Monday, January 17, 2022

A Maine Pond

When I first started fishing the waters of western Maine way back in the late 70's, I was like a sponge that was so thirsty. I probably questioned more people about the ponds streams and woods almost to the point of making myself a pain in the ass. I was given a great deal of information and it was not brush off stuff if you know what I mean. These folks were serious and very descriptive in what they told me. Now I know there are those who say that getting valuable information from a Mainer just does not exist. The old saying "you can't get there from here" comes to mind. Here is one adventure I'd like to share with you. Over at Haine's Landing on the shores of Mooselookmeguntic Lake in the town of Oqussocc Maine. We stated at a cabin and one of the good people we met was a grounds keeper named Howie Lewis. Howie was also the fire chief of  the Oqussocc fire dept. He was a native Mainer and full of info. Durring one of many conversations I had with Howie he told me of a little pond in the woods. This pond was known to few and kept sort of secret to those who knew. It's access was not an easy ride and Howie was gracious enough to highlight the route to take in my Maine atlas, which I still have. The pond lies 23 miles through the woods and is right on the US- Canada border. 

The land is wild and with exception of an occaisional logging truck there was no sign of humans. The main road had lots of side cuts and his warning to me was don't take any of them. Stay on the the road he marked. Also in his instructions were if you get into trouble up there help is a long time coming. So with my Toyota 4x4 CB radio and a couple of fly rods I set off to find this pond.  

The road in the first picture is what it looked like all the way there. Areas of logged out forest and areas so dense with spruce that you could not see 2 feet into them. I encountered many moose along the way, even one that starred at me from the road I was on.
 

 

The pond...the moose was feeding in the shallows as were the brook trout, the rise forms are clearly visible. Trying to find a spot to cast I glanced down into the water to see what looked like the bottom was moving, and it was. The pond was full of leeches. No dry flies needed only black wooly buggers. Well when you don't have a black wooly bugger you choose a streamer.
 

The streamer was the Warden's Worry..a Maine classic. First tied by Warden Joseph Stickney of Saco Maine back in 1930. A simple pattern of wool, brown bucktail some gold tinsel and a red tail and yellow throat. That streamer kept me into brook trout the whole time I was fishing. The brookies were small and a large one was 7", I kept a couple and fried them up along the pond.


 

 

19 comments:

  1. After reading this, the first thing that I did was open a map of Maine and daydream a bit about one day exploring this area.

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    1. Shawn
      Thanks
      Shawn there is so much to explore. I could write a book on the wonderous times spent in the Maine woods. I have fished ponds that I'm sure had names but I never knew them.

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  2. There are so many of those ponds up here, you could never fish them all. There is less fishing pressure here than in the Rangeley area, and many of the ponds this far up haven't seen an angler in years. Beautiful rendition of a great fly; I troll a tandem version of it after ice-out.

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    1. mike
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      Mike your area of Maine is an area that can be without question one of the last strongholds for wild brook trout in the US. Rangeley has had spikes over the years where pressure increased. I always found the places where pressure did not exist. How does the Wardens Worry work on salmon? I have never caught one on it, but the brookies nailed it.

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    2. It works very well on salmon. It's always been a reliable producer, and it's been in my boxes since forever. Beautiful tie, Alan.

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  3. Wow, as I was reading, I kept thinking "what a kayak pond" right until you got to the leeches part. Ya got to be careful in Maine. That's where all the bad stuff in Stephen King novels happen.

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    1. Mark Kautz
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      Mark Stephen King has one hell of a vivid imagination. The pond is perfect for kayaks. And I'm told the loggers swim in such ponds.

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  4. Brk Trt, sounds like a very cool adventure. Memories like that are priceless....Phil

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    1. DRYFLYGUY
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      Phil looking back through some old photos I realize places like Maine have had such a positive impact on my life.

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  5. Alan
    This is a trip I would make was I was younger but not today.

    My brother and I would hike into the Big Black Swamp area in lower Choctaw and fish the back waters of river in that area---carry overnight gear and spend the night and fish for a couple of days. We were in high school at the time and was fearless when it came to fishing areas off the beaten path.
    Thanks for sharing this post it brought back memories

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    1. Bill Trussell
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      Bill I would agree with you on being young and not being afraid to take risks. I have plans or should I say thoughts of returning to Maine this fall.

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  6. Alan,

    A great read of fishing in younger days. The old snap shots are wonderful and capture a time many years ago. I bet you still remember how good those fried up brook trout tasted by the bank of the pond.

    Best, Sam

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    1. Sam
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      Sam wrinkled and faded the snapshot brings forth a special time. I know people who have never tasted a brookie fried two hours after being caught...oh what they are missing.

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  7. Calls to mind many canoe and camping trips in northern Maine. One backwoods pond in particular is similar to yours -- boggy, silt bottom, alder and blueberry choked shore, tough to reach. My friend and I bushwhacked our canoe in there one May afternoon. We hauled out at a slot next to the tea-stained outlet and cast caddis dries into the slick current. One after another, brookies took the flies. Bright, colorful, vibrant jewels, seven inches to a foot. Like you we kept a couple for the pan. As you know, in Maine the blackflies can make you pay for your trout in blood. Mainers can be taciturn, but if they find you are genuine they can become fast friends. Thanks again for bringing back the memories of placid Maine trout ponds!

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    1. Rob J.
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      Rob blackflies are horrific. We vacationed in Maine in July many times and it took weeks to recover from the blackflies. The problem was solved when we started vacationing in September. The elk hair caddis along with a cdc caddis will get results up there.

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  8. September sounds like a great idea! The trout are colored up, as well as the woods. Thank you for keeping this virtual hearth stoked, it brings warmth and smiles to a community of like-minded souls.

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    1. Rob J.
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      Rob the two rival each to see who can develop more color. And we are the benefactors. This is what we do here. Enjoy and join in.

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