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10/09/09 – levels holding

10/09/09 Well, with the last few days of spotty to heavy rain and more of the same coming we’re seeing higher flows. A lot of the water is still fishable but you really need to keep an eye on the levels. For example yesterday Madison’s flow started the day below 3,000CFS, by 7:00am it was close to 4,000CFS, by noon it was about 3,500CFS, by 5:30pm it was 4,500CFS and at midnight it had dropped to about 3,600CFS – you get the picture – be careful wading and be conscious of level changes.

The East Outlet flow is still about 1,020CFS which is a good level for wading. Some say it’s actually too low for their taste but someone always doesn’t like the level no matter what it is 🙂 As you go down river Harris Dam is at 5,000CFS but at 2:00pm it drops to 2,400CFS for an hour and then drops down to 325CFS for the rest of the day. There is some sweet fishing in the gorge at 325CFS and the Forks area fishes well at those levels.

Speaking of the Forks area the inflow from the Dead River is only 191CFS so anywhere you care to fish the Dead you’ll have good levels. Moving downriver from there to Bingham you’ll see a great flow of 1,300CFS until 3:00pm and then a jump to 5,950CFS which gets pushy. There are sections of the Bingham water you can fish when the flow is around 6,000CFS but the push is hard.

Solon is holding its own all day today at 2,400CFS while Madison is running a bit higher and still bouncing. However, the projection for Madison is 3,610CFS which is wadable and can produce some good fish. Down here in Fairfield, (Shawmut Dam) the flow is 5,984CFS and has been steady. There is a lot of water coming in from the Sandy (967CFS) and from the Carrabassett (682CFS) but it hasn’t made Shawmut muddy so clarity is good.

The bugs are much the same – some caddis still (dark wings, size 14,16 or size 12 orange Stimulators to imitate the October Caddis) and a couple of mayflies (the Leadwing Coachman and Blue Winged Olives) and a smattering of ants. Other than that most of the seasons hatches have run their course. However, as the fish get closer to the spawn streamers will become more and more effective for you (especially the bright ones) and may save the day if you think to tie some on.