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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 8:42 am 
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All.......

Spent the last eight days Downeast at a landlocked Salmon Stream........which for our purposes will remain nameless.

The first few days were very good. A few Brook Trout to an honest 14 inches (mostly about 12).......and a good amount of 17”; 18”; and a really nice ( only one, but still.....) 21” Landlocks. What I would consider very good Fishing by Maine standards.

The hatches of Mayflies were sparse to non-existent, but Caddis we’re coming off at dusk. Not the proverbial clouds of them.......but enough to get the ll’s Up and at least fairly interested.

So went the first few days.

What about the differing perspectives I started this TR off with? The fifth day I was there the State deigned in their infinite wisdom, to inundate the stream with hundreds of hatchery Brookies. I heard from one source 400........heard from another source 1700........and even on up from there.

Here’s where the differing perspectives come in. I was watching a Father and Son below me and heard one say to the other that this was their second day of flyfishing......ever. They were having a ball fishing to these poor, bedrahhled things. Just having an absolute ball. They even said at one point that this flyfishing thing was very easy......as they were catching these things on every cast. They loved it.

I had an entirely different experience. These hatchery Brookies were like rats.......you couldn’t get a fly past them to get at the Landlocks........as the poor, bedraggled trout were ravenous. They were like rats at the damn dump.

If I wanted to fish in a gawd damn hatchery I would have gone to one. It was no challenge at all. Zero. I was so disgusted I came home two days early. Those hatchery things just ruined the entire experience for me. I have no idea who thought it would be a good idea to put in hundreds (thousands ?) of 10” hatchery trout.......but IMO it was an awful decision.

Experienced flyfishermen don’t want easy Fishing like in a hatchery. Newbies do......perhaps. Dumping hatchery trout Willy-nilly into a ll salmon stream sucks. I caught one that had less than 1/4 inch tail......it had been essentially rubbed off. It was an awful looking thing.

A few more trips to the K as we begin summer, then off to Montana for a good part of July for me. If you want to catch a bunch of hatchery dogs e mail me......I could probably put you onto a few. ;-)

Dave M

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 am 
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I can appreciate both perspectives...
Definitely not good if you are looking for a challenge and nice-looking fish.
Very good if you just want to catch, like the father-son duo. Possibly a lifetime memory for both of them...
Are the Landlocks there wild ones? Or stocked? If Wild, stocking should not occur over them. If stocked, well then it's kind of hard to look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak.
They used to stock brookies in a wild salmon river near me, and you could catch quite a few nice brookies on dry flies in the summer, which I liked. Now, that river is mostly silent in the summer, unless you hit a lucky charge out of the lake, or enjoy catching 5"salmon parr. but wild salmon reproduction there is way up...so I am glad they stopped stocking it and am happy to wait for the lake charges to occur.
If you know the stream is on the stocking list, you can anticipate this will happen. But it's somewhat predictable. Look at past stocking reports and when they dump the brookies in...and avoid those general dates.

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 2:47 pm 
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That kind of stocking should be relegated to the past. So 20th century. A waste of resources that adds nothing of lasting value to a fishery (the way, for instance, habitat work would). Disposable turd-fish.


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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 3:28 pm 
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Dave.......

I think that’s exactly what this was. I’ll never understand stocking over a wild fishery......but this one, while very nice, isn’t wild.

I heard.......no idea if true of just hearsay.......that these trout were in a hatchery that needed to be cleaned out, and rather than wasting them, the state just dumped them into a stream.


Now I do agree with some stocking......I.e. Shawmut in its heyday........or as an adjunct to an already stocked stream to add a bit to the fishery.......but this was absolutely ridiculous. They didn’t add to the fishery......they inundated it.

Dave M

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 3:45 pm 
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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this unnamed river a well known and heavily stocked river for Salmon too?

I guess my response is “if you don’t want to fish at a gosh darn hatchery” then don’t... just go to another place that isn’t stocked, or isn’t historically stocked around this time of year.... But don’t go to ”that river”. Right?

Just for the fun of it... we’re you catching them in that famous named pool below the bridge? Wait... what is that darn pool called? Shoot... can’t remember, I think it started with an “H”.... anyway, it’ll come to me.... :lol:

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 3:58 pm 
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Tim......

