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05/14/10 – we can wade

05/14/10 – Happy Days are Here Again 🙂

Shawmut flow is 6095CFS today – very wadable although a little high for some. Water temperature at 6:00am was 50 degrees and with bright sun today it will be 52 or 53 by the end of the day. Hendricksons are still hatching and caddis won’t be far behind. Let’s say by next week I’ll be showing pictures of Caddis that have hatched.

Now I know my prediction for safe wading was three weeks off and so you may not have much faith in my caddis prediction but I can offer proof 🙂

Caddis FlyCheck out this picture sequence. There are five photos in it and the first shows stick case building caddis gathering along the shore line. These guys are all up and down the Shawmut shoreline and there are more each day. I lifted a log and picked a cased caddis larvae off the log and then peeled away some of the case. As I peeled the case away the caddis poked his head out and after I peeled away some more the caddis abandoned his case altogether and started to crawl around on my finger – undoubtedly looking for something to build a stronger case with 🙂 Anyway, when they get to gathering up along the shoreline it normally isn’t long before they are hatching so I feel pretty good about saying they will be out by next week. However, if we keep getting a night or two of frost every few days it may be later 🙁

Those cold nights have been a good thing as the water temperature was pushing up fast. We were seeing 50+ degree water in the morning but after a couple of frosts the morning temps have cooled.

Yesterday was the first morning I’ve waded Shawmut. Instead I’ve been going to Madison where, during high water flows, it’s easier to find some edge water to fish. Madison’s edges have lots of ledge outcroppings that make for good eddy areas when the level is up – Shawmut has few areas like that but now that the levels are down and wadable I’ll be working Shawmut more. I’m looking forward to Sunday because I’ll be able to get out there around 1:00pm to get ready for the Hendrickson hatch instead of being here in the shop when the Hendricksons are going strong.

There are a few showers in the forecast for late tonight and perhaps tomorrow morning but they should be light showers and so shouldn’t push the flows back up above wading levels. If that’s the case I should have some pictures of the new strain of Browns they stocked Shawmut with. I would have taken a couple of pictures of them yesterday morning but forgot my net. If I can’t net them and hold them in the submerged net bag while I get my camera out I don’t mess with pictures. The new fish are feisty and fat – good healthy looking fish. And as a bonus people have reported some holdovers as well. That would be nice – I’ll be looking for some holdovers on Sunday – maybe I’ll get lucky.

The flows up and down the river are much better and Monday may find me at Solon instead of Shawmut. Solon’s flow is 4,600CFS today and should be even lower by Monday and I love that Solon stretch. Anyway, starting at the top the East Outlet is running a strong 2002CFS – a hard wade in some areas but definitely a fishable flow. Harris Dam is pulsing and will change level 7 times today – way too much bouncing around for good fishing. Although if I was in the area I’d consider going down into the gorge from 3:00pm until 7:00pm because the flow will only be 340CFS – nice easy flow for the gorge.

The Forks will be bouncing around because of the Harris bouncing but the Dead’s influence will be minimal as Flagstaff is flowing at a steady 435CFS – also a nice flow. Bingham, happily, has also settled into its normal rhythm of bouncing between 2,000CFS to 4,000CFS (actually 4,600CFS most of the day) and while 4,000CFS is a push it’s a lot more fishable than the 6,000+CFS flows we’ve been seeing.

As I said above Solon is finally down to a wadable level and as I type and plan my weekend I’m now thinking I may have to go there on Sunday instead of Monday. If I go on Sunday I can stop into Evergreen Campground for lunch (restaurant is open weekends) and visit with Joe and Lorena. Madison is running at the 4,880CFS level and while I like it 4,000CFS and lower 4,880CFS opens up some good wading.

Grand Lake Stream is still flowing around 500CFS and is fishing well. Hendricksons have started there and the hatch has been heavy at times. And for those of you who like the West Branch of the Penobscot you’ll be happy to hear the flow there is 2,352CFS.

So we’ve got the flows we need, water temperatures are good and hatches have started in many areas. Don’t be messing with your lawn this weekend (aren’t we not supposed to have to mow until after Memorial Day weekend?) instead get out and fish.