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04/29/11 – ponds open

04/29/11 – Well this is the last update typed from Fly Fishing Only. Tomorrow is our last day as a shop – retirement here we come!

I’ll keep doing Friday Updates on the Kennebec River for awhile (we’ll be here, in Fairfield, most of May) but Linda and I are heading for Pemadumcook Lake in June and the Friday Updates may have to change from the Kennebec to the West Branch of the Penobscot. If I don’t get over to the West Branch often enough the Friday Update may have to focus on ponds and beaver bogs a bit closer to camp. But in one location or another I do plan to continue the Friday Updates.

Camp view 2010However, having mentioned camp I’ve got a question for you. I’m planning on boating over to our camp Mother’s Day Weekend. A friend and I have done this for the last 15-years and although it has been close a couple of times the ice has always gone out by then. This year I’m not so sure.

Take a look at the two pictures of Mt. Katahdin – the top one is from April last year and the next one down is from a webcam on our lake – taken today. That ice doesn’t look like it will be gone anytime soon and we’ve only got a week and a day for it to go out – what do you think the chances are?

Anyway, back to the Kennebec. The melt is in full swing right now and the river from top to bottom is high and for the most part dirty. Not much fishing to be had.

April 2011 webcam shot

William’s dam in Solon is at 35,000CFS all day. At Evergreen Campground in Solon I bet you can cast from the deck off the restaurant and reach the water. Down here in Shawmut the flow is 44,110CFS and going up. I’m afraid it’s going to be awhile.

Most of the local streams are out because they are so high that you’d have to wade around the trees and through the bushes to fish. The main streambed flow would probably knock you down in even the small streams I’ve look at in the last couple of day. There’s a lot of water out there right now.

The good part of all this is many of the local ponds have opened up and there are fish to be had. Basin, Tyler, Kimball are all open. Egypt and some others are were still iced in as of Tuesday but the last couple of warm days may have broken them up. If they’re close to you they warrant checking because right now ponds are the best bet.

So for the most part I’d stay away from the normal haunts. If you’re up in the Greenville area the Moose is running at 1,844CFS and the West Outlet is at 132CFS. I wouldn’t drive all the way up there to fish the Moose at that flow and I wouldn’t make the drive to fish the West Outlet but if I was in the area I’d give them both a try. GLS is also still high (1,360CFS) and the West Branch of the Penobscot is at 3,500CFS. I wouldn’t make the drive to either to fish those flows but I might throw a line into the West Branch if I was in the area. Even at 3,500CFS the West Branch may be my fallback plan if the ice doesn’t leave our lake.

Good luck out there this weekend – be careful.