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Maine Guide Fly Shop & Guide Service

Greenville, ME, United States

Endorsed by 1349 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 1349 people.

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May 13, 2017 - Conditions in Limbo

A week ago our red maples began to show signs of life and decided to bud. The tiniest tips of green leaves on trees indicated it’s time to move spring forward. Then every morning began just a few degrees above freezing and ended a few degrees below 50 so nature put the brakes on. Things have remained in limbo until yesterday when the sun came out and warmed things up. The grass grew an inch overnight.

Because of last weeks cooler than normal temperatures, gray skies and wet weather, fishing opportunities haven’t changed much.

The mouth of the larger rivers have continued to be very productive. Smelt are still spawning in some places and lake fish remain concentrated where smelt are. The Moose River has been living up to its reputation and fishing well all week. Once water warms and smelt runs end fish disperse along shorelines. You’ll find many of the smelt runs at smaller streams have ended and now is prime time to hunt big brookies especially on Moosehead. Our fisheries biologists say the population of big brookies in the lake is doing very well and Moosehead is the place to be if you’re a trophy trout hunter. The traditional way to fish them is trolling a shoreline contour where you can see bottom on one side of the boat and not on the other. Evidence of smelt runs, in the form of eggs left behind, has been found in every brook biologists checked. Have a look at your map, you’ll find feeder streams all around Moosehead. Concentrate on shores around any bay that has feeder streams, like Spencer Bay, Cowans Cove, Moose Cove, or Duck Coves.

Colder than normal weather and water temperatures around the region have slowed early season salmon runs in some of the rivers. Fish appear to still be feasting on smelt holding at the mouth of big rivers. With high water flows continuing and another round of heavy rain predicted its only a matter of time before salmon decide to make their early season run upstream. We have been on the East Outlet all week and we are catching some beautiful salmon and trout in the river. Because of high flows, fish that are holding in the river are welded to the bottom and not very eager to chase a fly that’s not in their face. It’s difficult getting a fly down to fish at current flows. Catching will certainly improve as flow begin to drop.

A substantial warm-up is predicted for next week. Once leaves begin to grow in earnest they draw a lot of water and run-off will slow considerably.

For the moment the Roach River is flowing at 230 cfs, which is considered a great fall flow so it’s very wadeable. The West Outlet of the Kennebec always flows between 175-200 cfs this time of year so it’s always fishable.

Small pond fishing is a good bet this time of season. It takes a sink-tip line and some sort of dragon fly, woolly bugger bug stripped slowly along the bottom. Trout are prowling the shoreline picking off every dragon fly nymph they can find.

Fishing everywhere hasn’t peaked yet but its going to get better and better once it warms up a bit.

The photo above is an exceptional brookie caught during an East Outlet drift last week. It grabbed a smell imitation, got it’s picture taken and promptly returned.
April 28th Fishing Report - The Stars are Lining-up

We are not ice free just yet but we are gaining everyday. The Greenville end of Moosehead is still iced in but from the East Outlet to Rockwood appears to be ice free. A stiff wind will likely finish the job. The mild weather and rain has done away with most of the woods snow, at least around here. There is still snow around as you go north. The smelt have even begun to run in a couple local ponds. Weather prospects look good for the weekend. We're guessing we'll start to hear ice-out reports all next week.

The rain coupled with snowmelt has topped off all the lakes so the water guys are now dumping excess run-off. The East Outlet and the Moose River are currently + or – 5000 cfs, in the woods flood stage. Whatever water that flows from the woods above Jackman has to keep going to the sea. It may not be pretty but high water this time of season isn’t a bad thing if you fish. Take the East Outlet high water; It takes flood gates to put this kind of water into the river. When flood gates are opened salmon, brook trout and even lake trout that hang around the dam are washed into the river plus when a big flow hits Indian Pond this time of season a certain percentage of salmon, gathered at the mouth, will decide to head upriver. Salmon love a heavy current. When flow finally calms down the East Outlet should be full of fish from top to bottom. Now for the Moose River; when early season high water happens Brassua Lake smelt are dumped into the river and will likely pull fish into the river earlier that usual. The smelt run shouldn’t kick in there for another week or more.

At last report the Roach River was cranking, over 600 cfs. Salmon gathered at the mouth, to feast on the smelt run, will make a run into into the river. They’ll remain in the river until the water lowers to summer flow sometime in late May or June.

We just got a notice that Chesuncook if full and flood gates at Ripogenus Dam will be opened soon. When this happens mega amounts of smelt are dumped into the river and there will be an all you can eat banquet for river salmon that have been eking out a living all winter hunting down nymphs.

The bottom line is when flows do come under control we’ll should see some wonderful river fishing. And if you saw the biologist’s fall, Moosehead salmon census report and their “Best Growth Rate” in forever report, we should be in for some memorable early season fishing.

It’ll take your heaviest sinking line and a big fly that looks a lot like a smelt to get the job done. And fish will smash your streamer like they want to take your rod with them.
There is a window of opportunity in our near future. Now is the time to keep your eye on water flows. Go to Waterline where you will find up to date flows.   http://www.h2oline.com/default.aspx?pg=st&op=ME

So the stars are lining up nicely. Now the one component we need is for the fish Gods to put the squeeze on any more major rain events.

The Maine Guide Fly Shop is officially opening for the season tomorrow, April 29th. Stop by and say hi on your way through.
April 16, 2017 Fishing Report

The snow is going but the ice is still hanging tight. We always say if the ice goes out before the beginning of May it’s early, if it goes out after May 10th it’s late. It doesn’t look right now like it’s going to be early this spring. The snow pack has been falling fast due to the warm conditions and rain. They are still letting water go but there is plenty left to finish filling the lakes when the time comes. The West Branch drainage cut loose last week. Canada Falls generally flows at 100 – 200 cfs (cubic feet per second) A few days ago it was at 6000 cfs and Sebookook peaked at 13,000 cfs. Summer flows there are around 500 cfs. Run-off is far from being over. You can keep an eye on the fluctuations in flows at our Water Flow page. We post current flows everyday over morning coffee. https://maineguideflyshop.com/water-flows/

So for now fishing opportunities are very limited. The Moose River is running high, the Roach River is in the woods any still water is still frozen tight. It will be at least another week before smelt runs kick in. The remaining snow pack has to be about gone before that can happen.

If you want to keep an eye on the ice conditions we recommend you go to the webcams around the Moosehead Region.

http://mooseheadlake.us - View from the top of Blair Hill in Greenville
This is our favorite. 
http://www.beavercovecamps.com/weather/ - View from Beaver Cove

http://rockwoodonmoosehead.org/images/ftp/ - View from the mouth of the Moose River in Rcokwood

http://www.birches.com/webcam/ - View of Moosehead from the Birches in Rockwood

We will be back in Greenville soon and plan on opening for the season on April 29th. It will be our 35th year. How time flies.

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