1999 Information

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We will post current river condition information, as the season and the year goes on.

04/02/99 Temp. is 38 degrees.  Flow is fast.  Level is high, and holding.  Clarity is poor. I was up to the dam this morning and things look like it will be awhile.  Water is coming over the top of the dam, the paths along side the river are under water for most of their length.

04/09/99 Temp. is 42 degrees.  Flow is fast and going up, clarity is fair.   Your best bet is to try feeder streams and pond inlets for awhile.  Don't forget to head to Belgrade for some Pike action - the spawn is on and when the spawn is over the pike will be on the prowl.  

04/16/99 Temp. is 40 degrees - our few cold days sent the temp. down to 39, from it's high of 42. The flow is fast, clarity is good. The flashboards aren't up yet and water is coming over the dam - the white rock isn't showing, but the water is low enough so that you can tell where it is. The only insects we are seeing are stoneflies (early brown & black, the smaller ones).   The water behind the dam is being lowered so they must be planning on putting the flashboards up soon.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Lots of cased caddis crawling around in the shallows - most likely they are black caddis which are some of the first caddis to hatch.  One of the good things about black caddis is that the pupa floats for quite a distance trapped at the surface before breaking out of the water and into flight.  Emergers floated dead drift in the surface film work well (Griffith's gnats also).

04/20/99 This is one of those "it can't wait until Friday posts" - YOU CAN WADE THE RIVER TODAY.  Maybe not after the rain we have forecast - but today you can.  The white rock is showing by about 4 inches.  The flow is about 8500 cfs, clarity is good, water temp. is 44 degrees, which is the temp. at which most trout become active.  A flow of 8500 this time of year is uncommon.

04/23/99 The white rock is showing, (only by a few inches) so you can wade.  However, you want to have a wading staff, and or cleats to help with your footing because the flow is fast. It isn't the depth that will get you it is the velocity of the water.  The flashboards aren't up yet so along with the flow coming from the turbines you have the flow that is coming over the top.  Waterville's flow is around 10,000 cfs and that would make you think you can't wade Shawmut, but when you get to checking you find the Sebasticook is flowing at around 3,000 cfs which makes Shawmut around 7,000 cfs.  The clarity is good, and the temperature is a strong 45 degrees or a weak 46, however you want to look at it.  (I call it a weak 46)  Few midges hatching mid-day no real hatches yet.  The Quill Gordons should be hatching soon.   Try a Hare's Ear nymph for a Quill Gordon imitations and fish it low and slow.

04/25/99 8:00 am. Flow is moderate, clarity is good, level is good.   45 degrees. Flashboards aren't up yet, but the plywood is at the dam site.  I wouldn't be surprised if (barring a heavy rain) the boards go up this week.  Of course I said that last year when the plywood showed up and it was several weeks before the flashboards went up, so who knows.

04/27/99  They put flashboards up today. The flow is moderate, level is low because of the impoundment being drawn down above the damm dam. Nothing coming over the top so the only flow is the generation flow, which will keep the level low for a couple of days. Water is cool - mid-forties. Hatches are light to none. Few caddis - haven't seen any mayflies. Some hatches being reported in
Winslow by the IGA and Ft. Halifax park. Come fish some streamers and wets they have been producing.

04/30/99 The river is running at summer levels (very wadeable) and the water temperature was 49.5 degrees at 8:00am, clarity is good, flow is moderate.   Everything is a go!!!!  If we don't have a big hatch this afternoon, I'll eat a caddis worm.  Speaking of caddis worms there are still a lot of them crawling around out there.  Lots of big stonefly nymphs also.  (black, about a size 6)   Quill Gordons, Hendrickson, and maybe a Blue Winged Olive should be the order of the day.  I can't believe I'm writing this in April, last year I was saying things like give it another two weeks and we might be able to wade - ain't life grand.

