Upcoming Speaking Engagements

The famous West Branch of the Penobscot

Here is a list of my upcoming speaking engagements. All of these are open to the public, in the case of Evening Sun Fly Shop presentation, call to let them know you are coming.

March 12: Hammonasset Chapter of Trout Unlimited, 540 Oregon Road, Meriden, Ct. at 7:00. This presentation is “How and Where to Catch Trophy Brook Trout”

March 22: Evening Sun Fly Shop, www.eveningsunflyshop.com for more information, 10:30 – 2:00. I will be leading a flytying class and presenting highlights from my book.

March 27,28,29 at the Maine Sportsman Show at the Augusta Civic Center, check out their website for exact times. My presentation will be “How and Where to Catch Trophy Brook Trout”

April 11: Sebago Lake Trout Unlimited annual Banquet, from 4 to 4:20 presenting book highlights and signing books. Check Out their website for more information.

If you haven’t yet caught any of my presentations, here is your chance. Some of the photographs I use make you long for fishing season even more than you already are. I might use the one posted here as the cover of my next book. Melt snow, melt!

News Flash and My Speaking Schedule

The 1st edition of my book, “Flyfishing the Seasons of Northern New England” sold out, but the 2nd edition is now available. The only difference between the two, besides some minor corrections, is that the 2nd edition has additional pages of color photographs, and we made it less type-dense for easier readability. Don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you want a signed copy.
The time for fly fishing shows is rapidly approaching. The following are my current speaking engagements/Book signings.
• January 17,18,19: The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, Ma., Presentation: How to catch Trophy Native Brook Trout (www.flyfishingshow.com)
• January 24 The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ
• February6, 7: The Fly Fishing Show in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Presentation: Where to Fish in Northern New England.
• February 15th Fly tying Demo and Presentation at Evening Sun Fly Shop in Massachusetts (charlie@eveningsunflyshop.com)
I am hard at work on my next two books. The first is the Flyfisher’s Guide to Northern New England. This is actually a new edition of an existing book with updated information and the addition of Massachusetts to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. It will be published late in 2015 if I can get it done. To share some of my discoveries from the book research, there will be a new tab on my website that will contain my 50 favorite fishing spots. I will post a few every month until I reach 50.

July weather crazy, but fishing heats up

I am writing this shortly after the July 4th weekend.

What crazy weather over the last week or so; a couple torrential downpours, very hot weather, cold weather, strong winds from the east, and then the west. It made it tough to canoe, boat, or fish any decent-sized body of water.

There are green and brown drakes around the local lakes along with some hexes but the hatches have been sporatic, at least where I have b een. Maybe more stable weather will strengthin the remaining lake hatches.

The rain has brought more fish into some of the rivers around Rangeley. A few anglers report some really nice fish caught while others report things being slow. I guided a group on day last week on a few local rivers and it was relatively slow with mostly smaller fish caught until one guy landed a landlocked salmon of at least four pounds on a small classic black ghost.

In other news, I have made a decision to stop guiding for the rest of this year and perhaps next year as well. I have a number of really exciting writing projects in front of me and I only have time to do two of the following three activities: fish, guide, write. I have been doing too much of the latter two and not enough fishing so I am eliminating guiding, at least for now. I am still giving flyfishing classes so let me know if you are interested and I will announce some possible dates.

My flyfishing book is virtually sold out so my publisher is doing a second printing. We have made a few changes to improve readability and correct a few minor errors.

One of my projects is to revise the book Flyfisher’s Guide to Northern New England which is a “where to go” book. It “forces” me to fish all sorts of rivers around New England. I have included a few photos from some of my trips this spring and summer.

Fishing picks up in June, but so do the black flies

It is mid-June, the middle of spring fly fishing season and the middle of black fly and mosquito season as well. The black flies really came out last week in the Kennebago area. If you were not protected, you got chomped on.

During early June, the Rangeley River fished well with a variety of fish falling for dry flies and nymphs, but as the days wore on, the fish were pounded and seemed to get smaller and smaller.

Fishing turned on at Kennebago Lake with a variety of fish sizes rising in the evening to assorted mayflies, caddis, and whatever else the wind blew in. On June 2, at the conclusion of a very warm and still day, the large carpenter ants had their first winged mating swarm day of the year – what some fisherman call a flying ant hatch. Those winged large ants falling in the lake and river really got the large fish up and rising quickly. I was guiding on the upper river at the bridge and a slow day turned into a good day as a number of large trout appeared as if from nowhere and starting taking ants off the surface (and similar artificial flies). Later on Kennebago Lake, a concentration of ants meant that two other anglers in a boat and I in my kayak landed 8 trout over 14 inches between us – (mostly them unfortunately as I missed a few and broke off a few) My largest was a full 18 inches. What fun.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, significant numbers of salmon have not run up the Kennebago River this spring. Not the correct combination of high water and ideal temperature I guess. Maybe a heavy rain will get them moving and salvage the season. With all of the cold and ice, not too many fish overwintered in the river either. Some of the lower pools have definitely changed with the heavy ice, as certain large boulders and in different places and parts of pools have filled in.

My schedule is fully booked for the rest of June and my first guiding openings will be in July. I still have opening for my advanced fly fishing class on June 28th.

March 20: Spring is coming – maybe

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, there were days in the 70’s, even up in Rangeley. Snow pack was non-existent and ice-out was only several weeks away for many water bodies. This year feels more like the winters that I remember. March has been snowy with many nights still dipping into the low teens and temperatures staying in the 30’s during the afternoon. There is no way ice-out in the Rangeley area is going to be in April this year. So for all of you that have procrastinated tying those ice-out streamers, you still have time.
A couple of updates… I now have a monthly column in the Maine Sportsman in which I will be writing about backcountry cycling (combined with fishing, hunting, birding, and other outdoor activities. Check over the last year. It is being published by a respected outdoor publisher, Wilderness Adventure Press, and will be out later this year in both paper and electronic versions.
Book excerpt for this month…
 It helps a great deal to have someone living near the water you want to fish so they can pass on what they see. When the ice has melted around the immediate shoreline and the color of the ice itself is closer to black than white, than ice out is imminent and it would be wise to start making up excuses for missing work.
 I have heard a number of theories as to why fish are so eager for the day or two immediately following Ice-Out, even though the water is so cold that during any other season fishing would be pointless. Besides the sudden availability of food, I have heard that Ice-Out immediately increases the oxygen content of the water and that gives the fish more energy. Other theories are that the simultaneous smelt spawning runs increases the predatory mood of the fish, or that the sudden increase in light triggers a feeding frenzy. Maybe it is nothing more than the energetic burst from all living things when they realize that they have survived the winter and have a few months of good eating and reproducing ahead. It might be akin to that exhilarating feeling I get when I put the top down on my convertible during the first warm spring day.