Tag Archives: Maine

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

I’ve only been fishing in Maine a few times, but so far I have not been disappointed.  It intoxicates me to a degree that almost perplexes me, and I hope to spend as much time there as I can.

My Father-in-Law (the fil) was gracious enough to take me back and fish with me.  I left work early on Friday to take the beautiful drive through southern Maine and was able to make the evening hatch on a stretch of one of the  rivers.  The hatch was there with hundreds of Caddis’ coming off the water, but not a single fish rising.  I tried it all; Green Caddis dry on top, nymph on the bottom, and streamers all over the place.  No luck.  The evening was gorgeous, the fish just weren’t biting.

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Evening hatch with no fish

After a star filled night, we were up to fish a favorite pond near camp.  After seeing a lot of fisherman, we were surprised to find no one at this spot.  We began fishing and started suspecting why.  Hot sun and no rising fish.  The skunk was staying on me.  The fil caught a nice brookie on a streamer, but we were striking out and decided to swing by a popular spot.

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The Pond that hates me

Our next spot is a favorite of mine.  There a very popular hole under the bridge and nymphing is the key there, but it is always full.  Up river though, is a spot that I caught some very large brook trout last year, and the run is my FAVORITE kind of spot to fish.  Long run, water running at a constant speed, large boulders.  I feel like I can cover a lot of water and get a really good drag free presentation.  After seeing some hatches all day, I hit it right with a #12 Quill Gordon and started catching some fish.  Picked up a nice 14″ salmon, a smaller salmon, and a nice 12″ brookie.  Success!  The fil was worried about putting me on fish, but I love that spot so much, that just fishing it is fun (minus the fast water and hitting my head).  On the way out we picked up a tip from a nice man named Dave, more on that to come.

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Landlocked Salmon on a Quill Gordon

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Smaller salmon

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The fil landing a fish across my favorite run

So the tip we got from Dave, we decided to check out.  Now, every other person we’ve ever talked to has said zilch about where to fish.  And I’m not the first to divulge a bunch of fishing spots either, but this area is especially tight lipped.  A grandmother earlier in the day told us about a huge brookie she caught, but that was it.  The road to get there had a horrible stretch and we were bottoming it out hard, so we put it off.  We went up the road and finished the night at a great spot.

Huge hatches were coming off and we fished the pre-hatch, the hatch, and the spinners, catching fish the whole time.  I must have caught 20 brook trout in all stages.  No big ones, but lots of fun!

The next morning we took the other vehicle and made our way to where Dave gave us a tip.  We got to the bottom of the road and there was no river as promised.  What we did find was a secluded, abandoned beaver pond…with a rising fish right off the bat.

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What I thought didn’t exist. A secluded beaver pond.

Although hot with no clouds in sight, the fish were more than willing.  They rose all morning and we stayed for hours.  We must have pulled 40 trout or more out of this pond. It was phenomenal, and we never saw a sole.  it was the perfect spot to end our trip.

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We caught a lot of brookies just like this guy

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A very pretty and very green trout caught by fil

Getting to this pond was no joke.  The road required a high clearance 4X4 and it scratched the hell out of it to boot.  Was the juice worth the squeeze?  Without a doubt.  Fishing that beaver pond was like a Geirach short story.  The crusty New Englander with the cryptic tip, the non-existent river, but the surprise pond and the never ending rising brook trout.  The juice was worth the squeeze.

Thanks for reading!

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Maine Troutbum – Day 2 with Pigs

  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.

The smaller of the 2 biggest brookies I've ever caught

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!


Maine Troutbum – Day 1

So here was the plan.  I was in Vermont for a wedding/vacation with my wife and to see her in-laws.  My father-in-law had an idea.  After a wildly fun fall trip for landlocked salmon and trout in Rangeley, Maine, we could make a mad dash for a day and a half of spring brookie fishing.  It would be a cast and dash trip.  No frills, and hopefully some thrills.  We would keep it as simple as possible, sleep in the car (him) or tent (me), hotdogs and snacks, and the canoe for lakes and ponds.

We got up at 5:00 am and that put us in Rangeley fishing by about noon.  We hit the first river at the mouth of one of the small lakes.

The first bridge at high noon

We fished this bridge as there was a nice hatch coming off and we immediately started to pick up some brook trout.  There was even a large fish that was attacking the fish we were bringing in, but we couldn’t catch him.  A mayfly emerger was fooling some fish and we were starting the trip out right.  The hatch was ending so we decided to paddle into the lake and up the other side into a slower river.  The lakes and ponds are gorgeous and we were extremely blessed that the only bugs were mayflies and caddis’, not mosquitoes and blackflies.  In the other river we caught a few more brookies on streamers close to the bank.  As the day wound down we paddled back into the lake for the evening hatch.  The lake was clear and the fish were rising.

The hatted f.i.l lands another fish

My father-in-law caught a great majority of the fish on this night, and I managed to fool a few.  Lake fishing is extremely fun as you can spot all the different rises, but I’m not too skilled at it yet.  We fished until dark and made camp at around 10:00 pm.

The average brookies from day 1

On the way we ran into a very stubborn moose that would not move off the logging road.  The horn wouldn’t work, but a few rocks in it’s direction finally moved him.   It was a phenomenal start to the trip!

Gorgeous Maine river

Thanks for reading!


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