I was up in the Rangeley area during Mother’s Day weekend, looking forward to doing some shortly-after-ice-out fishing with my wife and was greeted by heavy snow on the morning of Mother’s Day morning. The fishing had just started picking up in the Rangeley area but the snow killed the action for the day – at least for me. I had caught decent trout and salmon on the Mags and Kennebago Lake the day before.
Of course, the snow was followed several days later by temps in the 90’s. Then temps dropped back into the 40’s with rain. The weather obviously has been extremely variable this spring. In mid-May, the fishing in Rangeley was very inconsistent because the weather and water temps were cold and the smelt runs stopped and started or were tough to fish because of heavy water. I fished the usual places to check out the action, Little Kennebago, the Logans in Kennebago Lake, Rangeley River, Camp 10 bridge on the Mags. Picked up a fish or two, hear and there — not dead but not spectacular either. Did have a huge trout on by the causeway on Kennebago Lake but lost it after a bit.
A few lucky anglers seemed to catch it just right at the Camp 10 Bridge and had lots of action, while others did not have the same experience. The Rangeley River was slower (action-wise) then it should have been.
After the snow, I headed south to Pennsylvania for a week to visit some of the well-known spring creeks. What Fun! I don’t get to fish for rainbows and browns very often because they aren’t found as easily in Maine. I hit rivers by the names of Mud Run, Yellow Britches, Fishing Creek, LeTort, Spring Creek (at Fisherman’s Paradise) We had to work for the fish during the day because the weather was very hot and cloudless. During cloudy stretches or in the evening during sulfur hatches, the fishing was easier.
Hatches are at full swing now in the Rangeley Area with early season mayflies – Hendricksons, Quill Gordons, March Browns, or similar mayflies hatching regularly when conditions warrant –sometimes morning and sometimes afternoon.
The first really warm day on May 12 brought the first surface activity to Kennebago Lake. I had one of those magical evenings that sometimes one is fortunate enough to experience. I was the only one fishing on the entire lake, it was an 80 degree day and warm evening without a cloud in the sky. As the sun started to set, the lake was flat calm around the western shore. Two bald eagles watched me from a nearby tall white pine tree as fish cruised just under the surface sipping midges and other small fare. Every cast to a rise resulted in a fish. In the cold water they fought hard and some towed the canoe. I happily lost count of how many came to hand. It was so perfect, I half expected Kevin Costner to come out of a field of corn on the bank and ask me if this was heaven (that was a Field of Dreams film reference).
Then on Monday, May 16th, the area had 3 inches of snow and temps in the 20’s and 30’s and howling winds. And I do mean howling – Mooseluckmeguntic Lake had 6 foot waves. On the following Wednesday, the temp of the water had fallen to 44 degrees in the rivers and all of the hatches just stopped
But by last weekend, May 21st, the weather warmed and hatches commenced again including on Saturday afternoon a huge fly ant hatch on the upper river. 4 anglers fishing there caught 10 massive brook trout over two pounds in just several hours.
By the middle of this week, blizzard hatches of early season mayflies were everywhere. I guided yesterday and my sport had a 30 trout (at least) afternoon – not telling you where. My only concern is that we have had no rain and the rivers are at summer levels already – just like the last two springs. We need rain…