05/07/99 The river is running a little high, but is very wadeable.   Water temperature is 55 degrees.  Flow is a little fast, clarity is good.   Hatches are yet to start - we are seeing a few mayflies and caddis here and there, but nothing you could call a hatch.  Last year the hatches started on May 13th and the year before that they started on the 30th.  As early as everything is the hatches should start any day.  I'm not going to make anymore statements like if we don't get a hatch today I'll eat a caddis worm because when the hatch didn't come last week to many people came in to watch me eat one.  The people who are drifting nymphs and swinging wet flies to imitate the behavioral drift of Mayflies and Caddis prior to hatching are the ones catching fish.  A little side note - the March Browns have started hatching on the St. George - we just had a customer bring one in that he caught yesterday for identification.  It definitely was a March Brown - about a size 12.

05/12/99 I know it isn't Friday but, it's happening - Hendrickson, Quill Gordon and Blue Winged Olive mayflies coming off.  Black Caddis also.  Blue Winged Olives in the am (size 14, big ones), Quill Gordons midday (size 12) and then the Hendricksons start and go until about 4:00.  Come fish, and don't get hung up on the dry flies - try some wet flies - when these insects get ready to hatch there is a lot of behavioral drift going on.  Click here to see some information taken from the recent book MAYFLIES by Malcolm Knopp and Robert Cormier.

05/14/99 Ditto above!  The only thing different is that the hatches are getting stronger every day.  More and more insects hatching - lots of Mayflies and Black Caddis.  Still mid-day fishing as far as dries go - no evening hatches yet.

05/21/99 The river is clear, 60 degrees, and flowing at about 4,000 cubic feet per second, which is slow and low for this time of year.  I didn't see any Blue Winged Olives this morning - I hope the hatch of big BWO's isn't over.  Gray Caddis were coming off (just started when I left - about 9:30).  Will the wind ever stop blowing? Man it makes for hard fishing.  I made a small upstream mend and the wind caught my line and ripped line, leader and fly right off the water.  No fun when it's like that.  Maybe it'll die down a bit later on.  Hendricksons are still hatching (midday) with spinner falls at night.  I had a large Yellow Stonefly land on my neck today - early for them to be out. last year it was June 2nd and the year before that June 18th. 

05/28/99  The river is clear, flow is moderate, level is up a little from last week, but very wadeable.  Caught fish this morning - (bead head pheasant tail).  Water clarity is good.  As early as it is Light Cahills have started hatching in the evening.  Little Sulfurs also.  Gray Caddis still in the morning, Ken just netted a Quill Gordon Flying by the dock. (the Quill Gordon was flying not Ken)  Hendricksons are still around, but the Big Blue Winged Olive hatch seems to have ended.  Haven't seen anymore Golden Stones since the one last week.

06/11/99    Sorry that I did not post last week - got busy.  This week fishing is good, water is a little dirty, flow is fast and level is high, but wadeable.  The rain we had during the thundershowers earlier this week brought the river level up, but the level is almost back to normal.  Alder flies or Zebra Caddis (click here to see last years write-up which gives some pattern suggestions) are hatching.  Lots of them.  Light Cahill mayflies, Black Caddis, Olive Caddis, Sulfurs, Golden Stones and Little Yellow Sallies are also hatching.  Hendrickson mayflies are about over, Quill Gordons have also stopped.   Water temperature is 68 degrees - come and fish.

06/17/99     Hello to all who visit here. Our site has been broken. I apologize to all.  All is well now and regular updates will start tomorrow.

06/18/99    The water temperature is 69 degrees.   Last year it was mid-July before it got this warm.  The clarity is fair and the flow is moderate to slow (about 4,000 cfs).  Level is low and if you aren't sure where to wade in Shawmut now is the time to find out.  There is a conclave this weekend at Shawmut and a lot of helpful people will be there to point you in the right direction.  Check out the posting on the Maine Fly Fishing Board (you may have to scroll down some to find the postings)   Fishing is still good.   Fish showing off and on during the day and coming out to play as evening sets in.   The daytime rises are mostly to egg-laying caddis, although some caddis are hatching during the day (black caddis size 16/18 and olive bodied, size 14 mostly for daytime hatches).  Zebra Caddis are hatching in the evening and laying eggs early in the am.  Zebra Caddis get the fish working both morning and night.    Mayflies aren't hatching until evening.  There are Light Cahills (size 12), Little Sulfurs (size 16/18), Large Sulfurs (size 14),  and what looks like Little Mahogany duns (size 18).  Little Yellow stones are still hatching and a Yellow Stimulator (size 12) will bring fish up even when there is no surface activity (or at least it did last night). 

