May 26, 2013

Allen Afield: Bass fishing in Maine -- an experience like no other

By Ken Allen

(Continued from page 1)

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Smallmouth bass, feisty and fun for anglers, can provide great opportunities for anyone who wants to become proficient at playing good-sized fish on fly rods.

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However, anglers might try a Barne's Special in waters with yellow perch, Red Gray Ghost in places with smelts, Muddler Minnow in spots with sculpins, Blacknose Dace in localities with a dark stripe on each side and crayfish imitations in the same color and size as this crustacean in the water.

Which illustrates a tip. Matching a prevalent forage item creates fast action, so smarty-pants, match-the-hatch types can conquer bass waters.

Here's another point about late May and early June smallmouths. At times they delicately sip hatching mayflies and caddises from the surface, just as trout and salmon do. Veteran trout fly fishers know the drill.

In the 1980s on Long Pond in the Belgrade Lakes, I'd fish from a 20-foot canoe and cast to rising bass, brookies and landlocks.

It was fun fishing, like in a northern Maine trout pond -- 16 miles from the capitol dome.

Yes, bass offer many reasons to fish for them, including good practice and faster action than for salmonids, decent eating and more.

But we need no excuses to explain why we're spending a day with bass instead of salmonids.

These feisty members of the perch family offer just plain fun without any reasons beyond that, and in Maine's bottom third, it would be harder to find a water without bass than with them.

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, a writer, editor and photographer, may be reached at:


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