|Uncle Barry, In his Element|
|"Hey what's that our your window?" "Oh, that's just Mt. Katahdin."|
|Bacon Double Cheeseburger for Trout|
It's commonly said by fly fishers that, "It's not about the fish." This is something that people who are catching fish say. When you are getting skunked, it's all about the fish! Think about it: You drive twelve hours to go on a fishing trip, and the only thing that's missing are the fish! The first night was pretty hard to swallow.
|The view did not suck.|
|Those fins though!|
Night three, our new tactic in mind (and a net!), we went back to the same pond as the night before. We met blustery winds and pretty good sized waves for such a small body of water. The anchor we had been using, made of a few feet of rope and a tied up rock we found on the shore, just couldn't hold us. Extremely frustrated, we beached the canoe and I trekked back up the quarter mile swampy, mosquito-laden trail through the woods and got a mushroom anchor out of the truck and brought it back. It wasn't looking good.
|Perseverance! (and a net!)|
Finally, I dredged up a pretty nice brookie in about 10' of water using the tactics I had learned at the stillwater clinic. A fly called the mini humungous, steadily twitched just over the weedy bottom did the trick. (Honestly, had I not gained so much confidence in this technique at the flatwater clinic, I wouldn't have stuck with it. It totally paid off.) It was just about dusk and we'd only seen a few bugs and only a handful of rises all evening. With our heads hanging low, we paddled back toward the takeout.
As a last resort, we decided to check out a shady shoreline we hadn't visited yet. At this point, why not? This decision was like trading a friend's '85 Mutt Cutts sheep dog van, for a moped - we TOTALLY redeemed ourselves. There were Hex's everywhere! There were so many rises, it was like this side of the lake was boiling! We'd spot a rise, shout "There's one! ten o'clock!", I'd paddle over and my dad would lay down a cast. Nearly every cast drew a rise (whether we hooked the fish or not was another story). It was so action packed, my dad would have a fish on and I would be casting to a different riser! Make fun of me all you want, I was visibly shaking at this point. Was it the fishing or sitting in a canoe for several hours? Probably both - It didn't matter. (I'm kind of shaking reliving it - or is that the coffee?)
This probably only lasted twenty minutes, maybe half an hour. I don't know. We boated more fish than we could photograph, and with the lack of light only a few of the pictures turned out anyway. I have no idea what numbers we caught versus how many we missed - it was that good. Funny how a few fish can totally change your attitude. I think I could have carried all the boats up the trail by myself that night.
|Carrying out the boats with headlamps and reflective tape to guide us.|
The next morning we decided to try our luck in the river. After all, it was the first time it had been fishable all week due to high water. We got into some very spunky Landlocked Salmon. These little fish were a lot of fun. Multiple jumps, tailwalking, flipping and flopping in and out of the boat the whole time they were hooked. Icing on the cake in my eyes.
So, my education in stillwater fishing continues and my love for this new style of fishing grows. It can be maddening at times, but it's a new challenge and every time I'm on the water I learn a lot more about it.
|Hex! It's what's for dinner!|
|A Maine staple I'm told|
|All tuckered out from the hike in.|