Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Last weekend: trip to Maine. Armed with directions from my friend Lee (thanks!) and with the GPS, I took the final step and I finally got behind the wheel for a long wanted expedition to one of Maine's magic spots. A short stop in a state park to glance at a couple of waterfalls and satisfy my wife's camera thirst...

After more than 150 miles on asphalt and 8 miles on logging roads, we made it: dead end. Except for a sign addressed to anglers and referring to the special rules governing "those waters" and a mild roar, barely perceptible, it was just a regular spot, in the middle of nowhere. A short hike, and the view opened up.

Beside the beauty of the river rolling in to the lake, the first think that hit me was a swarm of Alder flies. I've never seen something like this before and they were everywhere. And the whole ecosystem was taking benefits out of them. Birds, fish, ants, even minuscule carnivore plants, they were all feeding on them. And believe me, they were plenty for everybody!

The fish were there, waiting for me and I made contact in the first minutes, with a beautiful brook trout, followed by landlocks, lots of them!

Although I regularly use a lot of nymphs, when the fish are raising, I don't feel bad at all to switch on dries. My 4 wt proved once again to be the extremely versatile rod I've been looking for. (I really have to e-mail Dan to thank him for the blank he built.)

And the winning fly was not too hard to find. It just had to be as close as possible to an alder fly.

I bet stonefly nymphs were working, but i didn't bother since i didn't have any in my flybox.

I'll just let you enjoy the pictures and I'll return to dreaming that sometimes I'll be back....

P.S. There is a darker side of the story: smallmouth bass, which is not native to this waters and was introduced illegally, is taking a toll on the wild brook trout population. So I took a little time to participate in cleaning up the river. And I have to say I had a little fun too, watching this fish hitting my streamer was quite enjoyable. And for a couple of hours I was able to forget about catch and release, for a more important cause.

P.P.S. I do need o buy a waterproof camera; despite the fact that I'm becoming an expert in drying it and making it work after a bath, i don't think my little sony will ever learn to swim. This was the second time I dipped it and immediately after that I caught the most beautiful fish of the trip. Which did not get a picture....Well, another reason to go back!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Yes the broodstocks are still here on the Pemi. Despite a "not so great" season so far, because of changing weather and water flows, this one reminded me of the good old times. I started with nymphs and wet flies and that brought me a few regular size trouts.

Then I switched to streamers, as the sun was going down. A few rainbows gave me some thrills, as they were hitting the light streamer right at the surface, with splashes of their tails. Finally a big whirl and the back of the salmon breaking the reflection of the clouds stopped the time. I didn't feel the hit and I knew it didn't take the fly. The next 0.2 went by as I was begging for a second chance. Then came the shock in my line and the fight started.

The fish made back in the water I was thinking about how awesome would this be if the Merrimack and the Pemi were free flowing rivers, without the dams that killed the natural migration of the atlantic salmon....

Sunday, June 6, 2010


First time fishing for shad. I manage to connect once, thanks to Bill, who gave me flies, tips, even his spot when he was catching them. Unfortunately I didn't land it, but I had plenty of opportunities to admire the fish he caught. The shad run is almost done for the year, I don't think I'll have the chance to fish for it again this summer. But it was a great learning experience. Thank you, Bill!

This is a little video with Bill landing a beautiful fish.