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Maine 2017 Week 2 - West Branch of the Penobscot

Started by tomato can, July 13, 2017, 16:19:15 PM

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tomato can

Well this part of the trip starts off in Portland.  So I could fish the West Branch of the Penobscot below the Ripogenus dam.  The WBP is one of the only tailwater LL salmon rivers in the US if not the word.  It also has Brook Trout.   My goal was a 20 inch LL or a 15 inch Brookie.    All I had to do was get my dad checked into the airport, past security and I am ready to roll to the West Branch of the Penobscot (WBP) and Baxter State Park (BSP).  Simple right? Well heck no, my dad's flight was delayed and delayed and finally canceled.

The sign for the Golden Road

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The Golden Road

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I did not know this until I was rolling along at 35 MPH on ½ way in to the Golden Road.  So I turn around to get cell phone reception and got the txt losing power on the phone turning phone off.  Well what to do?  I am 4-5 hours from Portland and pretty much up the creek with his phone turned off.  So I turned back around and continued to look for my pull off on the Golden Road.  The Golden road used to be a private road and was either called the Golden Road cause it cost a fortune to build or the timber companies made a fortune of the Road.  Now the state owns it.  The GR is rough as cob. I think I counted 5 cars with flat tires and one trailer with a busted spring.  There are three single lane bridges on it.  The 2nd single lane bridge is where I got my first middle finger.  Anyway driving slowly through the rain storm looking for mile marker 28 and wear the power line cross the road.  Found it, found the faint path down to the WBP and started fishing.  Noticed some rises through the rain, dropped below them and caught this.

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The biggest fish of the trip.  Well after a couple more misses, many black flies chewing my hide and the skeeters and the rain, I figured it was time to get back in the car and drive the GR back to town and see what is up with my dad.  Turns out my sister got him a Hotel room with a shuttle and he was good to go.  Quite unsettling.

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So I walked around Main Street in Millinocket.  Walked up to the Blue Ox and met the owner.  He told me to get an order of his onion rings and sausage peppers and onions.  He said he only makes it, these 3 days a year.  I told him I would be back, but I have had enough fried food for the day.  Quite the character.

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Maine even has dinks

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Brookies

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Saw some rafters, the WBP gets a ton of rafting traffic.  Probably more than fishermen.  Fished mile marker 28 again.

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Later that evening I drove back down the Golden Road and pulled in below the falls.  Caught some fish saw this sunset.   My friend Jarry came up and fished with me a bit.

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One day I decided to of fish the Hunk in BSP.

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What a great state park.  Pulled over and started fishing some real pretty water.  Nothing doing, New England is funny like that, some water is so pretty and yet sterile, did not see any bugs, fish minnows or nothing.  So I kept on driving.  Found some more water and started swinging wet flies.  Caught these.  Also saw this about 40 yards from me.

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Headed back to WBP

Some  LL action

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LL are neat fish.  You have to try all sorts of caddis patterns on them and then boom you will get a take.  The next fish will have you rotate through the same pattern selection but take on a different one.  The take is awesome and most hook ups are in the side of the mouth or the roof of the mouth.  They jump A LOT and sometimes jump out of the net!  If you miss the first rise, you put it right back on top of them and they will strike again.

Ripogenus lake

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The ripogenus Gorge.  That water was thundering.  Pretty intimidating.  The pics do not do it justice.

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Caught a Parade.  I just love a parade, 'Merica

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And yes the were delicious.  So was the sausage peppers and onions.

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Got tired of fishing below the Falls (either amberjes or the Sourdanhunk falls) I ain't sure.  Got my 2nd middle finger.  Apparently you are supposed to yield to a group of old ladies going for their early morning walk.  But what do I know, I ain't even had a sip of my coffee.  Well headed through the grind of the GR and decided to check out the Ripo gorge.  Find a nice pull off and a slight trail, saw brown stone flies flitting everywhere.  All I had were yellow, olive and orange stimulators.  Like everybody else I figured.  I wish I had some foam stones but I did not.

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Did I say it rained in Maine?

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Anyway, caught some fish.  Biggest Brookies of the trip.  Caught some nice salmon.  Watched the sun set over katahdin.  Had one more morning to fish before I pick up my daughter from camp and start the long slog home to the Old Dominion.  This is what I caught.  I did not want this to bookend my trip with the first one so I persisted and caught some brookies and more LL.  I still can see that last LL porpoise out of the water in the early morning sun AND pop my tippet.
Caught the 4th of July parade in Millinocket.  Millinocket is like Martinsville.  A ghost of itself.  I was talking to one fellar and he said they used to graduate 300 from the HS and now its 30 a year.

saw this guy two dawn patrols in a row

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Last evening on the WBP

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I gotta say, Maine is awesome.  Just a completely different experience.  Well worth it.  So far I have fished down east in Grand Lake Stream, the county at Red River Camps and now the West Branch of the Penobscot/Baxter SP.  I hope to get back there next year.


Big J


Woolly Bugger

Cool beans ...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Dee-Vo


Dougfish

Bill, for the win. High five, dude!

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"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

ryguy

Awesome trip!

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BrookieHunter


driver

Those tea colored streams of the NE are cool. I never got a LL while I was up there. Reason to go back.


sanjuanwormhatch

Amazing there's an area that secluded on the east coast.  Def makes me want to go.


tomato can

SJWH when I lived in NH there was a commuter jet that went down and it took them 6 years to find it with a 100K reward from the insurance company.  People were looking too.   That was the upper CT river valley.  The Whites, Dartmouth Land grant and up near Pittsburg is pretty wild injun country.  Maine is a whole different level.   I have not been to western Maine (rapid & magalloway rivers), or fished the Moose lake region or canoed the Allagash.  I think the only way to access the Allagash is by canoe or float plane & canoe.  (Of course my father did all this in the early 50's with his father before the interstate system was put in.)


Dougfish

@Nativefisher can tell us about canoeing the Allagash. Scouts used to have a national camp there.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Native Fisher

I went to the Seboomook BSA base on Pittston Farm at the head of Seboomook Lake.   We canoed on several lakes and rivers in that area,  North Branch Penobscot River, Moosehead Lake.


Woolly Bugger

Canoed the allagash back in the 80s, fished the Sheepscot in Palermo, caught brows and one LL... also fished the Kennebec for trouts and smallies. And the ocean for strippers.. Maine is cool!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Yallerhammer

I hope the people who run Photobucket all get genital/anal/oral warts and explosive irritable bowl syndrome.

Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff


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