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07/10/09 – high water

07/10/09 – The water temperature out back is 61 degrees. That gives me some hope the river will have some fishing for us when this water comes down from the 25,950CFS we have for a flow. Last year on 07/11/08 the water temperature was 70 degrees. I guess somehow that puts us ahead of the game. I’m making no guesses as to when safe wading will resume. With this much water in the system and mixed sun and rain for the next week it’s anybodies guess. Our best hope is that the ongoing dam projects will prompt FPL to dump water to bring the flow quickly down to somewhere near normal.

I’m sick of this high water. This is the 5th year of it according to my records. We had 5 years of drought, 1 year with normal flows and this is our 5th year of high flows. I for one would take the 5 years of drought over the 5 years of wet. At least we could fish, farmers Zebra Caddiscould plant and do some haying during the drought and to add to that the strawberries were a lot sweeter during those sunny years.

But there is fishing to be had. Ponds are fishing well and the Hex hatch is on in many ponds. If they haven’t started in your favorite pond yet they will soon. Some ponds have had them well over a week now. Alder flies are still hatching (click the Alder Fly picture to enlarge) Leadwinged Coachman, and Light Cahills as well. Lots of caddis still with more black caddis showing out back than any other.

All sort for bugs are out including our buddies the Golden Stones. If you can’t find good water in any of your normal haunts try the tribs. Even though the Sebasticook is high (over 3,000CFS today) it is clear and there are fish up in it. The main stem of most rivers are running dirty and those clean high tribs are a better place to hang out than the main stem. Even areas like Bingham where the main stem is running fairly clean a slower running Austin Stream is a likely place to look for trout seeking refuge from the fast water. After all yesterday Wyman ran over 14,000CFS yesterday and it is around 12,000CFS today.

Dobson Flies will be out soon. Those big ugly bugs are spooky and I’ll readily admit I don’t especially like them flying around me at dusk. Dobson FlyBut they do provide some entertainment here at the shop. It’s fun to trap one and put it on the counter. The kids love looking at them and it’s fun to try and get people to stick their finger into the box 🙂

The West Branch of the Penobscot is running at 2,295 today – a great flow. If you want to fish normal water head that way. It is definitely producing fish and enjoying off and on hatching all day. As I mentioned last week if big water like the West Branch seem daunting you can hire a guide to show you the ropes. Guys like Greg “Boz” Bostater at (207) 749-1593 or www.maineriverguides.com can show you a lot about the river on a trip. Even people who have fish the West Branch for years can pick up tips from Greg.

Something I want to mention is we have vacation coming up soon. The 25th is our last day here – we leave at 5:00pm – and the 4th of August is our first day back – we get here at 10:00am on the 4th. So if you need something be sure and stop in or call and order. One thing you might want to purchase before we go is a Battenkill Bar Stock reel. If you need a reel now is the time to buy one of these as they are both on sale and coming with a free spool at the sale price. See this post from the Forum to read more about it.

So to sum it up the Kennebec is high top to bottom – East Outlet is over 6,000CFS today, Bingham is at 11,800CFS, Solon is at 14,000CFS, Madison is at 15,400CFS and Shawmut is at 25,950CFS – you can write the Kennebec off for the next few days. But the tribs should be dropping and fishing well. Ponds are good and the Hex hatch is on or starting in most areas. The West Branch is at a great flow. GLS is high at 689 (but fishable) and should be still good for salmon when the level drops as water temps are pretty good for July. So give it a shot if time allows and you’ll likely find fish – especially in the ponds.