Western Maine Report:
If ever there is a time to hit Western Maine rivers, it's right now! Big trout and salmon are moving into the rivers to spawn and this is the time of the year when you can land a trophy brook trout or landlocked salmon on the fly. Just because summer is over don't overlook dry fly fishing. We landed 18" salmon on size 18 dry flies this past weekend. Parachute patterns like black ants and adams are good bets. There are still a good number of caddis on the water. Soft hackles do a great job of imitating emerging caddis. Nymphs that have been working are pat's rubber legs, copper john, black zebra midge and green caddis larva. Lastly, those big streamers may not produce a LOT of fish, but they can entice a big fish! We have a few spots available still this fall, but remember that a lot of rivers close on September 30th. Get out there!
Southern Maine Report:
Smallmouth bass are starting to work back into the shallows to beef up on baitfish before winter time. Poppers are still producing. Bass fishing will stay hot through October. Trout and salmon fishing will start to heat back up in about a month. We guide in Southern Maine right through Christmas time if the conditions are right. We don't have any trips booked for November. With many people hunting this time of the year, you can find a lot of serenity and trout in Southern Maine, which is rare!
It's been a while since I've posted! We've been on the Andro a lot churning out bass trips. The dog days of summer seem to be on the tail end. Bass are down deep in very rocky areas, so getting down with rubber leg flies or clousers has been the ticket. We have left the trout waters alone, but will be getting back out in the next couple of weeks as water temps are starting to drop. The last trip to the Magalloway was productive, but fish needed to be quickly released. We have a few dates left between now and Labor Day weekend if you're looking to get out there! After Labor Day, we'll only be guiding on the weekends and still have some dates available.
The big bugs are here! Summer is also in full effect. Find the shade and cool water temps and you will find the fish if your presentation is good. There's a LOT of good fishing going on right now. For trout waters, think big AND small. Big stonefly dry patterns, small tan caddis patterns and small black/brown ant patterns are deadly right now. Don't be afraid to bring a bunch of tippet and try lots of different patterns. If you need to get deep, we've been using a new type of nymphing rig called "the drop shot rig". This rig consists of about 4 feet of 12 lb mono with a tippet ring attached to it. Then add 4 to 5 feet of Rio Fluorocarbon tippet, tie a triple surgeon knot to 12 inches of fluoro and put a small fly on the tag end. Repeat this process and tie on a bigger nymph, like a Pat's rubber legs on the tag end. At the very end, tie a knot and put one or two split shot above. Move your indicator above the tippet ring depending on the depth of the water. One and a half times the water depth is the best placement for your indicator. I know it's a lot, but fish are on the bottom and this where they feed a majority of the time.
Summer smallmouth fishing is also going strong. Poppers in the shade or chartreuse flies near the drop offs are the ticket. Get out there and enjoy! We have some dates open for August and September. Give us a call and let us show you how to get the job done!
Fishing is great right now. We've been on the water everyday for the past week. The Magalloway and Western Maine rivers are all about caddis and stoneflies right now. It's a lot of fun to cruise up and down the rivers, find fishy looking spots, twitch a caddis patter and hook up with big brook trout. One client landed around 20 brook trout in 3 hours of fishing. Nymphing will be the ticket as the water temps warm up. Look for deeper runs and shaded pools as the heat moves in on us. Stimulator and hopper season is upon us!
Smallmouth fishing is prime right now. Even when you don't see anything on the surface, they'll come up and hit a popper pattern with full force. Gorgeous, sunny float days on the Andro are what we love to do most this time of year. We still have some openings later this month and some weekday openings in August. Give us a call!
Fishing is getting hot! Trout, salmon and bass are all starting to look up. If you're in the Western Mountains, caddis, caddis, caddis. Dark brown bodied Elk Hair Caddis and Green Caddis Larva nymphs have been the ticket. There are still some Hendricksons hanging around, but I can't imagine they will stay much longer up there. Onto the Light Cahills next, but you'll find us fishing caddis. Love this time of year!
Bass fishing is the same, but not quite looking up yet. Any day now that will change, especially with these hot temps. We're going to be doing some bass fishing in Southern Maine this week, so I'll put a report out later this week. Clousers and Woolly Buggers will get the job done. Fish 'em slow and set the hook! Get your poppers ready... it won't be long!
All of the pics below are from a couple of guide fish days. Fun to get out with the boys and do what we do!
I'm pretty sure that I don't even need to post a report with words in it. The picture above sums it all up. This is what fishing is all about. As our kids get older, it makes me think of the little things when I'm on the water. Do everything possible to conserve these waters so that our kids can enjoy the same splendors that we have. Crimp the barbs, stuff excess tippet in your vest, put fish back quickly, etc. These are all small things that we can do that will have a big impact on our waters.
We've mainly been in the North country as fishing has been awesome. Hendricksons are still hanging around, black caddis are on top and green caddis larva are starting to pop on the riverbeds. There doesn't seem to just be one fly that is working, which can be rewarding or frustrating. The beauty of this time of year is that if all you want to fish is dries and emergers, you have that option most days right now. If you want to nymph and chuck streamers, you can do that as well. There are lots of options right now! Take advantage of the nice weather on the horizon and get your ass out there!!
