Thursday, September 30, 2010

Healing Waters

Early this summer we were invited to take part in one of the trips planned for the local chapter of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing; a program that "is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings."  Last week we took our trip, chasing smallies on the Kennebec. The fish cooperated nicely, the weather was stunning, and some good laughs were shared by all. It was a nice way to spend the final day of summer. Having spent some time myself hiking a rucksack over the mountains and through the woods  with a rifle in my hand, a bond was shared- and it felt good to have a chance to help these Warriors find a bit a peace.

Personally, I can't think of a better tonic than spending some time on the water, getting a tight line on a few fish. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Game On (again)

I feel this way two times per season. April and September. Like our good friend Mike Decoteau said last week- "Early September is like early April- every instinct I have is telling me 'it's time'... but it's really still a little to soon."  Well, we are darn near the middle of September and time is a slippin'. The good news- it is time. (Mike by the way is a steelhead/trout junkie who ties some really mean feather wing streamer in the classic fashion. He is truly a jungle cock nerd.  He also tied professionally for SS Flies- contact us and we will put you in touch with him for some really, really nice custom tied feather wing streamers. Mike actually inspired me to tie on a feather wing today while guiding a bass trip- I think that says it all).

Water temps in the Upper Kennebec have dropped from 75 degrees last week to 68 currently. Blue Wings and Isonychias have started and the fish are looking up. Remember, and Isonychia is a swimmer- one of the fastest of all aquatic insects- so it pays to strip a Zug Bug or other pattern that mimics the nymph at the end of a dead drift. Sometimes drag can be your best friend. An Adams in a 12 makes a good match for the adult. Blue wing are, well blue wings- micro. Carry some patterns down to a 24. I'm not convinced that we aren't seeing some tricos as well. But when they are that small, who really cares. Streamers have been producing fish also and we have been finding a few browns laid up real tight on the bank- like within a foot. Remember that the next time you wade into a river. It is only going to pick up from here, and now is a great time to float the Kennebec.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Almost there...

Water temps are still pretty warm. The Kennebec at Madison was still hovering in the mid 70's as of a few days ago and surprisingly Bingham was no better. Hatches have been sporadic with spinners in the evening and a few caddis here and there, but nothing to get real excited about yet. At this point, everybody is holding their breath waiting for blue wings to kick off. This cool weather is sweet relief, and it shouldn't be long. Start watching for water temps that drop back into the 60's and you will know it's time. With cool nights and mild days ahead, the much anticipated fall conditions should not be far away.

For the time being we have been staying "green"- fishing for smallies, which, unlike their fairer cousins are much happier to eat when water temps are above room temperature.  I got to take the "House of Hardy" girls out for a warm up session to shake out some cobwebs in preparation for the Upper Andro 2 Fly. The ladies are competing in an all girls boat sponsored by British rod and reel maker House of Hardy.

Watch out boys- these girls are good, and when it comes time to hook some fish- they are all business.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heat Waves, Drought, and now... Hurricanes

It's been a tough summer for trout anglers. After two seasons of epic rains and high water, 2010 is shaping up to be the year of the drought marked by heat waves and skinny flows. The good news is that the fishing for black bass has held up. The bad news is that the trout fishing has been a tough game at times- with high water temps and low flows.

And now it looks like we are going to take at least a glancing blow from Earl. I say bring it on. A good dumping of rain will be nice and should put some much needed water back in the lakes which will improve river flows. A good push of high-water could be just the ticket to set up up for some good mid to late September fishing.

Everybody do a rain dance.