Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Water, Water Everywhere

Lake Champlain Current conditions as of 5/28/13
I was starting to get very concerned last week. Lake Champlain was at a level of just over 96 feet. It was warming up quickly and there were already pretty significant algae blooms in some of the places that I fish. Clear water, low water, lots of light, warm temperatures and lots of nutrients make for a pretty rich environment for algae to take hold. This spring had provided much of that and the nutrients came in two years ago with the record spring flooding and Tropical Storm Irene. That combination of factors got me very concerned about what was going to happen on the lake this year, both for fishing and guiding (and let's face it, they are pretty darn similar!). 

Lake Champlain conditions 8/27-9/7/2011
The weather pattern changed a bit this past week. A Nor'Easter rolled in. It dumped a ton of rain on us. We even got snow in the mountains (Mt. Mansfield got 2 feet). All that water needs to go somewhere and Lake Champlain is the basin into which it flows. And flow it did! In 5 days the lake jumped nearly two feet. The last time it did that was Irene. There are a lot of similarities to the impact of these two rain events on the level of Champlain and when you compare these two hydrographs it is pretty evident. Irene did it in about two days though.  Pretty similar amount of water; it is on the order of 200 billion gallons or so...

Pete with a nice male bowfin- look at the color of those fins!
Jump forward to Memorial Day. My brother Pete was hoping to repeat what we had done the week before. Nail some pike and bowfin. I was definitely ready to put some time on the water after being cooped up inside for several days with the nasty weather we had been having. I was a bit worried about the water conditions- especially the temps and muddiness. The lake temperature dropped 10 degrees down into the mid 40's but it was slowly climbing back up. The wind wasn't going to make things pleasant either. 

True to form the fishing was not the same. The pike weren't playing. The bowfin were hard to find- all that water allows them to spread out and with my style of sight fishing the muddy shores were making it quite difficult. Despite the conditions I still managed to get Pete on a couple of 'fins. Both were males and in spawning coloration. They are always fun. 

With the weather coming this week I think it could be a fantastic weekend to be on the water. If you want to get out this weekend please let me know. Lots of things are going on right now- bowfin, pike, bass, carp, gar... you name it it is moving right now!  Email muskyflies@gmail.com to book a trip!  Things will be booking up pretty fast this summer so get on it while you can!