I used to be a fish bum. It’s been a long, cold winter. I’ve been thinking a lot about fishing lately, where to go in upstate NY, where to put the new kayak in for ponds, how I’m going to fair on the Au Sable, or will I look like a fool. Either way, the fishing is coming soon and I’m excited. I used to be a fish bum, and fish every weekend because of local, less responsibility, etc. It was a glimpse in the crystal ball for when I’m retired. I wouldn’t change what I have right now. It just makes me appreciate it more when I can fish. I dream of teaching my daughter how to fish. I just found a stocked stream 10 minutes from the house we are about to move into. I dream of spring vacations in the Adirondacks, bouncing around streams and ponds for brookies. Spring is coming (despite what the other side of the window says), and I’m excited to start again. I used to be a fish bum.
Tag Archives: brook trout
Between moving, “trying” to go to grad school, a new job and family, it’s been a difficult time to try and make some fishing memories around my new state. A month or so ago (it may have been longer), I got a full day to explore some new water. There’s a fine line between being comfortable and knowing where you are fishing all the time, and trying to figure out new places and fishing. Between maps and books, there’s enough information to take a few stabs. I picked the Quinapoxet one Saturday morning and put some time in.
After getting a little lost, I mapped out a spot. When I got to a pull off, there was a guy spin fishing. Usually, I would think that I was in a horrible spot. Today, it was like a big red X that at least there were fish in the water. I moved up river from him dapping a caddis here and there and picked up a couple small brookies. At least they were there!
After that, it got a little slow. I followed the map and found a long path into the river and no one else fishing. After that, I started picking up some very nice brook trout! There were very nice fish tucked in most fishy looking spots and I ended up having a dozen to hand by the afternoon. I was very surprised how healthy the fish looked. I don’t know if these fish are wild, but the colors looked that way. It started looking like a thunder storm so I headed back to the truck and moved to the next stop by a bridge, and had some real fun.
I’m sure these fish were stocked, but i could see some nice brown trout rising. I tried a small caddis, and the refusals were quick, and showed me that these fish had seen that fly once or twice. I switched to a killer emerger pattern that I love to use. They hadn’t seen this one before. Two or three casts and I hooked a good 16″ brown who put up a great fight. With net in the truck as always, I released him as gently as possible. I saw another good brown rising above me. I moved to the middle of the stream and layed a couple of great casts and I had an even larger fish on. One more brown in the pool, and then I was on my way home. I have no idea if that river fished like that consistently, and I haven’t had the chance to return. I do know on that day, it was a phenomenal fishery. Enjoy the pics and thanks as always for reading!
Day two started out as planned. We were up at 5:30 am, and on the road by 6:00 am, heading to a hole that fished great in the fall. When we hit the trailhead, there were fisherman everywhere. With so much pressure, we decided to hit one of my father in law’s favorite ponds. We started by wading, but we could see fish rising in the middle so we went and got the canoe. The fish continued to rise, but we could not hook them. Then the rises stopped. We tried everything; weighted nymphs, big streamers, sinking tippets…nothing. Then the rises started again. They would not take a dry fly, and there were no bugs on the water. We finally hooked a few fish on small CDC caddis flies stripped lightly just underneath the surface film. The fish weren’t cooperating, but the spot is phenomenal and beautiful. If the fish really bite there, you would have the time of your life.
After deciding that a move was in order, we decided to go back to the hole we wanted to fish in the morning. As they say, timing is everything. We were 10 minutes late, as three fisherman were walking up the trail. We loved that hole in the fall! So, we decided to walk in and see what was happening. The three guys were nymphing and had the pool completely covered at the bridge. We decided to explore, as I kept thinking that not every trout in Maine can be at a bridge.
We walked up found a really nice long pool, with a perfect flow. I started fishing and caught a couple of nice fish at the bottom of the pool using a #10 EHC. The far bank had two big boulders and looked really “fishy” to me. There were gray bugs coming off and the only match I had…was a large Adams. Not exactly matching the hatch. I was hitting a good drift with a big mend right between two large boulders when a huge fish took the fly. I set the hook and it was on! This big brookie took me close to the backing and made some nice runs. Finally got her to hand (forgot the net of course), and it was at or over 20″. Great fish! She took the Adams to boot when I released it.
We stayed and tied on a Smokies special, a Thunderhead. In another seam close to the rocks another large brook trout came up and missed the fly, followed and missed again. I never flinched so I knew I had another chance. A few more casts and this fish hammered the fly. Again, took me close to the backing with some really nice runs. This one I got all the way to shore for a couple of quick pics. The fishing above the pool turned out to be completely epic and the best possible close out to spring fishing, and living like a troutbum in Maine for 36 hours.
Bonus – on the way home we ran into horrific weather. This story is long, so here are the highlights. Golf ball sized hail, rescue girl from flooded car, drive through guy’s yard to get to only bridge, hole up in firehouse in tiny town for tornado warning, drive over downed power lines and trees, go through 20+ washed out roads only to have to turn around and go back through them, and finally get home at 3:30am…almost 24 hours after waking up.
Thanks for reading!