06/25/99  Nope I didn't forget, I'm just late posting.   Water is warm (72 degrees).  Flow is moderate.  Clarity is good and I don't know why but the fish are still biting.  We have a new fly hatching - The Leadwing Coachman (Isonychia Bicolor)  it has two tails, dark wings, and it's hind legs are white to cream colored.  These Mayflies usually crawl to shore and hatch out on land, but I have seen them here in the Kennebec hatching directly from the water.   The spinners fall in the evening and bring up trout. Notice the white hind legsUse a size 12 Blue Dun or Blue Quill for an imitation.  This is a good searching pattern - if you don't see any activity put one of these on and cast to likely looking spots.   Use a Zug Bug as the nymph.  Golden Stones are slowing down.  We are still seeing Black Caddis during the day along with assorted other caddis dapping the water laying eggs during the day.  Zebra Caddis are still hatching.  Light Cahills and Sulfurs are also continuing to hatch.

07/02/99 Water is even warmer (75 degrees).  Flow is moderate.   Clarity is good.  Level is good for wading.  Hatches are slowing down.   Not much showing even in the evening.  Light Cahills have slowed, Sulfurs aren't showing, haven't seen a Golden Stone in awhile.  Zebra Caddis are still around - fishing is slow.  I'm heading for some ponds this weekend with a float tube and a full sinking line.

07/09/99  Water temperature is 73 degrees.  Flow is moderate.  Clarity is good.  Level is good for wading.  Hatches are weak.   Light Cahills are still hatching, as is the alder fly (Zebra Caddis) and the Leadwing Coachman.  Last night Jim Thibodeau had two clients out on the river and just about at dusk one them landed a 19" Rainbow - so the fishing may be slow, but you have a still have that chance of hooking into a good one.  If you haven't waded here - now is a good time - the levels and water temperature are such that learning the river is much safer than with cold water and fast flows.  One more thing before I forget - The Smallmouth Bass are out in force - some nice ones to.   You can catch a mess of them, fish until your arms are tired, rest and catch some more.

07/16/99  Good day today despite the heat.  Four Rainbows and a Smallmouth between 7:00am and 9:00am. All on a Bugmiester (big fly with a peacock body, Krystal Flash, Elk hair wing and parachute hackle - brown and grizzly) fishing directly upstream and stripping line like crazy as it drifted back to me.  Water temperature is 73 degrees.  Flow and level are good for wading and the clarity is good.  The cool nights have kept the water from getting any warmer, but I don't know what the next three days of predicted 90 degree heat will do to the water temperature.   I'm sure it won't help - let's hope for cool nights.  Cahills seem to have stopped. Caddis (tan, olive and Zebra) are still hatching.   Craig Suttie was fishing the other side of the river (Benton) and he said he had his best day since April.   There was a dark mayfly (probably a Leadwing Coachman) hatching this morning and he said fish were rising steadily from early am to about 8:30 when he left.  I guess no matter how warm it gets the fish have still got to feed.  As always the trick is to be there when they decide to eat.

07/23/99  Water temperature is 75 degrees - in the morning - hotter at night, this is not good.  Water clarity is good. Flow is as slow as it gets.  Wading is as easy as it gets.  If you want to learn this section of river come now; the wading doesn't get any better.  You won't catch many trout but you can learn the river and wading areas, and should you fall, so what? The water is warm and the current is mild.  Just get up and keep on going.  You might even want to wade wet, just wear shorts, t-shirt, socks and wading boots or old sneakers.  As for fishing action if you work the slower water on the edges of the current or work the structure (old Cribworks & ledge) you'll catch your share of smallmouth bass & there are some big ones out there.  Come and have fun.  This is a good time to float the river also.  Take advantage of our canoe shuttle.

