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06/12/09 – shad – fishing good

06/12/09 Well it’s Friday again and time for a Friday Update about the river but first let me wish a Happy Birthday to my sister who’s birthday makes June one of my favorite months. If you’re on the forum today wish FFOSIS a Happy Birthday.

Shad caught in Waterville, Maine

Ok – water temperature is a cool 59 degrees today – think this has been a cold spring? Must be Global Warming – what’s Al Gore doing these days? Anyway fishing is good, bugs are hatching and fish are being caught. Shawmut is producing good hatches but there aren’t many hold over fish being caught. There are some around but not the density there used to be.

Shad are in Waterville now and the fishing can be very good, or like fishing can always be – very bad. But for the most part the Shad fishing is holding up well. Wednesday morning I went to Waterville and poled my canoe into Ticonic Bay (a fancy name for the wide section of river by the old Hathaway mill) and caught 4 shad in about two hours. They are a fun, powerful fish but if you want to hook up you should be sure and bring a sinking line. I couldn’t get any interest until I was DEEP with my presentation and I’m getting that same feedback from others who are catching them.

The color of the working fly on any given day seems to change but one constant is the Shad seem to like some flash. A Crazy Charlie Bonefish fly is a good one to try if you happen to have some left over from a trip to the flats. If you tie you can make up a pattern with bead-chain eyes, a bright Antron body and a bit of Flashabou. And of course you can always stop by here and pick up a couple of Shad flies.

For every Shad I caught I caught at least 5 or 6 Alewives so while the major run of Alewives is over there are still plenty in the river. Which should mean there are plenty of Stripers in the river but I’m afraid not many Stripers are being caught. Like last year they are very few and far between. They may still show but so far I’m not hearing about many hookups with Stripers.

Mayflies and Caddis on the underside of leaves.The river flows are already being driven up by this rain. The East Outlet is down to 1,200CFS, and Flagstaff (Dead River) is down to 300CFS, but Bingham is at 6,000CFS for the whole day and while the flows below there are good but subject to rapid change with this rain so be sure and check before you go. (1-800-557-3569)

There are plenty of bugs hatching. Tan Caddis, Olive Caddis, Gray Caddis and Black Caddis are all on the water. About the only Caddis we’re lacking is the Alder Fly. For Mayflies the Hendricksons are about gone but their smaller cousin the Pale Evening Duns are coming on strong. Along with the Sulphurs, Light Cahills, Leadwinged Coachmen and a bunch of less well know mayflies thrown in for good measure.

If Close-up of bugs on the underside of streamside want to know what’s hatching go to some bushes streamside and look at the underside of the leaves. You’ll see a bunch of them is my guess. Check out these two photos with all the leaves. The second one is a close-up of the first. All those black specs turned out to be bugs when I got a little closer.

So far the fish haven’t been real selective. They seem willing to take any appropriate fly if the presentation is good. The exception to that seem to be in the evening when the Sulphurs and Light Cahills are on the water. As you might guess when given a choice between the Sulphurs and the Light Cahills they are opting for the bigger meal and taking Light Cahills. At least that’s how it seems to me. I’ve had better hookup rates with the Light Cahill than the Sulphurs when they are both on the water.

Our Casting Contest has come and gone but it’s not over. Here’s the scoop. Craig Weaver was the winner of the casting event. He was supported in his effort by his wife, two kids and parents. (his Dad tried to beat him but lost out :-)) On that day Craig was the most accurate caster who entered.

We only had one person complain about the contest focus on accuracy instead of distance. He felt a Casting Contest should live and die on distance. However, I still contend that accuracy in casting catches more fish than distance does.

Craig Weaver - Casting Contest Winner

The reason I say the Casting Contest isn’t quite over is that we haven’t drawn the “non-caster” category winner yet. We’ll do that tomorrow at noon and post the winner on the Forum. So that means you can still enter and perhaps win the “non-caster” TLS Power Matrix Fly Rod of your choice for a prize. If you follow this link ( Maine Trout Unlimited Trout Camp CASTING CONTEST.) you can enter until noon tomorrow. We’re at about $845.00 and had hoped to make it to $1,000 in donations to the Trout Camp.

And last but not least our annual Spey Casting Class – taught by Jim Rusher – click this link for more information ha has been switched to August 15th and 16th. This time of year has proven too busy – read that the fishing is too good to spend a weekend at class. So we’ve postponed it until later in the season. So if you want to learn the ins and outs of Spey Casting give us a call and sign up.