Trolling season winds down

15 years ago

    Ask any fisherman, farmer, fiddleheader or forester and each will confirm that this spring’s weather has outdoor conditions a week to 10 days ahead of most years. A friend of mine who picks hundreds of pounds of delicious green fiddleheads for commercial resale informs me that most of the ferns will be past prime this week. Usually it’s possible to wander wetlands and riverbanks and fill a small bucket with these tasty, curled-head veggies until the first week of June.

    Anglers too are having to make adjustments due to the quickly changing weather and water conditions. Spring trolling on several favorite lakes like Cross, Square, Drew’s, Long and Squa Pan is actually winding down. Dragging tandem streamer flies for salmon and trout should be prime right now, but instead it’s dwindling fast. A few unusually warm days interspersed with several all day rains jump started lake fishing a week or more before Mother’s Day and even then the action was spotty.
Fear not however, there’s still time to enjoy a fish and fern feast of succulent, sweet trout meat and butter-slathered steamed fiddleheads. A few local rivers and streams already boast water low enough and clear enough to produce steady trout action on worms, lures and even on flies, especially deep-fished nymphs and streamer patterns.
    Fishermen near the Prestile Stream are spotting trout feeding on surface bugs once in awhile, but not yet frequent enough to resort to dry fly casting. Over this past weekend the pool below the Robinson dam, where trout regularly school up this month, gave up some bragging size brookies to sportsmen casting lures. Small red and white Dardevles, Silver Super Dupers, Al’s goldfish and Mepp’s or Panther-Martin spinners produced many 10- to 14-inch brook trout and a couple of whoppers weighing over a pound.
Anglers who enjoy trolling from a stable canoe or small boat need only look to the Aroostook River. Currently it’s at the perfect height and will remain so for 10 to 14 days, longer if we have intermittent rain. No less than 20 villages and small towns are situated along the winding flowage of the Aroostook River between Masardis and its exit into New Brunswick from Fort Fairfield. Boat launch locations are plentiful and easy to locate and utilize.
    Ten to 16-inch brook trout are plentiful and fish in the one to one and a half pound class are common during high water trolling. Size 8 or size 44 Sutton spoons in bronze or silver/bronze are proven fish takers as are Mooselook wobblers and D.B. smelt. Troll with the current for best results. Productive streamer flies include a Herb Johnson Special, black Ghost, black and white bucktail and black nosed dace, and a sinking-tip line will improve results.
    To the north, trolling the Fish River will yield steady action on salmon as well as brook trout and anglers to the south will want to troll several pools on the Meduxnekeag River. Covered Bridge and Dow’s Hole are two excellent stretches near Littleton and Houlton that boast not only plenty of brookies but some bragging size brown trout as well. Each spring several huge browns of 20-inches or longer are boated after striking lures and streamer flies.
    After catching and releasing a few trout, and perhaps keeping a couple for the frying pan, fishermen can turn into foragers and prowl the shoreline filling their hat with fiddleheads. In the end you will have the perfect combo for a fish and fern, pink and green feast. By the way, don’t forget the fly dope, black flies are out in full force already.
    Lake trolling may be slowing down but river and stream trolling is picking up; for the next couple of weeks visit a waterway near you to secure some fun action and some tasty table fare too.



ImageContributed photo/Bill Graves
    ROGER SHAW of Mars Hill displays a nice trout taken while trolling the Aroostook River, more than half a dozen brookies were boated and released during this trolling trip in May.