07/31/99 I hate to say "same as above" but that's about it.  The water is hot, low and slow, fishing is off, but the weatherman says we have some cooler weather coming (even some mid-forties temperatures at night) let us hope.

08/06/99 Another "ditto" the above posting.  Water is 75 degrees.  Clarity is good.  Flow is slow.  Level is low.  Fishing is spotty during the day.  Some flurry of activity around dusk.  Fish definitely showing after dark.  Black Caddis are still hatching.  White mayflies (about a size 14) hatching at or about dusk.  The neat thing about these White mayflies is that they hatch and lay eggs all in the same evening.  So if you see them hatching just before dusk - hang around - there will be a spinner fall.  I took the driftboat from Waterville to Sidney Thursday - great water.  Had to lower the trailer down to the water at the Sidney launch and then pull boat and trailer up to the ramp with a winch, but it was worth it.  If you want to float that section call Waterville Canoe and Kayak at 872-7470 they will rent you a canoe or kayak and can arrange a shuttle also.

08/13/99 Water has cooled some.  71 degrees.  Clarity is good.  Flow is slow.  Level is low.  Black Caddis and White mayflies are the order of the day.  Browns are showing again, although not in great numbers.  Pond fishing is holding up well, I've had good luck with a 7 weight full sink shooting head system.  Cast it out and let it sink strip it in real slow.  Gives you a chance to look at the scenery while it sinks.  Tuesday I'm going to try for some sharks.  Yes, sharks on a fly rod, should be fun.   Check out Capt. Dave Pecci's site at www.obsessioncharters.com to see what I mean. 

08/20/99 Water is hanging at 72 degrees.  A little cooler in the morning a little warmer by evening.  Flow is slow. Level is low.  Black Caddis and White Mayflies still.  So because of the slow fishing inland I went out to sea last week.  What a blast.  When is the last time you went 14 or 15 miles straight out into the Atlantic.  Have you ever? Well, that's where you  find these sharks.  I for one was glad they aren't up on the beach.  click to enlarge I fought a 100 pound plus Blue Shark for over two hours.  
ONE FISH for over two hours.  It was a workout.  I caught several others, all smaller and easier to land.  We had two fly rod setups and swapped from one to the other. They were an Orvis Vortex reel on an 8 1/2 foot, 14 weight Trident rod and an Orvis Odyssey reel on a 9 foot, 12 weight Silver Label rod.  Both big sticks but you needed something like a stick to work these things.  Check out Capt. Dave Pecci's site for more details. 

09/03/99   No the sharks didn't get me I just missed last week.  Didn't have anything good to say about the fishing so I didn't say anything.  Actually, I don't have anything good to say this week either, but I figured I should do a post.  The water is 72 degrees in the morning - 76 by the end of the day.  Black caddis are still hatching - still a lot of them coming off.  Some activity just at or after sunset, and after full dark sets in you can hear fish feeding, but hooking up is difficult.  The flow is slow, slow, slow!!!!!  Only 2,000 CFS when the normal target flow is 6,000 CFS.  I keep saying it and I'll say it again - If you haven't fished Shawmut and would like to learn the how to wade it come and learn. You will never have a better chance.   These conditions don't lend themselves to catching a lot of fish, but fish are there and you can catch some - just not as many or as big as you might get when the water is 60 or so.  One more thing - we have only seen a few Alewives so far - they like the rest of us are waiting for a rain.

09/11/99  The rain brought the river up, but didn't cool it off.  It is 74 degrees this morning.  Very few trout being caught.  Smallmouths are providing what fishing is to be had.  Jim Thibodeau was guiding up at Shawmut yesterday and they landed on of the biggest smallmouths he has seen.  Maybe we will get lucky and have some very cool nights.  If we do that should bring the temperature down for us.  The rain should start the Alewives running.  That will be good.

