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Maine Guide Fly Shop & Guide Service

Greenville, ME, United States

Endorsed by 1558 people

"Serving the Serious Fisherman" for 30 years

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34 Moosehead Lake Road, Greenville, ME, United States
207-695-2266 info@maineguideflyshop.com http://www.maineguideflyshop.com/
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Endorsed by 1558 people.

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5lb. 2 oz. brook trout. Caught by Alex Rockwell of Greenville.
5lb.2oz. Brookie caught in Moosehead Lake on a Tandem Grey Ghost trolling streamer.
May 12 Fishing Report

The stars are lined up

Ice has only been out for a few days and already fish are cooperating. Smelt runs are in full swing at all the streams and it’s been said folks are seeing gulls diving on smelt in the Moose River. 

Water level has come down to fishable levels everywhere except the Moose and East Outlet. And now that run-off has eased up in the Moose River drainage above Brassua levels are steadily dropping there as well. Moose and East Outlet levels are still high but should continue to drop everyday especially with no measureable rain in the extended forecast. 

We just meet with our fisheries biologists regarding their winter censes data collected from ice fishermen during the winter season. The results were - the health of our fishery is still in excellent shape. Growth rates continue to be the best seen in 25 years and shining star is Moosehead brook brook trout numbers are up and growth is off the scale. There were more big brookies, 4-7 lbs, seen than ever before. They attribute it to the abundance of smelt in the lake. Brook trout don’t need smelt to get big but if there is an abundance of smelt in the neighborhood they’ll take advantage of the windfall and get much bigger faster.

So if you were ever focused on the brookie of a lifetime Moosehead is a good place to be. The next two weeks are prime time. This time of year moosehead brook trout love boulder strewn shorelines and hunt for a meal along the contour where you can see bottom on one side of your boat and not on the other. Use a long sinking line with a long (20’) leader topped off with a tandem smelt pattern, there are lots of those. Concentrate in the north end of the lake, which is famous for large brookies as is the rocky shores of Sugar Island and the Roach River end of Spencer Bay.  Keep you eyes open because you’ll be dodging boulders the size of Volkswagens.  If there are two of you in your boat, one should be casting a streamer towards shore around all those boulders. Let it swing out behind the boat where your trolled streamers are.  

Now that smelt runs are at their peak concentrate your efforts around the mouth of any stream. It’s not a bad idea to anchor and cast your favorite smelt pattern all around the mouth at dawn and again at dusk. A sinking line is a must. Fish are not looking up yet so you have to get your fly down where they are.

The next few weeks are also prime time for all our trout ponds. Fish will be cruising the shallow shorelines in search of dragon fly nymphs feasting on caddis lava and mayfly nymphs. As ponds begin warming midge hatches kick in and in a couple weeks mid-day mayfly hatches will last well into June. 
 
Pick you passion. Life begins again.
See you on the water.
May 1st Fishing Report 
Iceout could be just around the corner

Things change fast this time of season. Ten days ago the Moosehead Lake Region was frozen solid and you needed your snowmobile to get around the backcountry. During those ten days we’ve had a nice shift in the weather pattern. Things warmed up, stayed mild and we had a couple of major rain events. As a result our substantial snowpack cut loose and water started running from everywhere. This time of season when snowpack is densest two inches of warm rain can product ten inches of water. Lakes went from low to near full, open water began to show around shorelines and especially at the mouth of tributaries.  This all spells – iceout isn’t that far away. With 3 days of upper 70 degree weather moving in tomorrow the remaining ice should vaporize by the weekend. It can’t take bright sun and near 80 degree temperatures.

Here’s a link to the web cam on Blair Hill. You’ll have a bird’s eye view of the process. http://mooseheadwebcams.com/index.php/blairhill

The added bonus from this warmer than normal weather is smelt runs will begin as soon as the warmer weather moves in. Fishing spring smelt runs is the very first “Window of Opportunity” of our fishing season and everyone’s chomping  at the bit.

Hitting this window of opportunity can be a grap-shoot but you can increase your odds by doing a little home work. There is a bit of science behind spawning runs. Smelt are no different than other cold water fish that go upstream to lay their eggs. Water temperature is the main driving forced. This time of year smelt begin to gather around the mouth of a stream or river where it enters a body of water, be it a small pond or a big lake. For example,  Moosehead smelt stage in deep water just off the mouth of the Moose River waiting for a signal that tells them to enter the river and begin spawning. That signal is above 40 degree water entering the lake. In order for that to happen snow has to be gone from the woods and run-off nearly over before stream or river water can rise above 40 degrees F. Small streams with head waters in the hills run first. High sun and 60-70 degree daytime temperature warms the earth which warms the stream water.

Smaller rivers like the Roach River warm next. Thirty-four degree water leaves First Roach Pond then flows six miles before entering Spencer Bay. Once snow is pretty much gone and air temps rise to the mid-60’s or higher the high sun warms the water as it makes that six mile journey to the lake. We have checked the water temperature at the dam on First Roach then again at the mouth of the river and discovered there can be a ten degree rise in water temperature from First Roach to Moosehead. That figure will very depending on water flow. The lower the flow the easier it warms on a nice warm, sunny day in late April. If the flow is high it will not warm as quickly. It’s like boiling water, put a cup of water in a pot, hang it over a fire and it doesn’t take long to bring it to a boil. Put a gallon of water in the same pot over the same fire and it takes much longer.

So larger rivers like the East Outlet, warms much later because Moosehead Lake has to warm first. The same goes for the Moose River, which is only a couple miles below Brassua. Instead of flows being in the hundreds of cubic feet per second (cfs) like the Roach, they are measured in thousands of cubic feet per second.

If you do some homework  you can come up with a game plan that allows you to successfully chase smelt runs for a couple weeks. Just keep in mind smaller streams, whose headwaters are the surrounding hills, warm and run first then small to medium rivers where water has to flow a good distance between two bodies of water, and finally ending with larger rivers fed by another lake not  far upstream.

Each presents a window of opportunity. Smelt runs in our region of Maine may be as much as two weeks apart. Runs in Downeast and southern Maine are probably already winding down by now.

Generally speaking, we rarely see the first of the smelt runs in our area before April 25th or at the mouth of larger rivers like the Moose River or East Outlet before the 10th May. Individual smelt runs last as long as a week so when you hit one the fun will last a while. Once they are over both smelt and game fish leave and start dispersing back into the lake or pond and we fishermen move on to the next “Window of Opportunity”.

I hope this helps. Unless you live close by and can keep a eye on a run it’s like trying to make your best call as to when a particular hatch is going to begin. That’s where we come in. We always have our finger on the pulse of this neighborhood.

Just remember water temperature is the major component that triggers smelt runs. A long time ago we started packing a stream thermometer and if the stream water entering the pond or lake is under 40 degrees your probably going to go home empty handed because no-one’s around just yet.
Orvis has a new video out demonstrating how accurate their new Helios 3 rods can be. There is some very cool casting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCIsxtezRVU&feature=youtu.be
Dolphin in the backcountry playing in bow wake.

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