Tag Archives: Rangeley

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.

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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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