browne is going to be giving seminars here at the shop. They all start at 10:30am with no set end time. Seating is open and first come – first seated. They may fill up and if they do we’ll try to get him to repeat the seminar later in the day.
Also of note is a sale Orvis is having (which means we are having) starting the 15th of this month – it goes like this.
If you purchase a TLS Power Matrix, Superfine, T-3 or Helios fly rod between April 15th and May 15th you can pick a free reel to go with it from the Battenkill Reel family. That includes the Battenkill Original Disc Drag reel, the Battenkill Bar Stock (BBS), the Battenkill Mid-Arbor or the Battenkill Large Arbor – your choice.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a rod – jump on this sale.