[I really was attacked by a trout, stay tuned.]
This past weekend was my summer fishing trip with my father-in-law and his college buddy. I spent Friday through Sunday, my father-in-law spent Saturday night and Sunday, and his buddy was there Thursday through Sunday. The site is a great spot near Enchanted Pond up in Northern Maine. The sunsets are grand, the finger of God painting the sky.
On Friday, just to wet my line, I went down to the Dead River, near Spencer Landing. The bugs were fierce and the water high. In less than an hour we were high-tailing it back to the site for beer and food. We planned to hit the Kennebec by 5am, so I sacked out early reading "Tea with the Black Dragon
" by R.A. MacAvoy.
As agreed we rose about 4:30am, whipped together coffee and muffins and hit the road. The best spot on the Kennebec was taken, so we moved down a ways. I saw some terrific rises on the far side of the river, about twice the distance of my cast: every fish is. I did hook a fish which wriggled off to its freedom. After another hour or so I managed to hook and bring a fish to hand with a short, ten minute fight. The reward? A chub. A fish which, to our circle, apparently counts for nothing.
After a few hours we went from there to the West and East Outlets of Moosehead Lake. The West Outlet was a blast. The three best positions were already taken by people catching a fish every other cast. I took a spot under the bridge and had several rises but no take. The East Outlet had a serious rubber hatch going on with water too high to easily fish. Then we went back to the site to rest. I listened to some podcasts (Croncast
and The Good Beer Show
) while sitting by the stream. Later that night my father-in-law arrived.
One again we rose early to a quick breakfast of coffee and muffins at the site. Then on to the Dead River to fish down as far as 10am, my planned departure time, would take me. I was ready first and dubbed around near the shoreline seeing rises for my dry fly. Soon enough we were all ready and I moved toward the center of the river with my father-in-law taking my spot. Within a few casts he had a hit and pulled a big bass from the water.
In just a few minutes, I too had a hit. The fight was raw pleasure and already gave me the feeling, at 7:00am, that this would be a good morning of fishing! I have no net so I bringing the fish to hand is a difficult, slow process. At last a gorgeous 9" Brown Trout was resting before me, appearing to give up the fight. I reached down to lift it from the water when it gave a powerful thrash spitting the hook from its mouth...right into my hand. The trout swam away while I stared at the size 12 hook embedded tightly in my thumb. I tried to pull it out, cut it out and will it out to no good end. Finally, after twenty minutes of torture I broke down my rod and headed for home, three hours away.
By 11:00am I was in the Brighton First Care center, great people by the way, where they numbed my hand, removed the hook and stabbed me with a tetanus booster. The nurse said he had never seen someone so "hooked on their hobby." The doctor who removed the hook offered to write me a prescription for a net. I hear my youngest, a little fishergirl in her own right, is going to handle this for father's day.
If I could find the fish...I would sue. Of course, if the fish could find me I would be in for a lot worse. ;)