My gosh! It’s here! I am at a total loss to understand where the last fifteen or twenty years have gone. I now understand what an old friend of ours said to me years ago, when he mentioned that “Inside every older person there is a young person wondering what the heck happened?” My sentiments exactly! How can it be that on the 11th I am seventy!!
However, since I don’t seem to be able to do much about this, so it’s back to more usual topics. Not a lot of people in Maine fish during the winter months in open water, I suppose for obvious reasons. However consider this: from the Abanaki (lower) dam in Madison, downstream to the upstream side of Donald Carter Bridge in Waterville/Winslow is a very long stretch of the Kennebec River. Believe it or not, ALL of this water is open to fishing year-round. Some of this huge watershed is open to general law, other parts to artificial lures only. This area listed represents twenty something miles of water that is virtually unfinished at this time of the ear. Cold weather fishing is not for the faint of heart and proper dress is a must, with safety the overriding issue, but there are fish to be caught. Neoprene waders, several layers of socks and clothing, warm waterproof gloves, (yes, you need to wear a warm hat) and an outer layer that breaks the wind are required for this. In several of my less lucid moments, I actually ¿ shed in the Shawmut dam area and perhaps in a surprise caught trout. Fish have to eat at least periodically and while they seem to be lethargic in the cold water, they will strike at something that drops in their laps. I had success by swinging flies through eddies downstream of rocks and logs. I had the sense that I had to put my flies right in their laps because they weren’t interested in expending lots of energy chasing bait or my flies. Fishing at this time of the year was, to be sure an educational process, and though I haven’t done this for some time (it’s the older but wiser syndrome!), I enjoyed it and it sure broke the winter monotony. A safety hint…At this time of year, never fish alone!
Next month…Which Fly To Tie First?