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10/11/13 – Almost Columbus Day

10/11/13 – Hopefully the big dump is over and upper river flows will stay down so we can fish the rest of the month out without fear of washing away ūüôā As you can see by the flow chart below Wyman Dam (Bingham) has been flowing at 5,000CFS for a week. The East Outlet and Harris have had a similar flow – much to much water for comfortable wading. BUT today’s flows are much – much better.

Bingham Flow Chart East Outlet is flowing at 2020CFS. Now I remember when people used to say don’t bother with the Outlet at 2,000CFS because that flow is too fast. ¬†However, our last few wet summers have made people get used to 2,000CFS. ¬†It was either wade it at that level or don’t fish it for a couple of summers. ¬†Fortunately it turns out there is a fair amount of the Outlet that you can fish at 2,000CFS.

The flow out of Harris makes me wish I wasn’t at camp (over 4 hours to get to Harris from here) because I’d sure be fishing the Gorge today if I could get there in a reasonable amount of time. ¬†The flow from Harris is only 450CFS all day. ¬†Man I’d love to launch my canoe at the Forks today and pole up. ¬†This is my last week at camp and I’m hoping they repeat that flow at least one day next week. ¬†It won’t matter much what I have planned if they drop to 450CFS next week I’m fishing the Gorge.

Dropping down to the Forks you’ll find a lot of water coming in from the Dead – just shy of 1,000CFS – too much for me. It’s not a 6,000CFS rafting release but it’s still a push. ¬†I guess now that they have Moosehead down they want to drop Flagstaff (fifth ¬†largest lake in Maine anyone out there know the four that are larger) to its winter level. ¬†That won’t take long and we’ll have the Dead for the rest of the month as well.

Stonefly Pattern

Then going down the river you’ll find flows are good – even a bit low. ¬†The exception to that is Madison which remains at the 5,000CFS level it has been at for awhile. Odd, because my understand is Madison is supposed to match the dam above it which is William’s Dam (Solon) and William’s is flowing at a wonderful 3,600CFS. ¬†If fishing wasn’t so good here right now I’d be pounding the Kennebec this week. ¬†But it’s hard to leave good fishing to go to what should be good fishing so I’ll stick with my plan and fish out the week here hoping the flows stay low and temps don’t drop too much.

Speaking of temps I’m getting reading in the low to mid fifty’s – nice to have mild fall weather hasn’t driven the temps too low. I don’t know what happened to the Blue Winged Olives but I haven’t seen a midday hatch of them since last week. ¬†If my streamers can’t dredge up a fish it’s turned into a nymphing game for me (not seeing caddis either) ¬†Fish are still hitting stoneflies (I’m using smaller tungsten bead patterns as I figure all the big adults have hatched) and a Prince nymph and small Pheasant Tail combination is the clear winner for me.

Pheasant Tail Fly

My hope is there is still some dry fly action to come. With 50-plus water temps the Blue Winged Olives shouldn’t stop. Perhaps the Blue Winged Olive hatches I have been seeing weren’t the fall Baetis I’ve been waiting for. ¬†Blue Winged Olives are a constant throughout the summer and they aren’t fond of good weather. ¬†This last week has been nothing but good weather (color me happy) so that may explain the lack of them this week.

However, the fall Baetis (a swimming nymph) doesn’t seem to mind the good weather and once they start (in my experience) they hatch every day sun or no sun. Perhaps because the water is cooling fast and they have to beat the cold. Anyway, the lack of Blue Winged Olives in this good weather make me think what I’ve been seeing are last of the Blue Winged Olives that like rainy days and the “I don’t care if the sun is out” Blue Winged Olives are yet to come. ¬†One can hope.

Regardless the hatch time is about done for this season and most of the day it’s a streamer or nymph game. Nymphing is OK – it definitely gets me into fish but I’d rather swing streamers. ¬†Love that smashing hit Landlocks deliver when the slam your streamer. ¬†Thank goodness for 2X tippet.