Maine Fly Fishing | Smallmouth Bass & Landlocked Salmon
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Maine Fly Fishing | Smallmouth Bass & Landlocked Salmon

February 25, 2020


one of the things that I absolutely love
about our sport is that every time you go out you can do something new
case in point we’re in a brand new state we’re in Down East Maine fishing for a
brand new species land lock in Atlantic salmon in the rivers and we’re doing a
new technique the ice is just off the lakes and we’re fishing for pre-spawn
smallmouth bass this brand new adventure starts right now
on the new fly fisherman fish that is amazing there’s a tape next our the new fly fisher is supported by main office of tourism Orvis fly-fishing
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adipose Boat Works welcome to Weatherbys Lodge located
Downeast Maine there’s a feeling you get when you drive into the historical
Weatherbys Lodge a feeling of grandiose not in the extravagant meeting but one
of big opportunity big adventure and of course the chance to catch big fish the
West branch of the st. Croix River is named Grand Lake stream both the village
and the stream itself has a storied past as does the lodge since 1902 anglers
have been traveling to and fishing Grand Lake Stream and the rivers and lakes in
the surrounding area well we are at Weatherbys Lodge to do a little early
season exploration as well we experience history in search of the species those
early anglers coveted so first we’re exploring the new while on the hunt for
three spawn smallmouth bass in the lakes and rivers in the area then we step back
in time and hit Grand Lake Stream for the fabled one Anish are landlocked
Atlantic salmon Jeff McEvoy is our host and guide for this Down East Maine
adventure he immediately loads us up and we hit
the backwater in search of pre-season smallmouth bass joining me on this trip to Maine is good
friend Tom Rosenbauer Down East Maine is cold cold and the water is running high
this will definitely dictate the style of presentation with which we choose to
start water temperatures are in the low 40s
as with all fly-fishing and less than ideal environmental conditions low and
slow is the ticket and you must fish it as you find fish now that’s the ticket
the slower you go the more apt you are to get a pickup and it’s actually
painful how slow you have to bring these these flies in I went into bass suite so
we pulled into this nice fish we pulled it into this back little bay and there’s
a little bit of moving water here now again it’s springtime the ice is just
come off the water about two weeks ago which tells me that the smelt runs
probably over but the pre spawn has just begun so this is my second or third cast
in this big pool and vast number one here we go that’s not a giant it’s a
little little tail Walker yeah I’ve got a 2x tippet on here tied to a black and
olives ugh ler with a cone head low and slow in this moving water and this bass
came and picked it up hit it pretty hard actually surprised me Down East Maine Weatherbys Lodge little
small about to start the day can’t complain about that at all great fish
and moving water they fight like crazy so mending line is not just for trout
fishing when your River smallmouth fishing in its early season like this
and the fish are close to the bottom and moving slowly you’re gonna also have to
mend line to get that fly nice and deep in the current so don’t think it’s just
for for stream trout you need to you’re gonna fish early season smallmouth you
need to learn how to mend your line as well fish no nice jumpin chub that’s
jumping fish nice so one of the things that is important when fishing moving
water like this is you do need to get your flies deep and you need to get them
deep quickly so I’m casting upstream then putting an upstream end in and
Counting that fly down and getting it as close to the bottom as I can before I
start my retrieval and then slowly bringing that fly back to me and these
fish are cruising it I’m picking it up we decide to head upstream and do some
walk and wait fishing in the river we come across moving water coming in and
leaving a big bay Tom and I are having a really really good time here in this
Slough EBA and I have a pretty good idea why this is happening the way it is
there’s a ton of bass in here and as you can see there the main river is coming
straight down the chute and the current is being pushed up against this front
wall now the current is being split into two directions the main river which is
continuing down into the main lake and then there’s this giant back Eddy here
where I’m assuming that a lot of the bait fish and a lot of the bugs are
being washed into and there’s the faster stacked up here kind of just waiting for
things to drift by we stepped in here and I mean caught a pile of fish no real
Giants but it’s areas like this where bait can gather where water might be a
little bit warmer or you’re gonna find small enough no matter what temperature
the water smallmouth bass are always opportunistic feeders in moving water as
well as cold water the fish will hold in a high percentage areas where they can
feed with minimal effort look for inside bends of moving water where slack water
meets faster water the fish will sit in the slow water at the head of the
structure waiting for food to come down the scene look for outside bends again
where faster water meets slow bubble lines are a great indicator of where
food will travel look for deep pools allowing time for your fly to sink to
their level and also consider the outflow of a pool where fish can face
upstream with minimal effort lying in wait to ambush unsuspecting food washing
out of the pool the water is cold ice was in here about
two weeks ago and these fish are really lethargic the metabolism has not warmed
up as you say I’ve got a unique situation where I’ve got some moving
water in front of me I’ve got a bunch of bushes in behind so I need to get my fly
out and deep quickly how am I gonna do that well very easy I’m gonna do a roll
cast but what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna actually throw some line at the roll
cast upon the end like a reach not unlike this that mend upstream mend will
allow that fly to sink by the time it gets perpendicular to me and then I can
start my retrieval super slow super close to the bottom in search a
smallmouth bass sweets feel like a good one too if he
wants to take the drag against the current there’s no problem in giving it
to them how do you like that oh nice smallmouth so he was right in
the back on the inside here and this kind of slow swirly slack water the same
kind of water we’ve been catching these guys with a slow retrieve in this cold
water that’s a nice fish buddy gotcha beautiful smaller yeah there we go there’s the fish of the
day alright so I walked up here from around to the other side of this bay to
where the slough water meets the current and I figured that there’d be some
bigger bass hanging out here waiting to ambush the bait that’s coming down the
down the main river and sure enough this guy ate oh nice one
nice fish see if I can bring him to hand and take a look alright so look for the
areas where slow current meets faster where there’s ambush points for fish to
sit and wait lie in wait for food and you to hook up with great Maine
smallmouth bass out of Weatherbys good fish great fish Weatherbys has actually been an
institution in the fishing world for a long time I mean the original property
building was constructed in 1870 became a fishing dedicated fishing and hunting
lodge starting around 1900 it’s had very consistent ownership and people from all
