06/04/10 – Water temperature has dropped a bit – a good thing – the reading I just got was 60 degrees. Flows bumped up just a bit with the rain and that also is a good thing. We were down to July/August flows on June 1st and that’s just too early to be that low. There is a bit more rain in the forecast and that should help us but not shut things down because of high water. If the summer can keep up like this we’ll have a good year.
Bugs are hatching. Along with the healthy number of caddis some mayflies beside the Hendricksons (which are all but over) have started. One that many mistake for Hendricksons is the Pale Evening Dun shown on the left. The male PED has the same red to orange eyes as the Hendrickson and they are of the same genus so the mistake is an easy one to make. The biggest clue is size – the Pale Evening Duns are smaller (14-16 compared to the Hendrickson 12-14 size range) The body, like many mayflies, is lighter on bottom than on top. You can see the change of color on this one. The bottom side of the fly that the fish sees ranges from pale yellow to light olive.
You won’t go wrong using Sulphur patterns or Pale Morning Dun patterns. The Pale Morning Dun is a western mayfly and there seem to be more patterns imitating the Pale Morning Dun than there are patterns imitating our Pale Evening Dun – thankfully the fish don’t make as many distinctions as we do. 🙂
So you might wonder if there are any real changes you need to make since you’ve been fishing Hendricksons and the hatch is now Pale Evening Duns. The answer is that you don’t have to make much of an adjustment at all other than switching to a slightly lighter color and slightly smaller fly since both mayflies like the same habitat and water type. The one notable change is the time of day. PEDs like to hatch a little later in the day often not starting to hatch until 4:00pm.
Another mayfly that has recently started is the Little Yellow Quill. It’s interesting to note that in Tom Ames book “Hatch Guide for New England Streams” he doesn’t even list or show the dun. He jumps right from the nymph to the spinner. He explains in the text that the Little Yellow Quill is a mayfly that pops right out of the water when hatching. He writes “emerging Leucrocutas leave the water with such astonishing speed that trout waste no energy in pursuit. But egg-laying females come briefly to rest before flying off a short distance and repeating the process several times. Trout capture them with the splashy rises we associate with active winged insects.”
As you’d guess from the name the Little Yellow Quill the body is yellow – well – at least the part the trout sees. Our view from the top down is quite a bit darker emphasizing the need to capture a sample of any mayfly we see hatching so we can check it from the trout’s point of view.
These guys are small and Sulphur patterns in sizes 16 and 18 are good ones to pick when imitating them. Egg laying takes place in the faster sections of pools and runs which makes for good fishing as the drifts aren’t as difficult as drifts in broken water and eddies.
So, while the rain did push up flows a bit levels are good up and down the river. Fishing is good now and if you can get out you should. The forecast calls for showers (only showers not pounding rain) and the good side of that is we should have Blue Winged Olives to go alone with our other hatches.
The East Outlet is at a great flow – 1,020CFS. Well, it’s great if you’re wading but hard on drift boats. A lot of rocks start poking up at that flow and avoiding all if them is almost impossible. Harris dam is pulsing with a 1:00pm to 3:00pm flow of 2,400CFS and then dropping to 340CFS – good flows.
Moving down river to the Forks it seems the Dead isn’t adding much to the flow since it is running at a very fishable 205CFS. Bingham (Wyman Dam) is pulsing as well. The level will be 2,100CFS until noon and then it will jump to 3,950CFS until 6:00pm at which time it will drop to 2,100CFS again. Or said another way it will be fishable all day with low flows early and late. Nice.
Solon and Madison are also at great levels with Solon running at 2,800CFS and Madison running at 3,620CFS – good levels and both areas are producing good fish. Shawmut’s level is very wadable at 4,240CFS and several people have been in reporting holdover fish which is nice since we haven’t seen many of them.
The West Branch has cut back some so the Penobscot might be a good place for you to head this weekend. The flow there is 2,257CFS today. GLS has also cut back some and is running at 365CFS – great flows everywhere. It’s hard to decide where to go. I’ve been itching to hit the East Outlet so I think that’s where you’ll find me on Monday.
And as a last note be sure and stop to smell the roses along the way. Or perhaps I should say stop to smell the Lady Slippers. I was fortunate enough to find a whole patch of Lady Slippers on a pond hike Memorial Weekend. Great find as I don’t see many of them. The funny thing is I was hiking back into the pond I found Moose antlers at two summers ago. On that trip I found the most Pitcher Plants I’ve ever seen growing along the pond.