Happy New Year. Only three months until official Maine fishing season starts.
First some corrections to my last post regarding speaking engagements:
I neglected to mention that I will be giving a presentation on January 11 in Littleton NH at the Ammonoosic Trout Unlimited Meeting. See their website or facebook for all of the info. My wife Lindsey and I will be giving a video and pictorial talk on western Cutthroat fishing.
My talk at the Marlborough Fly Fishing Show will be: Advanced Tactics and Patterns for Catching Difficult Trout and Salmon in Heavily Pressured New England Waters. My talk at the Edison, New Jersey show is: 3 Best Places to fish for Trout each month of the year in New England (36 in all)
My daughter, Erika, and her fishing-fanatic husband, Brian, were visiting over Xmas vacation, so of course we went flyfishing. On Xmas eve day we headed over to the upper Presumpscot and for this winter it was a reasonable day with temps around 32 degrees. We crunched through the ice-crusted snow and nymphed the clear but cold water. It was beautiful with the sun shining through the ice-covered trees. We didn’t really expect to catch anything but then we saw a pretty good rise in a slow pool and then another rise under the bridge. We increased our intensity and fished until feet were numb but didn’t get a strike. Oh well, we at least can brag that we were out there.
The photos below are indicative of how cold it was. The first photo shows the only thing I hooked with my woolly bugger – a chunk of ice.
Above photo is looking down at Rangeley in mid-October. Below photo is the Ellis River. Both photos look typical for late September, not mid-OctoberSorry for the long delay between posts. Busy with late guiding, travel and book deadlines, and then my website melted down for awhile. For yet another fall, weather seemed to shift by a full month. September was like a typical August, and October was similar to a typical September. Water remained low in October and even by mid-October hadn’t cooled enough to move many fish. Upper Dam did fish fairly well and when I guided there, most of my clients and other anglers were catching a number of brook trout (mostly smallish) and some big salmon. Casting Soft-hackle streamers into the faster currents and high stick nymphing on the edges of the faster water took the most fish.
I guided some in southern Maine, looking for freshly stocked fish in the upper Presumpscot or the Royal and sea run browns in the Mousam. Fishing remained relatively spotting and in southern New Hampshire stockings were postponed or eliminated because the water was so low. People were still harvesting beans and tomatos in October because of the absence of a killing frost.
The weather in November proved to be, what a surprise, similar to what one would expect in October. The fishing followed suit. Anglers that traveled to the East and West Branch of the Kennebec in mid to late November experienced fantastic fishing, but then again on November 22, here were a sampling of water temperatures…Upper Presumpscot River – 44 degrees, East Branch Kennebec 43 degrees, Kennebago Lake (closed to fishing but still 45 degrees. Folks, trout and salmon bite pretty aggressively at those temperatures. The upper Presumpscot also fished well with stocked and holdover fish. In a few hours I hooked beautifully colored brook trout, some washed out brown trout, a good salmon, and then lost a better fish that I never saw.
Early December so far has followed suit with highs in the upper 40’s or even 50’s so I plan to head to southern New Hampshire and try to jam in a few more days of fishing.