08/27/10 – Things are slowly getting better. This morning I got 69 degrees in back of the shop for a water temperature so we’ve only got a degree of drop to go before trout fishing (at least in the Shawmut section) starts to come back. The rain we got was too little, too late – we could have used two or three days of that. However, it did help and did bump some flows slightly. But we won’t see anymore rain for almost a week. However, despite the fact that we’re going back to some 80 degree weather we’re going to have cool nights so we shouldn’t gain in temperature.
Another thing the rain did was jump start some hatches. I should have taken a picture of our front door yesterday morning – hundreds of Blue Winged Olives – they were everywhere. Not so many today but there were plenty of bugs. One Light Cahill but he flew off while I was getting the camera. That was the only mayfly I saw this morning but there were plenty of caddis. Black ones, tan ones, mottled ones and, Oh yeah, check out the top one in this picture. That Caddis isn’t a Caddis at all – it’s a flying ant. I often say “when in doubt put on an ant” and this week it might be an especially good fallback fly since they are out there.
As I mentioned above the rain didn’t bump flows much. The Carrabassett jumped from about 70CFS all the way up to 325CFS. But it is already back down to 189CFS and will likely go all the way down to 70CFS again. The average for this time of year is around 120CFS. Yep, we need more rain.
Starting up at the East Outlet there is a flow of 1,013CFS and it is cooling. I don’t have a temperature reading from anyone up there but the guys who swim in the lake say they can tell it’s cooler because when they jump in they notice the “pucker” factor is greater.
Moving down to Harris Dam they too are running low flows. From midnight to 10:00am they’ll be at minimum flow of 340 and then to give the rafters a push the flow will jump to 5,000CFS – but lack of water dictates that at 1:00pm they drop back to 440CFS. Days like this I wish I could head for the gorge because a 440CFS flow from 1:00pm until dark makes it worth the climb down in and back out.
Flagstaff is flowing at 189CFS and so won’t add much to the flow at the Forks. Bingham is another dam that is running well below the norm with a flow of 1,500CFS until 3:00pm. The flow will then jump to, a still very fishable, 3,000CFS until 5:00pm at which time it will drop to 1,500CFS again. There’s a full day of fishing at Bingham without being forced off the river by high water all day long.
As we move downriver you can’t even tell it rained. Solon will be flowing at 1,700CFS – same as yesterday and Madison will only be slightly higher with a 2,280CFS flow, which is down some from yesterday and a great wading flow. And finally Shawmut’s flow which is 1,962CFS for the day. Just to show how little flow that is compared to normal remember that the target flow for the river is 6,000CFS in Skowheagan.
So that’s the scoop for this Friday. Things are slightly improved from a temperature standpoint even down here in the bottom half of the river and more so upriver. Cold water remains the key for trout and salmon and if you find cold water you’ll likely find fish. Stock up on Caddis and keep some flying ant patterns handy.