Sorry for my tardy reporting but I just returned from two weeks in Idaho and Montana fishing. I know, I know, absolutely no simpathy from my readers and none expected. It was a great trip but we will cover that later.
In late August and early September, most of New England experienced cool temperatures, something we have not seen in several years. Night time temps were down in the 30’s in Rangeley a few nights and water temps in rivers dropped into the 50’s. Several good rain storms raised the rivers. Trout and salmon started moving into the rivers early and fishing for big fish was good into the first week of September.
The weather pattern has now changed and no rain has fallen in a week or so and high temps are in the upper 70’s to the low 80’s. Water temps in rivers such as Kennebago have risen into the upper 60’s. Fishing has slowed way day down although selected and experienced anglers are catching some nice fish on nymphs.
Lake fishing has been good with the warm and calm water encouraging some insect hatches including terrestrials such as ants and grasshoppers. This has fish looking up while they stage in shallower water awaiting spawning time.
I will check in again soon, but in the meantime pray for rain and cooler temperatures to bring more fish into the rivers and streams.
I happened to be on Kennebago Lake during the afternoon of August 21st, the time of the partial eclipse. It was very interesting to see how the natural world reacted. During the peak when the sun was over 50% covered, the sunlight was definitely muted, the sky and reflected light off the water, looked like it was an hour before sunset.
Mosquitos emerged, when ordinarily they wouldn’t have in the heat of an August afternoon. The lake was calm and small trout started rising regularly. Birds such as Merlins that would only be active in the evening this time of year took flight. Loons started calling. And then as the sun re-emerged, song birds started singing like it was early morning. All very interesting.
Here are a few photos of us on the dock looking at the eclipse by manipulating a pair of binoculars so they would project two images of the sun onto a piece of white paper.
Looking ahead, early September rain and cool temperatures for the last few weeks should mean fall spawning runs are starting now.
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…