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05/09/08 – high and cold – go south

05/09/08 – Water temperature is up to 44 degrees.  Wading is still not an option as the flow is 21,550cfs and normal is around 6,000cfs – that is if I remember correctly as we haven’t seen that flow in quite awhile.

High Water Mark

The photo on the left will give you an idea how high the water was – the gravel pile I circled was washed up and shows the high water mark.  You can see if my truck was parked down by the present water level I’d be buyingFlooded Path a new truck.

You can also see by the picture on the right that the path down river is flooded – if you plan to walk it bring your waders. That level won’t change much until they close the Open Bays on Dam flood gates and if you enlarge the next picture on the left you’ll see they have one full bay of floodgates wide open.  When they’re dumping water like that we can only wait.

The East Outlet flow is 9,650cfs – now that’s a high, high flow for the East.  No wonder though as the Moose River is bringing in 3,000cfs all by itself and when you consider all the other tributaries feeding into Moosehead you can understand the high flow of the East.  However, West Outlet is chugging along at 156cfs so if you’re in the area it might be worth stopping at the West for a few casts.

The Carrabassett and Sandy are dropping fast (1,370 and 1,710cfs) and should be down below that magic number of 1,000cfs by the end of the weekend.  (too late for most of us) And finally Flagstaff (Dead River) is running at 1,490cfs – another high source. The good part of all that is the natural flow waters of the Carrabassett and Sandy are going to be down to an acceptable flow soon by themselves and all it takes for the other sources is a flip of the switch to close gates and we’re wading Shawmut.  I’m still hanging in with my May 23rd date for Shawmut.

And Smelt gather by inlets and outletslast but not least here’s a picture showing the reason I’ve been talking about going to local ponds and lakes to work the inlets and outlets. Many baitfish are spring spawners and they are gathering (or already have) to go spawn and when they gather bigger fish show close to shore.  The fish I’m holding was taken while casting from shore (well I did wade out knee deep) on a streamer (Supervisor) and a week from now when the spawning run ends fish like that won’t be cruising the shores.  This is a short window – take advantage of it while you can.  The fishing might be slow (only fish I got in 4 hours of casting) but it’s good when it happens 🙂