Just back from Grand Lake Stream... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Just back from Grand Lake Stream...

06-20-2005, 10:40 AM
I just got back from 5 days in Grand Lake Stream Maine. I fished the lake the first day, then the stream for the last 4 days. Unfortunately the weather made for what the locals were saying was the worst fishing they'd ever seen. They couldn't remember the last sunny day, and the river had been really high until just a week or so before we got there.

I caught a 17" smallmouth on the first day on the lake and my 2 buddies got nothing. On the 2nd day, we hit the stream and I caught a few smallmouth, the largest going about 14". All of them were on a black woolly bugger with a big of green sparkle in it. On the morning of the 3rd day, I caught my first salmon of the trip, 3 small ones on blue wing olives. In the afternoon one of the guys was sick of the lousy weather and the lack of fish and stayed in, while 2 of us went back out for a few hours of evening fishing. Since nobody had been catching anything on the typical stuff, I decided to go a bit off the wall and tied on a 3" yellow bucktail streamer I'd tied with a couple of yellow hackles feathers going through it upright to give it some height, a 1/2" black thread/epoxy head, and a little silver tinsel body wrap. I fished this on a 4 wt DT line, skimming it through the top of the water pretty fast. After about 50 casts I hooked up with a nice fish and landed an 18" salmon. :smokin:

The 4th day, I stuck with "Big Yellow" as I affectionately named the fly, but it was back to smallmouth central. I hooked 5 or so, the largest running 17". On a 4 wt rod in a stiff current, that's a nice fight! I thought it was another nice salmon when I hooked it since it was out in the middle near where I'd hooked the one the day before, but I'll take a nice smallmouth like that any day. :cool:

At the end of the day, I was coming through a meadow area and saw a fish slowly swimming in place against the current on the inside of a bend. I figured it was a smallmouth due to the location, but it wasn't. It turned down my olive bugger and a streamer, but the black/green flash bugger was hit on the first cast. When it turned to the side it looked like a big brook trout, but when I landed it I realized it was a large carp or river chubb/sucker. However, none of the locals had any idea what kind of fish it was and had never seen anything like that in the river, especially given its size (18" at least). Anybody have any idea what it could have been?

Dble Haul
06-20-2005, 11:01 AM
It was probably a large fallfish, also known in that area as chubs. They can get pretty big up there and will hold in almost any type of water that has food. I used to hook a lot of them when nymphing for the trout and salmon.

Did you do any nymphing? How were the hatches? I haven't been there in a while and I'm curious.

06-20-2005, 11:54 AM
It certainly looked like a chub, but the locals had never seen one quite that big. I've been searching for a photo of it online but can't find anything. As I'm typing this somebody from the hatchery just called me and said it sounds like a chub, though he said he's never heard of one that big either. The biggest he's ever seen or heard of is 15-16". Maybe I caught a new Maine record and didn't even know it! :)

I didn't do any nymphing myself. Honestly, I've just never gotten into it, and tend to go to a streamer or wet fly if the fish aren't hitting drys. A guy right next to me hooked a 21" and 23" salmon one day on bead head nymphs fished with a couple of split shot on the line too. I think he was using copper johns, or maybe a pheasant tail? I remember hearing people were fishing both and I'm not sure which one he said. They're pretty close patterns anyway so either might work.

As for hatches, I didn't really see much caddis. The prevalent hatches were mostly blue wing olives. In the 5 days, there wasn't much hatch activity at all. On the 3rd day there was one big hatch of BWOs, otherwise, just a small trickle of them occassionally.

Pulling a streamer upstream was probably the best technique we found, though we were getting good hits on our BWO drys after they hit the bottom of the drift and sunk, and we started to pull them back upstream.

Dble Haul
06-20-2005, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

I used to do so well on that river system with nymphs that I'd continue to fish them even during hatches.

Looks like we need to call you the Chub King. :smokin:

Tod D
06-23-2005, 11:18 AM
I'd vote chub/fallfish as well. They grow pretty big. We caught some 2+ lbers at Upper Dam first week in June w/ the damkeeper about them.