Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Ghost, and a Yellow Saddle


This is the last gate on the road that leads to the Upper Dam pool in Maine.
Upper Dam is between Mooselookmeguntic and Richardson Lakes. Its waters are home to some of the large brook trout and salmon the State of Maine is known for.
It also has the claim to some of the greatest streamer fly patterns ever created.

The road is gated so as to limit vehicle traffic in the lower areas for the camp owners.
I have walked this road many times over the years. A beautiful walk through some spectacular wilderness. Moose, black bear, whitetail deer, fox, can be seen on most days. The smell of balsam can be intoxicating.

Just before reaching the dam there are a series of four or five old camps. These have been here probably since the early 20th century. The camps have names such as "Stagger Inn", "One Horn" etc. But one camp always stood out from the others. "Upper Dam Blacksmith's Shop". I don't know if it actually was a working blacksmiths shop or where a blacksmith lived. I don't know why I never asked how the name was given to the camp, but it was the name I have chosen for the first streamer in this post.

The "Blacksmiths Ghost"






The camp as it sits on the road to Upper Dam



The "Blacksmiths Ghost"



While sitting at my desk the other day, I looked at a bright yellow saddle laying on a book of Fran Betters fly patterns. A few thoughts went through my head, a good looking streamer can come from this. While Fran is not noted for his streamers, his other patterns are well known.
So with a few more ingredients thrown into the mix I created this streamer.

"Adirondack"

21 comments:

  1. There's an interesting article in this morning's Maine Sunday Telegram on the new dam being built and it's effects on the fishing.

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  2. penbayman,

    I just read the article. Thank you.
    Here is the link folks.

    http://www.pressherald.com/life/outdoors/change-coming-to-great-dam-spot_2011-06-26.html?searchterm=upper+dam

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  3. Those flies are almost to beautiful to use!Man, I wish I could tie those!

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  4. On the surface anyway, it sounds like the dam management is making a good faith effort to keep things as they were, to the extent possible. Perhaps another historic fishery preserved? The devil is always in the details. Time will tell I suppose. I hope the tradition continues. Beautiful streamers!

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  5. Beautiful streamers my friend. I'm sure Fran would appreciate the gesture.
    A.T.

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  6. John McArdie,
    Thank you.


    Gary Thompson,
    Thanks.
    I'm an optimist and I believe it will remain a good fishery. But some of the beauty, and that wonderful old metal building will be gone.

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  7. Love the streamers , I can picture the "Adirondack" tucked in the corner of a nice browns mouth. Beautiful work ,the writing and the flies.....Jeff

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  8. Apache Trout,
    Thanks.
    I can see it being fished in the Ausable.


    HighPlainsFlyFisher
    Thank you for the kind comments.
    Come to think of it, that would look sweet.

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  9. Great post again. Your adventures always seem to lead you to very cool places

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  10. Your post and photos are a nice reminder of what I had to miss this year. Hopefully next year I'll be back hiking down to Upper Dam. Very nice flies, too.
    Gary

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  11. Bruce,
    Thanks.
    If you are ever given the opportunity to fish the western Maine mountains do so. It will never leave you.


    Gary,
    Thanks.
    When the kids were small we used to take our vacations in July. Then you had to park at the first gate, that was a hike and a half. For the last 12 years or so we fished the last week of Sept. They let you park at the last gate and that makes the walk easier.
    Perhaps I'll see you at the dam.

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  12. sounds like a really nice place to develop some great flies...

    really nice post and photos!

    ...oh, the flies are beautiful as well.

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  13. Great Pics, Flies/Streamers. One of my favorite "intoxicating" smells while on the stream is wild mint and watercress. I will never forget that smell. Great creations! Tight Lines.

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  14. A really nice post and wonderful flies with some nice thought behind their names.

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  15. Trout Magee,
    Thanks.
    It's great this natural freshner.


    Justin,
    Thanks.
    Sometimes it's easy with a name, sometimes the streamer is simply.... No Name.


    George,
    Thanks.

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  16. just curious but about how long does it take you tie one of these streamers?

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  17. George,

    The time varies. Depending on the feathers involved.
    Perhaps an hour, although I've never timed it.

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  18. It does sound like they are being mindful of the historical significance of this fishery. There was a lot of concern when this project was first announced in the fall of 2009 that the fisherman's access would be greatly reduced. Here is a link to NextEra Energy Resources projects web site:
    http://www.nexteraenergyresources.com/what/hydro_projects.shtml

    More beautiful streamers. A fine tribute to Fran Betters.

    Aljack

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  19. Aljack,
    Thanks for the link.
    And thanks for the comment on the streamers.

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