This will be a down and dirty report. Things are really starting to heat up! Nymphs are still the ticket in the North country, but fish were taken over the weekend on emergers. Klinkhamers are a great imitation this time of year for emerging mayflies and caddis. We caught some fish on a pond on Hendrickson patterns. Those little buggers are hatching in full effect up north. We spent time in the Western Mountains and Central Maine over the Memorial Day weekend. I'll put a Southern Maine report out this weekend as we'll be guiding down here this weekend. I have to imagine that dry fly fishing will be in full swing down here. Elk hair caddis and appropriate mayfly dries will be the tickets for trout. Hopefully the smallies are looking up and ready to pounce on topwater offerings! Flows are stabilizing in some areas and great in others. Please wear a life jacket on the quicker rivers, especially if in a canoe. Too many tragedies already this spring. I'll let the pictures from this past weekend do the talking! - Aaron
Things AND fish are looking up! As the big rivers are finally receding, we'll finally be able to get out on those this upcoming weekend. Trout, salmon and smallmouth are all coming into the topwater season, but most fish are still caught subsurface right now. Vince and I were able to get out on a small stream this past weekend and hook into some stockies on dry flies and emergers. It felt awesome to finally watch the take and set the hook. It's a feeling that never gets old!
Smallmouth are just starting to get on their beds so fishing clousers and streamers tight to the bank is going to be starting any day now. Most have been caught on the drop offs with slow to medium retrieves or on the drop. Patience is key.
In the Western Mountains, sucker spawns should be in full effect for the next week or so. If you can find where the suckers are, trout and salmon will be gorging not far downstream on their eggs. A variety of egg patterns are a must-have in your box right now. Another pattern in the Western Mountains that is great this time of the year is the Green Caddis Larva nymph. If you see rises, don't be afraid to throw on an Elk Hair Caddis with a partridge and green dropper. Vince will be patrolling this region on Memorial Day weekend. Marc and I will be on some new water that we're exploring and looking to expand our fishing territory into!
The weather looks great this weekend (knock on wood) so just get out there and get a line wet. The fish are active and with some patience and good presentation, you will hook up!
It has been an interesting week here in our great state. Flows were finally coming down earlier this week and bigger rivers and tribs are coming down to fishable levels. Then with the heavy predicted rain on Mother's Day the flows went back up. I think the best word to describe the conditions so far is inconsistent.
In the middle of the week, Marc and I got onto a river in central Maine known for holding some good holdover browns before stocking starts. We caught several small brown trout and a couple of suckers and creek chubs. My afternoon was made when I had on a 4" creek chub and I'd be lying if I said I reeled him in as fast as I could. That poor guy got engulfed by a big fish while he was vulnerable on my line and my rod bent over in a hurry. I've heard of brown trout being predatory, but this was only the second time I've witnessed pure predation. I had the brown on for over a minute and saw him swim by my feet. Not as big as I had originally thought, but a solid 15" brown with a chub down his gullet. I let him play a little too long and I should've known better to get him in quick as he wasn't really hooked. Needless to say, the chub was no longer on my line so I think it's safe to say he was an appetizer.
On Saturday, things cleared out for once and Vince and I took advantage of the good weather. My wife graciously let me float for "as long as I wanted" to as it was my birthday. Flows were high and we were surprised to take on a little whitewater on the Andro. This section doesn't usually get too choppy, but at over 10,000 cfs it made for a fun ride. Nothing the Hyde drift boat couldn't handle. We caught all smallmouth and nothing under 16". Vince lost a big one that we estimated at around 20", but we'll never know.
Hopefully the late weekend rainstorm doesn't do too much damage to the rivers. We're ready to fish! Time for Mother Nature to play nice. One good thing about the rain is that hopefully we should hold onto some cooler water a little later into the summer than in years past. Get out there, but be safe on the big rivers. When the green fish are biting, it means we've arrived. Here's a pic of Vince's largest smallie from Saturday. Enjoy!
There is some good news on the horizon! The flows are dropping due to lower than expected rainfall. The dams were lowering lake levels and anticipating a large storm this past weekend, but the rivers are now stabilizing. Fishing on the rivers should be back to normal in the next week. Nymphing will be the key as they aren't looking up yet in the Western and Central part of the state. High flows will dislodge a lot of nymphs. Pheasant tails, san juan worms, green caddis larva and prince nymphs will all be "go-to" patterns. Don't be afraid to change things up and think outside of the box. Often, we go smaller if the fish aren't biting, but scaling up and fishing something larger can get some of the more predatory fish to jump on your hook.
Ponds in Southern Maine have been hot as fish are starting to move into the shallows. Vince and I were in the Belgrade area last week on a large pond and fish were not yet in the shallows. This should change anyway now. As the rivers in Southern Maine stabilize, fish will start looking up in the next couple of weeks. Parachute Adams and Elk Hair Caddis are effective patterns this time of the year. Don't be without some Hendricksons and some soft hackle emergers! Be prepared for the best part of the fishing season. Make some time to get out there and don't leave yourself wishing you had spent more time on the water when the snow starts flying next winter!
Aaron Broaddus is a Registered Maine Fishing Guide with Headin' North Guide Service. Aaron specializes in fly fishing in the Western and Southern sections of Maine.