FFIM

FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
It is currently December 13th, 2018, 8:48 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 20th, 2018, 8:05 pm 
Offline
Wanna-be Maineiac

Joined: December 11th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2422
Location: Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris...
I have been very fortunate this year to fish for bonefish in the Bahamas, large brook trout here in Maine and the chase brown, cutthroats and rainbows in and around Yellowstone National Park.

The Bahamas trip was one that some friends and I won at the Sebago TU auction a few years back. We stayed at Bone Ami, a private home on Abaco Island. I don't think I was in the house for more than 5 minutes when Craig sighted some big bones cruising past the house. We could stand on the deck and see them coming (and going) easily and that in and by itself was pretty cool. The rods were rigged and on the deck ready to go for the entire week. Hike up the beach, fish for an few hours and back to the house for a gallon or two of rum drinks and bad beer. The highlight of course was catching my first bone fish. I wish I could tell you that it was it was the perfect, beautiful scenario of my sighting the fish and making a perfect cast. Not so much. The week was full of high winds, some rain and choppy water. The fish was hooked casting blindly into the edge of a weedbed and the fight was on. Crazy fight bone fish give you. I also hooked into a good sized cuda and that thing came out of the water 3 or 4 times with the tail wagging on the top of the water. I ended up losing the fish but boy that was fun.

Spring fishing in Rangeley can be really good and this spring was no exception. The smelt came and went fast according to the dip netters and the early run of salmon followed them in and out. I learned that the dippers can provide you with some really good intel and the guys we met even offered to help us dip one night if we wanted to hang around. Good guys. We had two really good days of catching salmon on the river but the fishing turned off as fast as it turned on. The trout followed as expected and I had one 40 stretch of fishing (and catching) that might go unmatched by me. Three legitimate brookies that went 19-21 inches. The crowds showed up so it was time to turn my attention to hiking into some of the remote ponds in the region. Small fish for sure but there's something very nice about floating on a pond with not a sole around.

I don't generally fish to much in the high summer, not because I'm concerned about fish kill although that's a factor but mostly because I have so much other stuff to get to. Firewood for camp, family visits, work travel, etc...but it also gave me time to read and research on my September trip to Yellowstone. The highlight of the summer was the first annual Don Lynch Floatilla trip down the Andro. I think I caught just 1 small bass but had a blast with all of those who came. Peter C did much of the hard work paddling his canoe with me up front but I think he got in his fair share of fishing in. And of course, I have to mention I saved Ben's ass by puling his GMC out of the mud with my Tundra! It was a great day celebrating our friendship with the godfather of FFIM, Don Lynch, and I am already looking forward to nest years' event and hope to get more of you to join us.

This year we headed to Yellowstone a week later (last week of the month hoping to catch some early lake run browns and a week certainly makes a big difference out there. Less bugs, fewer terrestrials and some colder weather. The best part of this trip was the hike into the Bechler River. Jeff Reardon, Parker, Salmosebago and myself hauled our asses up river about 4 miles to the confluence of Boundary Creek. We should have hauled our asses up another mile or so but guess that's for next trip. Craig and Jeff caught some really nice rainbows - some pigs for sure on the section we did fish. It's a high bear area and so it's a bit creepy knowing that you're not on the top of the food chain and even creepier when you're pushing through 6 foot grasses and have no idea what lays ahead. Just the same, it was a great day and I will be back there. We also explored some new water - for me at least - as we fished the Soda Butte. The fishing was tough but good and was highlighted when we saw some grizzlies. We also fished outside of the park on the Madison quite a bit. My goal was to catch one of those big rainbows that hug the banks behind the rocks below $3 Dollar bridge and I finally did it. I got desperate and tied on a big hairy wulff of some sort and watched the fish slowly rise to it, recited god save the queen and had a beautiful fish to net! Just wish my fishing coach was there to witness it. The fishing here can be challenging or at least it is for me but I have come to enjoy this much more than fishing the same spots back here in Maine. I also fished the river in Ennis for the first time and had a great finish to the week there. Many browns, one massive whitefish that I somehow foul hooked and it took it me for a ride, on good sized bull moose that I had no idea was on the other side of the island I was fishing and some beautiful country.