over the world have been here Grand Lake Stream is well known for being one of
the four watersheds in the lower 48 to have landlocked salmon indigenous and
since you know the early 1900’s the smallmouth bass have been really
important to this community as far as guiding and summertime business fishing
is great I mean we have awesome fly-fishing on Grand Lake stream it’s
fly-fishing only water it’s a seasonal fishery spring and fall generally but we
have dozens of lakes that we fish for multiple species kinda I mean I think
our small loss fishery is probably as good as it gets and in the Northeast for
sure the landlocked salmon I think are actually fun they take like trout
they’ll take dry flies they take nymphs they take streamers but the nice thing
about the salmon is they jump and they’re known as the leaper in the old
days they’d take a fly and they’ll jump and sometimes they’ll jump six eight
times when the water warms up a little bit and they’re jumping four feet out of
the water they’ll jump right over your head so you never know what’s going to
happen they’re explosive they’re a lot of fun and and a lot of people have
never fished for them so it’s kind of an eye-opening experience for folks when
they fish for them after a great couple of days of bass
fishing we decide to switch gears and hit Grand Lake Stream in search of
landlocked Atlantic salmon joining Tom and me is great friend Pete cooter
so there’s three of us fishing landlocked salmon here on this stream at
a weather piece right now I’m swinging a bead headed wooly bugger with one piece
of shot Pete swinging trout’s pay within a traditional land salmon fly and Tom
here is at the base of the falls and he’s actually fishing at wrote rig so a
fly with a nymph dropper so we’ll see what these fish want and then we’ll make
our adaptations so I’m NIM fishing up in here for landlocked salmon we’re at
Grand Lake stream in Maine and I forgot my streamer box so I have to go back and
get it later but I figured I might as well try some nymphs in here and I’ve
been picking up fish in this water right in here where it’s kind of uniform and
then you know when you get down into this stuff down here where it where the
water seems to boil I never find fish holding very well in that kind of water
so I’m trying to concentrate in this more uniform water as opposed to the
water just below it and it seems to be working out we quickly learn the fish
are most interested in nymphs under an indicator all right my first landlocked took the
nips there’s always a little bit of lack of confidence with depth when you first
start where as to where you are and where you need to be until that
indicator goes down you know you’re in the right area look at this all right
5x tippet he’s got himself wrapped around amazing such fun so I saw this salmon moving up this is
sandy flat here and through an infant from him and he took it but it’s you
know not very often at least for me you get the sight fish a landlocked salmon
must be fresh from the lake if he was moving up because he was moving up
through here pretty quickly I could see him then I lost sight of them and threw
it ahead of me and sure enough he took it a fisherman a fisherman had told us
as we’re coming down that he was using a little beta sniff little olive nymph so
I figured well he was doing well on it local knowledge is always worthwhile see your buddy oh my god he ate it oh my god right in
front of my rod tip he ate it sight fishing landlocked salmon this is a
think it’s a pretty good one too he looked big in the water anyways and
he ate uh I think he ate the little betta snip too wanna run through the setup that I’ve
got here nipping for these landlocked salmon here at Weatherbys Lodge it’s
really very quite simple I’ve got a an 8 foot tapered leader with a piece of shot
above the first knot that goes directly to 4x tip it we’ve got about 4 feet of
that to my point fly which is called a golden retriever a bead headed wooly
bugger type fly at local pattern I’ve got another 12 to 16 inches of 5x tippet
material tied to a size 14 Prince NIM so that’s it with an indicator adjustable
air lock you can adjust your depth to whatever they’re telling you they they
want and this setup is deadly for landlocked atlantic’s whoo it’s cool you know he gave that
spot a rest who moved downstream a little bit walk back up on it and there
you go the front we’ve been watching is now
upon us here comes the way you know these days there’s no reason
not to go fishing no matter what the weather is I mean with modern rain we’re
insulated underwear and a wool hat you can stay pretty darn comfortable even in
a miserable day like this it’s 40 degrees it’s windy it’s raining but
there’s nobody else on this beautiful pool on Grand Lake Stream in Maine this
is a prime part of the season and probably the best pool on the river
there’s nobody else here but us the interesting about fishing these
Atlantic salmon these land locks is you know they turn on and off sometimes you
know minute to minute 10 minutes every 10 minutes or whatever whatever their
cycle maybe they’ll actually bite will eat they’ll move around they get swolled
around in this current and then they’ll get settled again and then it comes in
waves so you don’t need to move around a lot here it’s maybe just you know play
with the waiting game I’ve got a wooly bugger and a member 1618 Prince nymph on
so we’re covering the water column and it’s just a matter of time I think
before these fish will turn on yeah as fish Tom out in a faster water sea it is
worth it fishing in miserable weather this is something that’ll warm you up
I feel warmer already this fish took a big big ginger colored stonefly nymph I
have a smaller one on too but fish took the big nymph that’s a pretty salmon
that’s beauty oh good marks got another little scream
there like I was saying earlier you know these fish move in cycles Tom just
hooked one now looks like I’ve got one took the the prints nymph the little
little nip this nasty weather is great for fishin one Anish landlocked salmon
oh it’s a good one through maybe we render them again I got 4x tippet from the leader to the
first fly and then 5x tippet after that to the nymph oh there you go is took my notes got the
best part of that one good stuff Oh beautiful
Wow he’s actually taking line off – real got a fairly light tip it on here I’ve
only got 5x so I have to be careful looks like he wrapped the line around
him – I want to see which flight took I’m fishing I’m fishing – nymphs and he
took the upper fly oh another jump well it’s beginning to be the beginning
of the end of our trip to Weatherby Lodge here in Downeast Maine and I’ll
tell you we’ve had an unbelievable time here hosted by Jeff McEvoy salmon and
early spring smallmouth bass really can’t be beat struggled today but that’s
the way it goes listen I want to thank you for watching the new fly pitcher my
name’s mark mark remember adventure is that there all you need to do is go and
find it or what better way than to do it with a fly rod in your hand from
everybody here at the new plan Fisher thanks for watching we’ll see you down
in Maine hi I’m Tom rosenbauer
hope you enjoyed this video if you like this and you want to see more subscribe
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  1. Fantastic fishery. I like how Tom said he doesn't seem to catch fish below the uniform flow, where it 'seems to boil', then in the very next scene, Mark is pulling in his first landlocked from precisely that spot. Just goes to show that you need to always keep trying new spots and techniques.

