The season opener was a little snowy to say the least. Marc and I decided to open our season the day after on a tributary of the Androscoggin River known for producing some nice hold-over browns. It's always exciting to just get out there in the river again, rig up the rods, try out some new gear and tie on the flies you've been thinking about for weeks. The air temps were in the mid-40's and the water was hovering around 35 degrees. The key for these early days in the season is to find soft water and get flies down deep. We tried several different nymph rigs consisting of pheasant tails, stonefly nymphs, zebra midges, san juan worms and soft hackles with no luck. It actually just felt great to try out the new 6 weight and practice some casting.
Flipping rocks is always effective, but some of the aforementioned flies are pretty common this time of the year. Little black midge and little black stoneflies are usually buzzing around in the late morning in April and it was no different this year. It was great to see some of them zipping across the water. My wish of a fat brown exploding on that stonefly did not come true. You'll see lots of these guys around in Southern and Central Maine in the next few weeks so be sure to have a few in your box in both the adult and nymphal stage. A black size #14 Klinkhamer will do the trick when they start looking up a little.
For some great early season action in the southern part of the state, refer to the Maine fish stocking report. These early stockies will feast on these LBS nymphs and dries. Find some soft water that turns into a back eddy and you'll be surprised at how many strikes you'll get on a dry fly this early in the season. The Presumpscot River in Windham will be busy, but if you can get out during the week you'll find less crowds and have a shot at nailing some hold-over trout. Be careful and watch your step as water will be pretty high with all the melting and runoff that will occur in the coming weeks.
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.