09/18/99  The only good thing I can say about the river is that it didn't rise up enough to flood my shop.  It is high, dirty and fast.  Flow today is about 13,000 cfs and still on the way up.  I'll post the flow again tomorrow, but will be out of town on Sunday and Monday.  If you want to check the flows on those days go to this site http://wwwdmeags.er.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_tbl_pg?page=1 and look about halfway down the page and you will find the Kennebec River listed.  The Waterville flow minus the Sebasticook flow (listed right above Waterville flow) gives you a good idea of the Shawmut flow.  Shawmut gets wadeable  around 8,000 cfs.

09/22/99  The river is high, but dropping.  The white rock isn't showing and the flashboards are down.  Solon is fishable with a flow of 5,000 cfs.  East Outlet is very fishable with a flow of 500 cfs.  So, there is fishing available.  Water temperature is 62 degrees.  That should make for good fishing.

09/23/99  The river is still high - flow at Waterville is around 12,000 cfs, much to high.  Shawmut is about 10,000 cfs; about 3,000 cfs to high.  Clarity is also poor.  The Sandy is still flowing over 1,000 cfs and when it is over 600 cfs we get a lot of dirt from it.  When the Sandy drops our water will clear.  The flashboards are not up yet.  Solon is running around 4,000 cfs.  East Outlet is under 1,000 and the Moose and Roach are fishing well I hear.

09/25/99  Yes, the water did drop and the wading rock is showing. The water is still fast and higher than normal, but fishable and wadeable. Clarity is so-so. Flashboards are not up yet.

10/01/99    The river is high again.  Both the Sandy and Carrabasset are way up and so we have high dirty water.  That's a shame because the river has fished well for the last two or three days.  Stripers are being caught in Waterville!!!!!!!  Isn't that good news.  Some fish in the 25 to 35 inch range.  That also is high now but should be down in a day or so.  Check out our new page showing waters that are open in October and November (click here)

10/08/99  River is high but wadeable.  Clarity is fair.  Flow is quick. Water temp. is 52 degrees, which is just right.  There are still some Alewives running in Shawmut, although most of them went with the high water.  If I were you and coming here to fish I wouldn't leave my Alewife patterns home.   You also might want to bring a Striper rig and try the Waterville, Winslow area.  The stripers are in and hitting well.  And, there is still a good Alewife run in the Sebasticook.  Most of the action is at night, but some are being caught during the day.  The striper action is everything we hoped it would be.  The problem hasn't been a lack of stripers, it has been to much water and hopefully that is over with. 

10/14/99  The river is still high for this time of year, but very wadeable.  The rain today hasn't brought it up much and the clarity is still good.  Western Maine must not have gotten much rain because the Sandy River and Carrabasset River are staying well within their banks.  Unless they get real high we will not have a clarity problem.  The water warmed up some and we are at 54 degrees a very good temperature to be at.  Still seeing Alewives in Waterville/Winslow.  As long as the Alewives are running the Stripers will stick around - come check it out.

10/15/99 The rain did it again.  The river is blown out.  12,000cfs and rising.  

10/21/99 The river is wadeable again.  Flow is fast, clarity is fair and the temperature is hanging in the 52 - 54 degree range.  Alewives are showing - they have for the last three mornings - guess they didn't all go with the high water.  If you want a good deal on a six weight rod to fish with check out the 
bargain bin (to do so click here)
.  We have some good lines at bargain prices  also.  Hatches are few and far between.  Blue Winged Olives most afternoons, some tan, and some olive caddis mid-day.

10/22/99      The water level is high for this time of year, but if it was June you wouldn't think it was high.  In other words it is wadeable, but the flow is fast and going upstream is a workout.  Clarity is much better than yesterday.  Water is 51 degrees.   I got one Brown Trout this morning on a March Brown wet fly just at the end of a swing.  I didn't see any Alewives this morning - or any seagulls working.  There was some surface activity starting just as I was leaving - I don't know what it was.  My guess is tan caddis - I only say that because of the fact that I had just caught that Brown Trout on a March Brown wet (which is really tan not brown).  My theory is that pupa were drifting getting ready to hatch.  They, like me, were waiting for the sun to break through.  That is the bad thing about this time of year if you fish mostly in the morning like me - it isn't warm enough for any surface activity until about the time I'm leaving to open the shop.  Oh well, you can't win them all.   Maybe I can sneak out about 1:00 or so.  And, like yesterday: If you want a good deal on a six weight rod to fish with check out the bargain bin (to do so click here).  There are other line weights available also.  We have some good lines at bargain prices  also.

