Greetings from Maine!,
After all the students cut their teeth with their first fish of the trip on the Magalloway river we made our way to the Historic Lakewood Camp on the banks of the Rapid River.
We started this fly fishing pilgrimage with an early boat ferry to the lodge. The boat ride left everyone in awe from the sheer beauty of the north woods of Maine. The sky was seemingly endless and close enough to almost touch the clouds, and the horizon was stuffed with fluorescent green trees. After the boat ride we loaded our gear into the rustic cabins furnished with only the essentials, unchanged for almost 100 years. All the students quickly rigged their rods and hurried to the river to try and catch some of the biggest native brook trout in the lower 48 that the Rapid River is famous for. Although it started to rain the students caught plenty of landlocked salmon and truly native brook trout. Watching the long slender silver salmon jump three feet clear out of the water after slowly sipping our dry fly made the rain vanish in the excitement. After long days of fishing we were treated with delicious meals fit for royalty. After an exciting first day on the Rapid we all went to bed pondering the question how the next day could be better then the last.
Luckily we were all wrong; the second day was even better. We rose out of bed with the sun to get the most time on the water. As we approached the river we were pleasantly shocked by the rivers flow; it was lowered from 1200 cfs to only 400 cfs. This low water allowed us to agilely move into better fishing spots in the river along with being able to sight fish the monstrous fish. We also rowed a near by pond fishing for invasive smallmouth bass in attempts to lower their population to help the salmon and brook trout populations. We know our effort was worth it as many of the hundreds of smallmouth we helped removed were full of the native brook trout fry.
This morning we woke up early to squeeze a few more fish before our boat ride off the camp. Once back in the car everyone took naps to recharge from the busy days of fishing. Lakewood Camps was truly an amazing experience that no one will forget and will always hold a special place in our hearts due to the almost indescribable beauty, bountiful wildlife, and rich history. Our next stop on the Maine expedition is Rangely Lake State Park where we will be fishing for brook trout and landlocked salmon, followed by our backcountry canoe trip down the West Outlet of the Kennebec River in search of trophy smallmouth. Our next update will be sent when we exit the backcountry on 6/27.
As always, tight lines!
-Pat, Baker, Oliver, and crew