Fall Angling Options|
By Joe Bertolaccini
As our lakes in the northeast continue to cool down, landlocked salmon, togue (lake trout) and brook trout become active in their spawning routines, making them more aggressive and providing an opportunity to enjoy some fast action on streamers and bucktails. Typically, trolling along rocky shorelines with a sinking fly line and six or eight pound test leader can be productive. Realizing that fishing is far from an exact science, it can also pay to troll flies over deeper areas in depths up to 30 feet or more where salmon and togue have been known to swim up to take a moving fly.
Another tactic which I have enjoyed with success, is to drift through a productive area fly casting, allowing the fly to sink to various depths before starting retrieves. It obviously helps to have an acceptable wind in the right direction for a successful drift, but usually at this time of year, lack of windy days is a rare occurrence, especially on our large cold water lakes. Once again, it helps to be flexible, trying different methods, fishing new locations, varying retrieves and trolling speeds as well as changing flies. And speaking of flies, letís take a look at several popular patterns that are available in most fly shops:
Joeís Smelt - arguably one of the best smelt imitations ever created.
Barnes Special - with its yellow and grizzly wing hackles is a productive attractor fly.
Gray Ghost - the first and perhaps most famous landlocked salmon fly used by beginning fly fishers.
Nine-Three - a popular fly in the Moosehead Lake area. So named because the first fish reportedly caught on that fly was a nine pound - three ounce landlocked salmon.
Governor Aiken - has proven itís worth in many Maine salmon waters, especially when tied with a slim profile.
Mickey Finn - one of the first and most productive brook trout flies for many years, is also effective for landlocked and sea-run salmon.
In addition to the foregoing traditional patterns, the Grand Lake Stream Special, developed by friend and accomplished fly tyer, the late Ron Newcomb from Hamden, Maine who had great success with his fly in the stream by the same name. I have also enjoyed considerable action on Ronís fly in West Grand Lake and surrounding waters as well as Moose River in the Rockwood area.
Following is the dressing for his Grand Lake Stream Special:
Hook: size two and four, 8x long for trolling; size six and eight, 6x long for casting.
Thread: size 6/0 white Uni Thread.
Ribbing: narrow flat silver tinsel.
Body: light green floss.
Throat: bunch of bright orange hackle fibers.
Wing: sparse white marabou, flanked on each side with several strands of silver Crystal Flash, and topped with four peacock herl fibers equal to the wing length.
Head: white thread with black painted eyes.
Trolling patterns for salmon and togue are fashioned for the most part on long shanked streamer hooks in sizes two to four as well as tandem flies. Streamers and bucktails for brook trout are usually tied in smaller sizes from six to ten.
Before heading out this month, be sure to consult MeDIF&Wís 2017 open water regulations for the lakes and streams you will fish. Most waters in northern Maine, are closed effective October 1 to protect spawning wild species, but many others are now open through freeze-up for salmon, togue and trout. Additionally, it is required that those species caught after September 30 be immediately and safely released alive. Good luck, be safe on the water and always wear your life jacket.
Pictured Above: Grand Lake Stream Special - Tied and Photographed by Author
Joe has enjoyed fly fishing for over 65 years. His first book, Fundamentals of Fly Fishing, is now available He can be reached on email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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