  2. Very nice video … I've never been to Maine, but I have fished for landlocks in the rivers in uptstate New York. I loved fishing in the "tea" waters there, as well as in the UP of Michigan. Although I've not been to Maine, I've been reading about and tying many Streamer patterns developed there. I was very fortunate to have caught an Atlantic salmon on a classic Maine pattern, the Nine-Three streamer in the River Ness, in the shadow of Inverness, Scotland – back around 1985. One of my favorite pattern for Smallies and trout is the Black Ghost. The contribution to Streamer development from the men and women of Maine is epic. Take care.

  3. That is extremely helpful this time of year. Water is cold and fish are lethargic. As always your video will help me become a better fly fisherman. Thank you!

  4. Mark An outher great vidio lots of good imfo and hard core fishing . Have Weatherby's on the list love the info on the rig setup were those hand tied fly ?

  5. This video is amazing! I hope I can produce like this someday. We grew up just north of Maine in New Brunswick. Great video, great channel! I'm really going to take my channel alot more serious and upload as much as I can. Truly inspiring

  6. Nice video I would love it if you would check out my channel I do a lot of fishing, hunting and mudding videos show the love and lets GROW make sure to leave a comment In my video👍

  7. It would be nice to see you guys fish some southern states like Georgia has some great trout fishing. Duke's Creek is amazing FYI

  8. The little Maine salmon are cute. I imagine they aren't genetically modified like the +30" we catch in NY, but on a 3 weight I bet they're fun!

  9. early 90's lived at Loring AFB and was stationed outside Caribou…. fly fished the Aroostook, Little Madawaska, many smaller places, and also road tripped to famous waters like Grand Lake Stream for Landlocks…. Squapan Lake, so many others. Seems like a lifetime ago.

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