Most rivers in Southern Maine are very high and mostly unfishable after the heavy rains we received later this past week. The Presumpscot is an exception to that, as the flows are controlled by the dam coming out of Sebago. The reason why they aren't releasing is because there is still ice on the basin. It was too nice to not get out on Sunday, but water temps still remain below 40 degrees. Words like "slow" and "hit" are pretty common to describe fishing when water temps are so low. The action is "slow" and we're happy if we just get A "hit". The water is gin clear, so we can usually see fish. We only saw one on this day. It's pretty reasonable that the fish haven't made their way back into the river, and they won't do so until temps rise some more.
I always find it funny that people are so "secretive" about what flies they use. I often find that there is usually not just one "golden" fly that is working. Are there times that they are selective? Yes. But a majority of the time, you can pick up several different fish with several different flies. We saw some very small midges hatching and flipped a few rocks to find small numbers of mayfly nymphs. This is pretty common this early in the season. We used Little Black Stone nymphs, Pheasant Tails, and various San Juan Worm patterns with no luck. However, with more fish in the river, these are pretty reliable patterns. I've posted some pictures below of one of my many fly boxes with patterns that we tie ourselves!
We'll be on the water a few days this week in Southern Maine. Hopefully the warm temps and receding waters will get the fish in the mood a little more. Next week, we'll be heading up to the Western Mountains for the first time this year. Based on how much snow we have done here, winter may not be gone until mid-May, but we have always fished there in April. I'll post again after we get back.
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.