Maine Fly Fishing Adventures With Dad
By Annarose Yvon

My name is Annarose Yvon and I live Bradford, which is located in the Highlands region of Maine. I live on a small tree farm with my Mom, Dad and my younger sister Amanda. I am truly blessed because it is the perfect place to live when you are a person that loves the outdoors. I have had the pleasure of fishing and hunting in Maine since I was a toddler. My Grandmother was originally from Portage Maine, and my Dad spent much of his childhood fishing and hunting with my great Uncle Rodney in the great north woods. Uncle Rodney is a Master Maine guide and he inspired my dad to become a Maine guide in opening his business, Twin Maple Outdoors.

My Dad introduced me to hunting and fishing. Over the years, I have done many types of fishing together. We've done open water and ice fishing on lakes, ponds and rivers. We've taken our G3 jet boat up the rocky waters of the Penobscot River for Bass fishing.  We've done dip net fishing for smelts in the springtime and we've gone fly fishing as we drifted the rapids of West Branch River of the Penobscot. Each of these trips offers a unique experience and is always a great time spent in the peaceful Maine woods with my Dad.

The West Branch of the Penobscot is a 117-mile tributary of the Penobscot River.  The West Branch offers a great opportunity for drifting and fly-fishing. The waters of the West Branch are considered to be one of the top fisheries in the United States. The Landlocked Salmon is native to the state of Maine. They are considered the cousin of Atlantic salmon. When Maine was formed by the glacier and under sea water, it was said that deposits of Atlantic salmon were left behind when waters receded. Originally, there were four major river basins that held the land lock salmon in Maine: The St. Croix, The Union, The Penobscot and the Presumpscot.

Our Salmon trip all started out by preparing for our fishing adventure. My dad takes many fishing clients on this very trip so getting ready seamed very routine, but for me, I had to think about what I had to do and bring. We started out by towing our drift boat down many miles of bumpy, dusty, dirt roads. I'd say the trip was an exciting adventure passing by Mount Katahdin and beautiful big Maine north woods. On our arrival we checked into the Big Eddy lodge. Don the care taker was there to greet and welcome us to the camp and river. We unloaded the truck and settled into our campsite. Now the excitement really started when we launched are drift boat into the Big Eddy. Dad and Don had to shuttle the truck and trailer to the takeout spot, as i patiently waited with our drift boat.

As we started fishing, Dad gave me instructions on how to nymph fish. After practicing how to properly drift the fly I encountered my first hook up. I was so excited! Dad immediately started coaching me on how to keep the line taut, I can hear him now saying, "Annarose constant pressure! Don't drop your rod tip!" I then proceeded to fight the salmon and grab the net. I then, leaned to get the fish trying to not go overboard! I was then able to remove the hook and release the beautiful fish unharmed. I didn't think that I would have ever caught a fish because we did not have any luck as of yet. So, I was very surprised. I was very proud of myself because all my dad did was just stand there with the camera. That is why fishing can be a big surprise!

That was one of the most exciting fishing trips I've been on. I loved the feeling of getting excited and reeling the fish in, but mostly because I love using a fly rod. This fishing is fun for all ages! As I think about this trip, I'm wondering what crazy things will happen next year!

Our fly-fishing adventure on the 63-mile bass fly waters of the Penobscot river, is another trip which will resonate into my forever fishing memories of my child hood. My Dad, our dog Belle and I headed out one Saturday morning for some smallmouth bass fly-fishing. My Dad mentioned that this was fly-fishing only trip as we left all spinning gear behind. I remember feeling somewhat nervous about a fly only trip because of my lack of experience on the river with a fly rod.

The morning started out with beautiful weather with no wind. This definitely made me feel more confident on handling a 5 wt., 9 ft. fly rod. As we anchored the boat in the current with our trolling motor, my Dad instructed me to drift my popper against the shoreline. So, I proceeded to cast into the bank where I know big fish live! I proceeded to cast and then into a tree limb my fly found a snag! I looked at Dad with disappointment in my eyes. I remember Dad saying..." That's ok honey let me help you get that out". While retrieving the fly with a hook and telescoping handle, Dad brought the branch down to my level and I was able to unhook my fly from the limb. After we resumed our fishing, I watched Dad catch a few bass that really got me excited but made me feel excluded at the same time. Dad noticed I was feeling kind of down, so he made the boat drift the same speed as the current. He said, "This might help you dear with you casting and mending of your line". He was right! I was able to drift my fly much easier, which I preferred and so did the fish!

We stopped fishing mid day because my tummy was rumbling and hurting. We pulled up under a huge red oak tree with plenty of shade. I love country music, so I asked my Dad to put on his speaker. We started listening to music as Dad took out the gas grill and Hamburg's. We ate our lunch reminiscing about our morning, which made me giggle and smile! Having a full belly, I was ready to continue our special time together not even caring if we caught a fish or not. After drifting for some time and least expecting, I suddenly had a smallmouth bass come up from an undercut at the bank of the river! "Fish on!!" I yelled as Dad brought over the net. My Dad kept saying "Rod tip up, don't give him any slack!" Dad brought the net underneath the fish, as I was enamored grinning form ear to ear!

We ended our day pulling our boat out of the water and stopping in at our local ice cream shop. Special times with my Dad, is what I will always remember and hopefully someday provide my kids the same special memories. I am very grateful to my parents for raising us in the outdoors where I can learn and appreciate the wonders of nature. I wish this for every kid to have the opportunity that I have been blessed with. - Annarose Yvon

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