Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 24 to 27, 2014)

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Cobb's Camp, our headquarters for the next four days

Cobb’s Camp, our headquarters for the next four days

This blog continues the story started here. Salvi and Bill arrive at Cobb’s Camp on Lower Pierce Pond on Saturday morning at 11:30 am for our annual, 4-day fly fishing extravaganza. We all love staying at Cobb’s this time of year to take advantage of the may fly hatches which typically peak on this lake during the long Memorial Day weekend. We move in our own log cabin featuring a warm bed, a wood stove, electric power, running water, a hot shower, and a toilet. Not bad for a near-wilderness setting far off in the Maine woods! Our hosts also serve us three square meals, which includes a bagged lunch to take with us on the water.

 

 

 

 

 

General view of Lower Pierce Pond

General view of Lower Pierce Pond

 

 

The setting is idyllic and we enjoy the company of our fellow camp guests during breakfast and dinner. But first things first: after getting all our fishing equipment situated, Joel, who started this tradition a couple of years back, pours out four stiff shots of Jägermeister (a gut-wrenching 70-proof German “digestif” liqueur). We wish each other the best of fishing luck, take a deep breath, swallow the stuff, and “chase” it down with a shot of Red Bull. Wow, great way to get started! We’ll do that again every morning after breakfast for the next three days…

 

Looking, looking for fish!

Looking, looking for fish!

I spend Saturday afternoon fishing Lower Pierce Pond with Salvi. The sky is grey and overcast but the wind is calm. No mayflies are hatching anywhere. We troll around for one hour but spend the rest of our time fly fishing with woolly buggers attached to a sinking line. We probe several rocky coves and submerged boulder fields in 5-10 ft of water in the hope of enticing a brookie or salmon to bite. We see little or no surface activity and catch no fish all afternoon. Jeees, the omens are not good…

 

 

 

 

 

Trolling with Salvi in the early-morning fog. Hot coffee helps!

Trolling with Salvi in the early-morning fog. Hot coffee helps!

We return to camp at 5 pm for a beer with our two other team mates, who also returned skunked, and decide to while away the evening at our cabin after it starts raining. I get out of bed at 4:30 am the next morning (Sunday) to troll for two hours before breakfast with Salvi. Thick fog banks roll down the mountains, creating an almost surreal setting. We don’t stray far out of sight of the shoreline because it would be easy to get disoriented and lost further out on the lake if one of those fog banks catches up with us. We troll for two hours using Mooselooks, DB Smelts, and smelt-imitating wet flies (i.e., Governor Aiken and Senator Musky) set at a depth ranging between 5 and 12 ft down but our efforts are for naught.

 

 

 

 

An unusually windless afternoon on Upper Pierce Pond...

An unusually windless afternoon on Upper Pierce Pond…

Bill is my fishing buddy for the rest of the day. Our first target today is Dixon Pond which offers up nine brookies to the two of us (click here for more details). We spend the afternoon in Upper Pierce Pond, hoping to run into may fly hatches, which typically occur earlier up here compared to anywhere else on the lake. The weather is actually improved, with air temps in the low 60’s, partly cloudy skies, and essentially no wind. But there’s just not enough warmth and sunshine to fire up the hatches on a consistent basis. We see flies pop up here and there, but not on a consistent basis. Besides, the fish aren’t yet focused on them anyway.

 

 

 

Hold on, Bill. We don't come all the way to Pierce Pond to catch fallfish!!

Hold on, Bill. We don’t come all the way to Pierce Pond to catch fallfish!!

Instead, we do a lot of woolly buggering off Brandy Reef and in the Back Channel and elsewhere in Upper Pond, but have nothing to show for our efforts, except for two fallfish caught by Bill. We are decidedly NOT excited about those kinds of fish since that isn’t the reason we’ve come all the way up here!! We return to camp at 5:30 pm, have diner, and quickly motor off to fish the area around Gull Rock in Lower Pierce Pond across from Cobb’s Camp. Some of the guests told us that they caught three landlocked salmon on dry flies over there in the afternoon. It looks like word got out because our two boats are swiftly joined by four others! However, twelve guys fly fishing for one and a half hour only succeed in catching one small salmon. The fishing is just tough this year…

 

 

 

 

Early morning trolling works!

Early morning trolling works!

Back out of bed at 4:30 am on Monday morning for my pre-breakfast trolling. I’m joined again by Salvi. He’s a trooper this year. And he gets rewarded for his tenacity! He catches a 15.5” and 16.5” brookie on a DB Smelt with a purple stripe fished 10 ft below the surface. Yours truly, on the other hand, returns to camp skunked once again. It’s clear that the trolling lures which served me so well on Upper Pierce Pond (i.e., the wet flies Governor Aiken and Senator Muskie) during my earlier camping trip are not working for me on Lower Pond. Only the fish know why… Regardless, I decide that tomorrow I’ll go back to my trusted Grey Ghosts which have worked great in the past. Watch out, fish; I too am tenacious!

 

 

 

 

Morning commute

Morning commute

All four of us decide to spend Monday morning fly fishing for brook trout on Split Rock Pond (click here for more details). For the afternoon, we troll back down all the way to the outlet of Lower Pierce Pond in order to explore spectacular Pierce Pond Stream (click here for more details). We return to camp by 5 pm for our Happy Hour, delighted for having spent a gorgeous day in beautiful settings, but exhausted from all the walking and hiking. In fact, we are all so tired that no one goes out after dinner for evening fishing, and Salvi is out cold by 8:15 am!

 

 

 

 

 

Morning trolling really works!

Morning trolling really works!

I stumble out of bed once again at 4:30 on Tuesday morning for the last pre-breakfast trolling of the trip on Lower Pierce Pond. This time, I’m joined by Bill because Salvi just can’t get up. As promised, I switch to Grey Ghosts, since my other two kinds of wet flies haven’t done a thing for me during the last couple of mornings. That’s what I should have done a long time ago because I hook my first salmon within 15 minutes of trolling! The fish isn’t particularly big but he leaps three times out of the water and makes several strong runs close to the boat. Boy, these creatures are spirited! Bill uses the net to deftly scoop up the fish. He’s never seen a salmon before, and he’s as excited as I am. This one measures in at 18.5”. But the fish gods are really smiling on me because I hook and land two more salmon (16” and 13”) before 7 am rolls along and we have to head back to camp for breakfast. Bill, unfortunately, doesn’t get a bite, even though he too is trolling with a Grey Ghost. We tell our fishing stories to our two team mates over breakfast. We decide to buzz out at 8 am and return to the cove where I caught the salmon earlier today. The conditions are identical to what they were an hour earlier but the salmon have changed their peculiar minds once again. Joel lands two brookies but the rest of us remain fishless after 2.5 hours of trolling.

 

 

Good bye, Pierce Pond. We'll be back next year!

Good bye, Pierce Pond. We’ll be back next year!

It’s now close to 11 am and time to start heading back home to our families. The conditions on Pierce Pond were tough this year. The late ice out (May 9) put Nature 7 to 10 days behind schedule. The lack of consistent may fly hatches forced us to focus on trolling with spoons and wet flies, and using woolly buggers and emergers on sinking lines. That kind of fishing is just not as exciting compared to catching trout and salmon on dry flies. On the other hand, all of us caught several fish during this trip. Besides, we enjoyed each other’s friendship and the tremendous Great Outdoors that is Pierce Pond.

 

 

 

Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at this location.

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