Monday, September 21, 2009
20th Anniversary trip to Moosehead Lake
One Big Trip down and one to go. The trip to the Moosehead Lake region was fantastic. I have been there numerous times, but never get tired of it. So much good water: Moose River, East Outlet and Roach River, not counting the huge lake and numerous brooktrout ponds. As always, we stayed at Maynard's of Maine sporting camps on the Moose River near the inlet to Moosehead Lake. What do you usually spend for a night in an average roadside motel? 60, 70, 80 or more bucks a night? We paid $65/night for a comfortable room and three amazing meals a day. The prime rib was almost 2-inches thick and done perfectly. But I digress. . . The fishing was almost as good as the accommodations. We arrived Tuesday around noon and after checking our buddies who were fishing the East Outlet, we checked in and drove about a half mile from Maynards to some good pools on the Moose River. Caught a small salmon and a really nice 17+ inch salmon.
The next day Dick and I fished with Bob Dionne, owner of Aardvark Outfitters. What a nice guy and a really good guide. I have been guided in Maine, the Adirondacks, Catskills, Lee's Ferry Arizona, Florida and a couple trips to Montana. Bob is as good as any guide I have taken. I am not a "fish counter" so I don't know exactly how many salmon and brooktrout I caught, but let's say that there were not many lulls in the action. At one spot we stopped to fish from shore and I got two salmon and a brooktrout in four casts with a Henryville Special dry caddis pattern. Here is a picture of Dick with one of the nice salmon he caught.
On Thursday we took a drive around the lake to Kokadjo and the Roach River. Bob had fished the Roach the day before and told us that they were not releasing water yet from First Roach Pond, but any day now they would start drawing down the pond and the salmon would start their spawning run. When we got there I immediately could see that the gate was open and water was roaring down the river and that the salmon and trout were in the river. We started at the dam pool and I got a beautiful 15+ inch brookie. Dick got a small salmon and then we walked down the trail to the Dump Pool. Our friends Dick (the other Dick) and Mack had fished there while we were on the drift trip and Mack had hooked a VERY large salmon that broke him off and proceeded to make a couple more jumps with Mack's nymph rig still in his mouth. A couple anglers were just leaving as we arrived. We both started tossing nymphs and didn't see a fish. Then we moved along to the Warden's Pool. The lone angler was just getting ready to leave as we arrived. He said he had caught two salmon and two trout on nymphs. I tossed my nymph rig into the current and immediately got a jarring strike and I proceeded to break the fish off with my King Kong hook set. Soon I had two other good strikes, but didn't hook-up. Dick didn't have much luck either, so we headed back to the East Outlet (Kennebec River as it emerges from Moosehead Lake and flows to Indian Pond.) We did pretty well there and Dick caught a lot of fish in the last hour and a half before we had to eat the nightly feast at Maynard's and listen to Dick D's twentieth anniversary telling of "the greatest sea story ever told."