It's been a really good year on the water for me and look forward to next season. Time to tie some flies and figure out whats next. Count your blessings this week and enjoy time with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 21st, 2018, 7:14 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic

Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1401
Location: New Hampshire
That is a solid year buddy! Happy Thaanksgiving

Mine was atypical.... 4 days of trout fishing for me, one tremendous float in the SS Salmosebago, with the man of honor... which was “pretty cool”... but broke in the saltwater gear a lot, and left enough on the table to be anxious for June.

Lots to be thankful for!

_________________
"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 21st, 2018, 9:31 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic

Joined: August 28th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 1367
Location: Standish, ME
All in all, a pretty solid year. The Abaco trip was a blast; humbling but a blast! I blew up more water/pods of fish than I care to remember! Caught a fair share of stripers and the Yellowstone trip was a blast - our "guide" could not have been better - thank you Greg! One highlight had to be "guiding" a friend at CFR. I've known and skied with Mary for years - she is the poster girl for "live life to it's fullest"! I had coaxed her for years and she finally took the plunge (thankfully, not literally). Second (and not in any order) was the Don Lynch Chub Floatilla. It was a stellar day filled with some tall lies, perfect weather, and a cast of characters that made it a journey I'll never forget. Bring on year 2! I'm glad I got to play a part in much of what Ken references - good times and great friends!


I wish you and your families a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving - CHEERS!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 21st, 2018, 11:07 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Bangor
I have a lot to be thankful for this year; After my change of life last year, I turned it up to 11 this year. Sunday was day 176 for 2018. Really tuned up my two hander casting this year. Spent two weeks in Montana (one in March and one in October) Spent a week at the West Branch in June and 3 days in September. Got to fish with my friends, my kids and by myself, a lot. Met a lot of new friends in odd places at odd times of day (and night) chasing stripers. All in all a terrific season. It's not over though- 180 is within reach. All this time on the water provided a lot reflection time as well- very few fish pictures, but lots of sunrises and sunsets, or pictures of other people's fish. I am happy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 21st, 2018, 11:39 am 
Offline
FFIMer

Joined: March 5th, 2004, 1:00 am
Posts: 226
Titleguy, impressive number of days on the water...well done. Do you have anything to pass on in terms of gear performance after that many days on the water? Waders, boots, wading jacket?

-Matt


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 21st, 2018, 1:41 pm 
Offline
FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Bangor
Marley wrote:
Titleguy, impressive number of days on the water...well done. Do you have anything to pass on in terms of gear performance after that many days on the water? Waders, boots, wading jacket?

-Matt


My first year in Simms waders and boots starting in April. I will never go back. I literally walked the soles of a pair of cloudveil boots on the beach this summer.

G3 Guidepants for small water or not wading deep- money- great fit, super durable
3 Guides for everything else, but with fishpond lumbar belt- money, again
G4 Boas- so nice... The aluminum cleats grip better but don't last long- went through 5 pucks this year.
Intruder wet wading boots- switched to these in July for the salt and some fresh water as well- great grip- super comfortable- the neoprene cuff keeps of 90% of stuff.

I hardly got rained on all summer.... but the Patagonia ultralight when it was warm and river salt (jacket is like armour) when it wasn't and a new to me Barbour spey jacket- great jacket. Picked up the Patagonia tough puff this fall- best jacket they have ever made.
Rods/reels-
Small stream and dry fly everywhere- Scott F2 7'7" 4 wt with a lamson velocity 1.5, airflow WF4 trout line- fished this rod a lot this summer from small streams early and late to the West Branch, to the Gallatin;
5 wt all around- Scott S 3, tibor tailwater w/ orvis textured line- this used to be my go to rod- it feels like a broom stick now. It held up to the wind on the Madison in October, however.
6 wt- XP, Billy Pate AR Salmon, sci angler sharkwave nymph line- my nymphing rig- I quit nymphing in June, pretty much....
7 wt- Orvis HLS with a dxr 7/8 and orvis bank shot- didn't use this a lot, but enjoyed it when I did
5 wt spey- Beulah Platinum w/ Lamson velocity 3.5- started with the rio scandi and connectcore, switched to OPST 250 commando with 25 lb lazer line and light RIO MOW tips, changed to OPST integrated 250 w/ the MOW tips- awesome set up for swinging in Maine (and Montana). This set up landed 5 fish on Sunday on the K
7 wt spey- echo glass switch and Meiser 13' 7- orvis mach- used this on the beach swinging and overhead with 350 or 375 OPST and Medium MOW tips- great fun on the schoolies;
9 wt spey- started out with a 12' 6" Loop with an orivis mach VI and 450 OPST with 50 lb lazer line and heavy mow tips or 30' T-14 directly to running line. Picked up a Beulah Opal Beach rod in June and never looked back- Lamson Litespeed 4 with 475 OPST and heavy tips.
8 wt single- Winston XTR with Ross BG5- rio xp quickshooter intermediate, and floater- the flats machine in Casco Bay
9 wt- Redington Predator with Ross BG5 same set up as above, or 350 rio striper tip- caught a lot of fish on this rod- super stick for the money.

