Allagash in May?

I’m looking for insights/advice on running the Allagash in late May. What are the pros and cons at that time of year? I know that the busy season is July/August and the sweet season is Sept/Oct, but late May is the window I have available to me this year. Is this a bad idea? Bugs? Ice? Flow rates? Air and water temps? Usage?

I’ve received some great advice on these boards over the years. Hoping for some more of that.

Late May is a wonderful time.

– Last Updated: Jan-12-14 7:55 AM EST –

Two of the most glorious trips I have had in my life were on the Allagash and the St. John in late May. Specifically the week before Memorial Day. You will see fisherman on the big lakes. That is one draw back. But the lakes are wonderful and not to be missed. You have to prepare for both cold and hot weather. The fiddleheads may be out. Sometimes you can find ice back in the feeder streams for your scotch. Fish are active. It is possible that you will beat the flies. Chamberlain to Allagash Village. Great trip. I should hasten to add - one of the worst trips I have every experienced in my life, from a weather point of view, was on the St. John last year in late May. So one never knows.

If you do this trip try to get in touch with Norman L'Italien
Pelletier's Campground
207-398-3187 for your shuttle.

Flow rates can be anything
in May… depends a bit on snowpack over the winter.

BTW The Allagash is getting a lot less use than it used to. The crowds are mostly gone compared to the old days.

Bugs will probably be out but swarming… it takes two weeks before the females get bloodthirsty.

We go the last week of June
… for the past 7 years and have had few problems getting the sites we planned on. We rarely see anyone when we’re on the river.

End-o-May I would imagine there would be fewer bugs

Good to hear
"Sometimes you can find ice back in the feeder streams for your scotch." Say no more.

Last May I drove from PA to Gaspe, Quebec, in some of the worst and longest rain I can remember. I’m guessing that’s the weather system you’re referring to. I hate to think of anyone out paddling in that nightmare.

Kayamedic, glad to hear from you. How’s the snow up there so far this year?

We have had good snow pack
but not exceptional. However the ice storms are wearing and roads have been ice covered since before Christmas.

The last days have had a thaw and we were in the Adirondacks ( east), There is no snow there. The rivers in VT were opening and what we saw in NH pounding too.

I wonder if the Allagash is still all frozen? I imagine so.

As you all know water levels really depend on what happens in April and if the melt is gentle or fast and with rain or no rain.