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Spring Fly Fishing….During the Dog Days of Summer

August 4, 2009

– It’s no secret to the people of northern Maine, or everyone in New England for that matter, that this summer can be defined with one simple word; Rain.

While the past few weeks have brought some vast improvements, last week saw the return of the wet weather in Aroostook county, accompanied this time by some fierce thunderstorms.

Rain Totals for July: Fort Kent, ME

Rain Totals for July: Fort Kent, ME

Early reports from a few sources cited great fishing during the end of July, as the waters in local rivers finally started on a downward trend. With such strange weather patterns this summer, water temps are well below average. Because of this, a wealth of large Landlocks can still be found throughout many northern Rivers, providing fly anglers with a unique opportunity to catch quality fish over twenty inches during the dog days of summer.

Landlocked Salmon

Landlocked Salmon

The word on the street is that bright colored streamers around size 6 are drawing the most strikes. Patterns such as the Wood Special or Mickey finn are usually automatic in these situations, but tying anything with bright colored bucktail will usually bring some success. Typically in these situations I fish a 6 lb test leader with 4lb test tippet on a floating line, but experiment with different lengths depending on location and weather conditions. Obviously, in windy conditions it can be difficult to turn streamers over with a long leader, so in that situation it might be beneficial to shorten up. On really sunny days where shadows can spook fish, a long, light leader and tippet are a wise choice. Remember, the fish are deep, but with the water temps jumping so erratically like they have the past month, the salmon are most certainly on the move. Hot, sunny days will usually find the larger fish at the bottom of deeper pools, while the cooler overcast days can be associated with more movement of larger fish in more shallow water. As always, keep an eye out for any sort of life on the surface. Green Drakes and Blue Winged Olives have given me the most luck in the past. And remember, always take serious note of the weather before selecting your next fishing destination!

My limited time on the water this weekend…

Friday afternoon I swung a Grey Ghost over one of my favorite holes and watched as a Salmon the size of my arm casually swam up to it, checked it out, and then calmly drift back down into the depths. I worked that same spot for at least half an hour to no avail, throwing everything I had at it, including various dries and nymphs. With the water so high and dirty after heavy rains only a few days earlier, I cant say I didn’t expect the slow fishing. With the fish so well fed after a heavy rain, these next few days of dry weather could make all the different we need to really get things going. I can only hope my week home before school will have some favorable weather, and some nice opportunities to catch some of these large fish.

That’s all she wrote for now,

See you on the water,


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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 4, 2009 3:41 pm

    I called a guy who lives about an hour south from me and he said that he can’t let people into his bass ponds because the water is too low. Said it hasn’t rained at his house in 2 years… send some of that water this way.

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