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!