08/20/10 – Well the longer, cooler nights are working lower water temperatures and this morning I got a reading of 70 degrees in back of the shop. I checked it twice and use a different thermometer for each reading. That’s a good thing. My experience here in the Shawmut/Fairfield section of the river tells me another two degrees of drop and fishing will make a dramatic upswing.
It seems to me that fish feed regularly as temperatures climb right up to 72 degrees. However, once they stop feeding regularly they don’t resume regular feeding patterns until the temperature drops to 68 degrees. Every cool night brings us closer to that temperature and with some rain possible for Sunday evening and Monday morning we might get there even quicker. I don’t mean to say they don’t feed when the water gets above 72 but I am saying they feed a lot less and more selectively.
I’d like to see more rain than the forecast shows but we can use any rain we get. Flows are low. The Sandy River is only running at 73CFS in Mercer and in Madrid it’s even lower – only 5CFS – only 5 – now that’s low. We hiked into Huston Brook falls last weekend and, well, there was water coming over the falls but not much.
That of course is reflected in river flows starting with the East Outlet which is running at 1,408CFS. I don’t know how much longer they can sustain that flow as Moosehead itself is getting low. Harris is running at 440CFS until rafting time and then it’s only jumping up in flow and generation from 10:00am to 1:00pm (enough to push the rafters through the gorge) and will drop right down to 440CFS again.
Bingham’s flow is following a similar pattern with a 1,500CFS flow until 3:00pm at which time it will jump to 3,950CFS for two hours. After that Bingham’s flow will drop to 1,500CFS for the rest of the day. As you go further down the river the flow are stable all day and low. Solon is at 1,800CFS, Madison is at 2,250CFS and Shawmut is at 1,960CFS.
So a bump in flows would be nice and a couple degree drop in temperature would be even better and both are bound to arrive soon. To be ready for them you might want to get some White Wulffs or dig our some of your Light Cahills because the White Mayflies are coming. And as you can see in this photo when they hatch there are a lot of them. This photo was taken in the morning and there were clumps like this all over our driveway. I have to think more found their way back to the river.
Another hatch we’ll see more of soon is the Lead Winged Coachman. Those guys have been hatching all along but the hatches have been sporadic. We’ll see more of them as the water cools.
And a fly you might want to stock up on is the Bugmeister. I use this fly all season long but it seems to excel during the fall. I can’t tell you why and actually the why doesn’t matter as long as the fly works and it does.
So things are getting better, temps are dropping and flows might get a bump. Be ready because when the fall fishing starts it will start quick. Those fish have been laying off sulking on bottom and they’ve got a lot of feeding to make up for. After all they have to bulk up for spawning which isn’t that far away.