Thursday, April 3, 2014

After the rain

Last Saturday and Sunday New England got the first heavy rain of this spring.  Rivers large and small were running a high and muddy.  Flows are settling but they still are high even for this time of year.  Yesterday I decided to make a quick trip to a local river after work.  The clarity was good but it was still quite high.  With some warmer afternoon temperatures I was wondering if I would see any stoneflies.  I saw the odd one here and there but they really haven't started to come out in any numbers yet.

Most of the softer seams, where I usually find fish, had a pretty stiff current in them and were generally unproductive.  It will probably take another day or two before flows return to more normal levels for this time of year.  I did manage a rainbow and a brown Euro nymphing in one of the deeper pools.  Both fish took a black bead head pheasant tail soft hackle dropper with a heavier fly on point to get the rig down and slow the drift.


As I walked along, I noticed that the skunk cabbage  has not begun to open up let alone sprout. This is usually one of the first plants to sprout their large green leaves in the spring.  I went back to some pictures from past seasons and found the photo below.  In the year the photo was taken, spring came a couple weeks early.  My best guess is that we are 2-3 weeks away from seeing the usual sights of spring.

Skunk cabbage still looking like this picture taken on March 8, 2012

6 comments:

  1. Amazing how this winter is impacting the onset of spring. I think your estimate of being 2-3 weeks off is about right. Up here (north central MA) the snow finally left the woods (mostly) mid way through this past week. I've been surprised at how long the water has been high as a result of last weekends rain/snow melt... Glad you were able to get out - it's such a good way to "reset" after or during a busy day!
    Will

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    1. Hibernation - It has been an unusually cold and long winter. You all up in Maine must have gotten hit pretty hard. The rivers here are still high and settling down slowly for some reason. Could it have to do with the frozen ground starting to thaw and releasing water as a result of the rain?

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  2. Mark -
    I'm actually in Mass... so not to far north of you. It's funny, usually I feel like water levels rise slower and fall slower when green up has started since the plants seem to drink up the rain and slow it's return to the watershed. While during winter or early spring (and fall) it feels like streams rise and fall in quick cycles (at least near here)... None of that is fact, just what it "feels" like to me. I was wondering this year if the high snow totals have ground water solid, so in addition to rain fall added to the system, there is more ground water contributing to the streams/rivers... Regardless, the fishing in some small streams near home has been good the past few days... :)
    Will

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    1. Will - that's what I am thinking. Slow release of thawing ground water, triggered by the rain?, plus the usual run-off.

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  3. Mark
    At least you guys are getting over a brutal winter, and hopefully on your way to some fantastic stream fishing. I am not one to fish high water, but I have to admit I had my best day ever some weeks back fishing high water. By the way I am so impressed with your background page for your blog. Did you get this theme from Google? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - thanks. Actually the background is a picture I took out fishing. What says "New England" more than an ancient rock wall? They are everywhere. It did take quite a bit of fooling around with size to get it to load and I couldn't quite get the picture to fill the page. If you look close there are actually 4 to fill the background.

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