Other pieces of notable gear- The C&F chest box is also money. I have medium for small streams and a large for the West Branch/out west. Carries lots of flies, super light. Rio suppleflex tippet- for fishing small dries, nothing better- very strong and, super supple. Mucelin- green label- combined with the dry n shake- makes your fly float forever. Purple Haze- 12-20- don't leave home without them. Size 8 thin mint with a PT soft hackle- catches stockies the world over! Articulated/shank flies for streamers- no such thing as a short strike....

Important rule of life- the best flies are in the $1.00 bin at Bean's.

I tied flies for the first time in years as well-and started tying intruder type stuff on shanks- good fun. I'm too blind to tie my own trout flies.

Do I sound excited? :mrgreen:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 22nd, 2018, 11:01 am 
Offline
FFIMer

Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 785
Location: Vermont/Rangeley
This was the year I said goodbye to crowded rivers and poor behavior, and committed fully to BSP ponds. It began four years ago, after re-discovering the solitude and beauty of casting to rising brook trout out of a canoe. This spring, I added volunteer work to the mix, and had some spectacular fishing moments with no one around. Although my favorite day was figuring out a pond reputed to have fewer, but larger trout with friend Mark (in the trees). That one will get another visit!

Same friend Mark and I also did a 12 day Bristol Bay float trip in late August, still riding high on that one. We spent many hours planning, and rehearsing which paid off on the river. Aside from the typical ****, leaky waders, failed reels and some truly wild weather, things ran smooth. We were able to get in, and out on time, a remarkable feat given poor float plane flying conditions. I attribute that to the flexibility of only (2), and we went light enough to come in under the weight limit for the Cessna, versus, the Beaver. This included (2) cases of fine IPA purchased in Anchorage!

The water was higher than I have ever seen it, this opened up areas for spawning salmon not usually there. Find Spawning salmon and sure enough you find willing Char, Rainbow and Grayling! In huge numbers. Day 2, and we were into Coho, the fishing for them just got better and better as we progressed. For those who haven’t hooked Coho, 8-12 pound average, and one crazy good fight! 20 apiece was easily done, and that was plenty! Pink, Sockeye and Jack King too. We ate fresh fish every night, Char or Coho, washed down with the afore mentioned IPA!

We saw no one except a couple of Yup’ik headed up river. Not even any jet boat Lodge traffic until the last day! Camping, wildlife sightings and scenery like no where else other than Alaska. Next year floating the Arolik and Kwethluk, can’t wait to get back out there. With a bunch of Maine pond fishing in Spring and early summer! Life is good.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year-end summary
PostPosted: November 27th, 2018, 7:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2221
Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
I'm happy to hear that folks, so far, have had good seasons - I'm with Vermonter concerning crowded streams & bad manners. For me, just the amount of time I got to fish and the places I visited, made it a damn fine year, but...the catching was some of the worst I can remember - I had some luck early then things hit the skids - in many of my most dependable mid coast & downeast streams I didn't catch a single fish - salters were the slowest - my downeast ace-in-the-hole didn't give up any brown trout either - I only got skunked once or twice but I had to work as hard as ever...and the strangest part is that the physical conditions, especially early in the season, were as perfect as I've ever seen them! I fish wild, free flowing, virtually untouched streams almost exclusively, so pressure, stocking, dam releases, etc. had nothing to do with my results this year, so I can't help but believe that this year's slump was caused by the timing & the amount of low, warm water we've had the past few years. Even when I made it up north on several trips, the fish were fewer and smaller. I'm encouraged by the spawning conditions this year along with the early winter weather, but as we say at the office, "it's still early..." Also, historically, when we get a cold, snowy November, we generally end up with a mild winter, so we'll see...my season isn't over yet - hopefully I'll get out a couple more times, like this Saturday - good luck to those of you still casting, tight threads to those who are not & happy holidays to all!

_________________
The best things in life...aren't things.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group