05/30/08 – Because it’s in me to be optimistic about life in general I picked 05/23/08 as a start of wading date. Looking at snow pack when I made that prediction it didn’t seem like a very good bet but the levels and conditions we have right now are still just plain great – it was a good guess.
Levels are good, flow is moderate (although they have been cleaning the flood and trash gates so there are some big logs and junk floating around – keep looking upstream for logs coming at you) water temperature is jumping from 52 degrees in the morning to abut 55 at night. Mayflies are sparse but hatching and caddis are just beginning and spotty – but starting to show. With the overcast weather and occasional showers that are predicted for the weekend the Blue Winged Olives should be out in force Saturday and Sunday.
Fish are also starting to show but nymphing or streamers are still the big producers. I haven’t fished my dry line yet – it’s been my streamer stripper sink-tip that has worked for me. Hare’s Ear nymphs, soft hackles (green body) and standard wet flies like the March Brown and Light Cahill are putting fish in my net. I’m definitely a fan of sinking lines over split-shot for getting my flies sub-surface and swinging wet flies is one reason why. Really, I guess I should say swinging wet flies and catching fish in the reason why.
The IF&W freshly stocked Browns are up and down the West shore and providing good fun. As for hold over fish not many browns showing but rainbows (last year’s are about 16″ now and fighting well) are being caught and a few people have mentioned holdover browns but I haven’t caught any. Actually, although I’m just a few miles away I’ve had a hard time getting to the water – one thing or another has gotten in the way but that’s all about to change. Getting into the water early like this and having good flows and water temp is to great a gift to waste after last years high water and fast flows.
If you get a rainbow and it’s about 16″ to 18″ chances are if you flip it over and look you’ll see the two vent fins clipped like the fish shown in the picture on the right. These fish are strong and real head shakers – be sure and check your tippets for nicks and knots as these fish will break you off.
Not many Shad or Stripers being caught in the Waterville/Winslow area – yet. Still looking for them to show. If I start hearing about any steady activity I’ll post it here and on the forum. Don’t let these good conditions slip away without getting out. While the water is a little on the cold side still in the north country Central Maine conditions are great.
Speaking of the north country Linda and I are heading to camp this weekend and I’ll be plying Tumbledown Dick stream and Nahmakanta Stream – probably no hatches up there to speak of but those stream sized brookies of Tumbledown and the possibility of some big salmon in the bottom stretch of Nahmakanta are calling – got to go check it out.
Oh, one last note – several people have stopped in the last few evening and were headed to Shawmut about an hour before dark. While they probably caught fish the peak of the day for hatch activity is somewhere between 2:00pm and 4:00pm and will stay that way for a bit. Once the caddis start that will spread the hatch activity out some but for now it’s mid-afternoon for most hatches.
Oh, one last, last note – flows are generally good up and down the river but you should check by calling 1-800-557-3569. I’m not sure why but FPL has been dropping the flow in Bingham to about 2,000cfs from 2:00pm to 4:00pm (today 1,750CFS from noon to 5:00pm) and that’s a nice flow for the peak hatch time. Solon is down to 3,300 today which means that stretch and Madison will wade well. – Go fish 🙂