Not to belabor the point, but that H poll is named for the hatchery alongside it......you’re correct. I believe that is a LL Salmon hatchery, not a Brook Trout hatchery.

I have nothing against Brook Trout.......even stocked Brookies where appropriate. If they put in a few I don’t believe anybody would have complained......because as you pointed out that stream is, mostly, a stocked fishery.

What folks fishing there were complaining about was the amount of trout put in. That small stream simply can’t handle an amount of trout that might be appropriate for the Kennebec or West Branch.

After those trout were inundating that stream it simply was like Fishing a hatchery raceway. Other than rank beginners I seriously doubt most flyfishers enjoy that type of experience.

As always, opinions vary on such things. I was just giving my perspective.....?im quite certain that father and son had differing perspectives from mine.

Dave M

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 4:45 pm 
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Good to see a father and a son share some memories. From what I know about the river, there are some great pools further down where the trout may not have gotten to yet.


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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 5:05 pm 
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Dave M,

The nice brook trout you landed had been stocked just prior to Memorial Day.
Along with 400 or so of their closest friends. This is an annual occurrence and makes some people from away happy as it is their only hope for landing fish unless they hire a guide.
I was told that the larger trout were from a hatchery that was being upgraded, so we at least received the same information.
The additional stocking may have happened because of the extreme low water conditions and the fact that the salmon will be gone now that the fishway is open.


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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 5:48 pm 
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Dave, thanks for being a good sport to my ball busting.. I understand your issue... I expect those fish will spread out and all will go back to normal. I am not particularly opinionated on this one, except that these days I can relate as much to the father and son as I can to the issues it created for you. It seems they could have done a better job of spreading them out?

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 5:50 pm 
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The department is planning to extend the hatchery water intake out into deeper water to hopefully pull cooler water through the hatchery. It may be that they’re cleaning out the hatchery in preparation for that effort, though I thought the trout were trucked in from somewhere else.

I’ve heard a number of folks ask where to catch brook trout when fishing there- so there’s definitely a market for them in the stream. They don’t seem to last long- so either they get harvested, eaten, head for the lake, or don’t survive the summer temps (or some combo therein). It’s a heavily stocked fishery- so my perspective is that they’re no different than the salmon.

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 8:24 pm 
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Dave M, I understand your point. However, and this is a question for all, Can anyone name a "legendary" river in the state of Maine, that has never been stocked at some point in history? I only know of one, and I'm not talking about Brooks, streams etc.


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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 2:59 am 
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Current year stocking list is here--updated frequently--for those who like to chase the truck. (Many "thanks" to my state representative for sending this link to me on a regular basis. :cry: )

https://www.maine.gov/ifw/docs/current_ ... report.pdf

2100 brook trout, GLS, June 14.

This seems to be a departure from recent years, when a few hundred brook trout were stocked in the canal, GLS, or both in most years.

My reaction would probably been about like Dave's. On the other hand, while I think GLS is one of the most beautiful places in Maine to catch salmon, and I have many fond memories of fishing there, the crowds and the fact that the fishery is almost entirely supported by stocking have taken it off my "goto" list in recent years.

It does seem worth asking what the best use of stocked fish is to keep anglers happy. Should those 2100 trout be dumped into GLS all at once? Would it be better to dole them out in 100-200 trout lots to a bunch of different spots? Use them for "kids fishing" waters close to town centers, or put them into places like GLS?


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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 7:54 am 
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Like the man said: "It's all a matter of perspective - the sinking of the Titanic was a wondrous, miraculous event ...for the lobsters in the ship's kitchen..."

I can't imagine how a lot of my fellow fly fishers derive pleasure from a lot of the things they do, and I'm sure many of them feel the same about my exploits, but like I've mentioned several times in the recent past, I believe that one of the greatest things about our sport is the huge variety of perspectives it accommodates - perhaps more than any sport...

FWIW, YTD, there have been 2900 BT and 11,500 LLS stocked in and around that stream.

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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 8:05 am 
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RoundaboutCaddis wrote:
Dave M, I understand your point. However, and this is a question for all, Can anyone name a "legendary" river in the state of Maine, that has never been stocked at some point in history? I only know of one, and I'm not talking about Brooks, streams etc.

West Branch....


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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 8:24 am 
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...if you don't count the 1300 BT & 1600 LLS that go into Pemadumcook every year...at least on the lower WB.

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