10/29/99    To high to wade again.  It might be down enough for wading tomorrow but it will be close.  The Sandy is the one that is giving us to much water, if it continues to drop at the rate it has been dropping we should be OK.  Blue Winged Olives are hatching mid-day - just can't get out there to fish them.   If you bring your canoe the water is fairly clear and the flow, although fast, is fishable.

11/05/99  I'm hating this. Again the river is to high for wading.  I have to say this season has not been a good one for the Kennebec from a fishing standpoint. The month of June the water warmed up to July temperatures and didn't cool down until September.  And, September was the start of our high water problems.  The high water has plagued us since mid-September with only a few days of water levels that were safe to wade since the mid-September freshet.  The good side of this season is the removal of the Edwards damm dam.  It has opened up what is proving to be some very nice water, and provided a Striped Bass run that now extends all the way to Waterville/Winslow.  However, it will be next season before we can really get a handle on how good the fishing will or won't be.  That section being down river from us has also had the high temps during mid-season and high water for the balance of the season.  The new ramp in Sidney has been installed and if we get a good day you might want to float the Waterville to Sidney  section and check it out.  It's about 8 miles of nice water, some mild rapids and small drops but all in all an easy trip. Who knows the Striped Bass came all the way to Waterville, maybe the Sea Run Browns will also.  

11/10/99 I know itís not Friday, but I thought I would post so people would know Shawmut is again wadeable. I had two fish on this morning and brought one to net. It was a rainbow about 15 inches and just as colored up as a rainbow can get. I guess some strains of rainbows are fall spawners - this one must be cause it was very pretty. The other fish I had on was a rainbow also, about the same size and pretty as well. Never got it to net though. There was one brown who struck at my fly and missed and then on the next swing struck again. Missed again also, but at least I got to see it.

All the action I had was on a black bead-head wooly bugger. I was casting slightly up stream, mending (feeding) line to allow for a good sink and them bouncing the tip as the fly got to the end of the swing. I think the fish must have been following the fly up from the bottom. The reason I think that is if I didnít feed line and allow the fly to really get down I never saw a swirl or splash. However, if I fed line, got down, bounced the tip at the end of the swing and then held the fly at the surface (still bouncing the tip) I would sometimes get a swirl or splash. Or in the case of the brown a definite strike and miss.

The water was 42 degrees, the air 46 degrees. Flow is moderate to fast. Level is high, but wadeable. Flashboards arenít up yet, but the pond above the dam is low and people were out on the catwalk above the dam doing something - I assume getting ready to put the flashboards in.

11/19/99 Guess I missed last Friday - sorry.  The river is fishing well for November.  Got one fish this morning on a bead head wooly bugger, fished on a 5 foot sink tip.  Had to fish low and slow.  One other bump and in November even a bump counts.  Water is cold 39 degrees this morning.  It will warm up some this weekend if we get the 50 degree weather they say is coming.  Blue Winged Olives should be hatching mid-day, but it might be to cold for fish to bother rising.  If you are out look for activity below riffles in the slack water - the dead shallow water warms up with just a little sun.  This type of water might produce some rises.  Otherwise fish the prime lies.  Fish are to cold to prowl for food.  The are laying where they are sheltered from both  the current and birds and have food coming to them.  A combination of these three conditions constitutes a prime lie remember to look for all three.  Water is clear, flow is moderate, depth is high for this time of year.

12/4/99  This is my last post for the year.  However, you will find additional postings about fishing here and elsewhere on our new FLY FISHING FORUM page. Check it out, better yet post something to let us know what you think of the new page.  As for Shawmut the level is good, water is cold (35 degrees - 3 more degrees and the fish and the water will be solid!)  Flow is moderate and the fishing is slow.  However, people are still catching fish and one should never lose hope. Besides as always fishing is a good excuse to just get outside.

Good luck in all you do.

Mike

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