Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eye on the Prize...

After several months of intensive study, I have decided to track down a first aid class to qualify for the Maine Guide Exam.  My search took me to the Pine Tree Chapter of the Red Cross, but a several hour drive didn't seem to work so I was forwarded to the Downeast YMCA (still one hour away).  I happened to hit up one of my old schoolmates today who is a director of the pool and recreation program, and seemed to be pleased that he would certify me in first (ARC).  However, the local adult education instructor ran into me tonight while I waited in line for some ice cream.  She will certify me in American Heart Association Lifesaver first aid on May 26th, which puts me at what I'll call phase II of my pursuit.  The DFIW has already confirmed that Lifesaver will qualify, and who knew that the fastest means to certification would be in my backyard and within weeks of my request.

On any account, I'm excited and a bit nervous as the next big challenge in my life becomes just a bit more realistic as I step up to the plate.

Have a great one,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Monday, May 3, 2010

Man vs. Trout

This weekend found trout fishing in two different opportunities, one in new territory with my pal Matt Diesel and the other in a proven family spot with my father.

On Saturday, I met Matty at daylight at his camp on Route 9 for some exploratory efforts in terms of trout streams.  We found a logging road that run north and south directly parallel to two streams on both sides.  We first tried the westerly brook with no luck, so we accessed the Narraguagus river via skidder trail and cast our bobbers.  My second cast provided some action and within seconds I had scored the mighty alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) .  

I happened to notice some faster moving water and moved south while Matt headed north.  After several hours of minimal luck, I return back to our entry point and noticed there was no Matt.  I returned back to the truck to see that he hadn't returned, so I went back to where I had last seen Matt.  From there I moved northward along the river and eventually caught up with him and his dog, Malice.

Since neither of us had any luck, we chose to scout out some other areas looking for fiddleheads and the access point to the peak of the mountain that overlooks Matt's camp.  No fiddleheads were discovered, but we were successful in determining the access road to the trail.  Shortly thereafter, we made way back to camp and relaxed on the shore.

A birthday party halted my break and I left a minute after noontime.  Although no fish were caught, the time was well deserved and enjoyable.

The next afternoon, I took my father to a camp that I have access to through family.  We've used the camp over the years and at times have had excellent brook trout fishing.  Smallmouth bass were illegally introduced several years ago and I feel this has had a great negative impact upon this spring fed trout lake.

We arrived at 5:30 p.m. and quickly threw our lines.  I chose to cast a dry fly for a bit as the water was fairly calm, but after no swirls or action I moved to another bobber & worm combination.

I nailed my first trout at 5:50 but lost it dockside, my net had not become part of my gear for the day.  However, at 6:15 I scored a beautiful 12 inch brookie that may have been the fattest I have ever seen.

From that point, on each half hour afterward, I caught a brook trout.  One 9.5" at 6:45, an 8.5" at 7:15, and a 9" trout just before daylight.  The action got quite interesting just before dark as the bass began to compete with the trout for the worm.  Three more bass were caught in this tenure.

My father netted several small bass and lost one trout.  It had been some time since we had a chance to chase fish together, but a time well spent.

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