Brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 27, 2016)

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Day 3: Friday May 27, 2016

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I'm trolling this morning under a leaden sky. Good! It keeps the light levels down.

I’m trolling this morning under a leaden sky. Good! It keeps the light levels down.

Shoot, I “overslept”! I stumble out of my tent at 5 am and get ready for trolling. I don’t bother waking up Joel since he isn’t an early riser anyway. The conditions this morning are very different from the day before: a cold front moved through the region overnight, bringing in a heavy cloud deck, some rain, and lots of wind. What a difference from the perfect conditions we experienced yesterday evening, just a few hours earlier! The rain has stopped but everything is dripping wet. Fortunately, the air temperature is a comfortable 54°F. I start trolling with my usual arsenal: one spinning rod using two Mooselook Wobbler spoons with the monofilament line clipped to a 4-lb weight attached to a portable downrigger, and an 8-weight fly fishing rod paired up with lead core line fishing with a Grey Ghost and Governor Aiken streamer flies. That’s a total of four lures looking for fish 10 to 15 ft below the surface. I like using lead core line in the spring and fall when I don’t have to troll much deeper than two or three colors. In my experience, about 75% of the fish I’ve hooked while trolling over the years have been caught on streamer flies. The reason is that I make the effort of constantly “ripping” my line through the water, thereby causing the flies to make erratic and jerky movements which seem to attract the attention from the fish down below. Besides, by actively working the lead core line one can also experience first-hand the ferocious hits on the streamer flies, which is something which cannot be felt when the line is clipped to a downrigger trolling weight. I get one of those tremendous hits about one hour into my morning troll. But then the lead core line goes slack. Darn it, I missed the fish! I quickly spool in my line when suddenly a landlocked salmon announces itself by performing several crazy jumps out of the water and making two strong runs that rip line off my spool. It looks like it grabbed the Grey Ghost and just kept on swimming towards the boat until my quick spooling action caught up with it. I really like those surprises! The fish measures 18.5”, gets photographed and is released back into the water. I see no further action until I return to camp an hour later, but I’ve got my story to share with Joel over breakfast!




This guy fooled me at first but then announced his presence by making several jumps.

This guy fooled me at first but then announced his presence by making several jumps.



I leave our camp site on Upper Pond around 9 am to pick up my nephew Salvy at the dock at Lindsey Cove in Lower Pond. He was planning on arriving at 10 am. I get there on time and then wait… and wait… and wait. My beloved friends (NOT!) the blackflies are swarming all around my head. I lay flat on the dock and cover myself with my rain coat to eliminate the nuisance and to take a short nap. A short while later, I figure I may as well go trolling in Lower Pond until Salvy shows up. That is when I notice that the gear lever (neutral, forward, backward) on my outboard is loose and won’t engage. I suppose I’m glad it happened at the dock and not in the middle of Pierce Pond. One the other hand, I’m screwed because my engine is useless if I can’t put into gear… Fortunately, the boat that ferries guests to and from Cobb’s Camps, where we will be staying starting tomorrow, is coming towards the dock to pick up eight people who just arrived. I explain my predicament to one of the mates. He goes back to Cobb’s Camps and fetches me a rental engine which I will return tomorrow. Problem solved! Salvy finally drives in at 11:15 am and we’re back at the camp site in Upper Pond in time for a stiff shot of Jaeger Meister liqueur followed by Red Bull (a long Pierce Pond tradition of ours), a good lunch, and much happy talk.


Salvy takes a power nap after pulling an all-nighter in order to make it to Pierce Pond this morning.

Salvy takes a power nap after pulling an all-nighter in order to make it to Pierce Pond this morning.

Salvy, who pulled an all-nighter in order to make it to Pierce Pond this morning, collapses in the hammock for a long nap, whereas Joel and I are taking it easy at the camp site, waiting for the wind to die down. Joel quickly diagnoses the issue with my engine: it’s just a loose screw which allowed the lever to disconnect from the transmission cable. He tightens it up and the problem is solved. The wind is still blowing stiffly when we finally motor off at 5:30 pm. Salvy is fishing with Joel, but we’re staying in touch via our walkie-talkies. They take off to do their own thing. I put-put along the shoreline looking for a quiet spot. It takes me about 45 minutes to settle on a small cove where I observe several rises. But the fish are not focused on mayflies this evening and I don’t even get a hit. Meanwhile, the sky is filling with ominous-looking dark clouds. I hear thunder in the distance and decide to play it safe by returning to our camp site. Joel and Salvy do the same and we start preparing dinner. The thunder and lightning show continues in the distance but is clearly approaching in our direction. It starts raining around 9:30, by which time I’m in my tent falling asleep, dreaming of catching big fish!



This story continues here.


The results: I caught one 18.5” landlocked salmon, whereas Joel and Salvy got skunked today.


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