Fly Fishing on the Kennebec River

acadia195In Greenville, Maine, population roughly 1700, there isn’t much to do besides hiking, hunting and fishing. The economy centers on the tourists drawn to Moosehead Lake and the logging industry. There are no movie theatres, outlet malls or theme parks here, but they do have one attraction you might want to try – peace and quiet.

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And what better way to spend a serene day of silence than fishing? Early morning found us on a float boat drifting down the Kennebec River, fly rods in hand. The day was shockingly cold, a sudden drop in temperature from the prior week. The sun danced behind the clouds, stingy with its warming rays. Several other fishers were out, braving the chill out in their waders, flicking their fly lines back and forth.

acadia189My first cast was rewarded with a bite. I quickly reeled in a landlocked salmon barely larger than a minnow. I thought the quick response would set the stage for the day. I was wrong. It seemed that hours passed between strikes, during which time we continued down the river, following the sun in its course across the sky. My next – and last – catch was a speckled trout.

acadia190You might think we were feeling defeated, but we weren’t at all. We traversed a gorgeous stretch of the Kennebec River. The leaves were changing, the water sparkled, mountains loomed magnificently in the distance, and our guide was great, managing to keep us dry even as we bumped our way across class three rapids. For lunch, he pulled the boat ashore, broke out a butane grill and proceeded to cook a feast of chicken, steak, mashed potatoes, pasta salad and more. He even brought Oreos for dessert! While not the most fruitful fishing trip, we still had a blast thanks to Chris at Kennebec River Anglers.

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Operation Moose

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In the small town of Greenville, Maine, moose outnumber people 3 to 1. That’s what we were counting on when we made it our goal to see a moose during our stay. It was actually why we chose that area of Moosehead Lake for the first part of our vacation adventure.

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There was no shortage of deer or turkeys – both crowded the roads whenever we ventured forth from the cabin. The slightly eerie cry of coyote filled the night air. We were definitely in the type of rural, secluded area where one might experience a (what we consider to be ‘rare’) animal encounter. Dusk found us driving along empty roads, hoping for a sighting. The roads bore signs warning of the high incidence of moose collisions. No matter where we went or what we did, we were always on the lookout for moose.

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Morning fog on the mountain.
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Look far to the right at the water line.

 

We set out on a large pond in Baxter  State Park early in the morning, silently    paddling a canoe across still waters,      listening for the tell-tale crack of branches  in the woods, but we heard none.

We looked for shredded vegetation floating in the water, signs of a messy moose breakfast, but the grass and water lilies around us were undisturbed.  It was a beautiful morning on pristine waters, fog burning off the mountains around us as the sun rose into the sky. Total silence engulfed us except for the occasional flapping of a bird’s wings.

 

Moose!

 

Then we saw it in the distance. Like an apparition, it rose from the water as we approached, a large bull, almost unbelievable to our exuberant eyes. We didn’t get very close before it ambled into the wood line, vanishing into trees and shadows, but it didn’t matter. The proof is in the picture. We had succeeded in our mission. Operation Moose was a triumph.

 

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Moose -still in the water.

For those interested in visiting Greenville to spot a moose themselves – May and June is the best time, and many guided tours offer a money back guarantee during these months. September is mating season, so they’re a bit preoccupied and harder to find.

 

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