Although we frequented Pond in the River during short term with Wilkie and some of the newest members of the BFC. With Andy and Ford having just graduated, and Schleich wrapping up a successful short term, there seemed no better time to spend a few days chasing the native brookies found in the rapid then these first few days of June…
On Monday we rose with great ambition, but our actions spoke otherwise. With Midnight Madness and graduation, Sunday had been a long day, and Monday morning spoke the truth. Late awakenings, and a steady rain postponed the departure time until the first hours of Tuesday. After bagging the first breakfast sandwiches from the griddle at the Minot Country Store, we hit the Rapid river.
This time of year shows the tail end of the sucker spawn, with there being somewhere in the range of 30 suckers still in the pocketwater, the odd brookie still fiend for the sucker egg. The talent was spread across the zone early, Andy on the rock, Schleich in the pocketwater, and Ford in the top run by the green cabin. All were successful, finding their flies wedged in the mouth’s of many brook trout and landlocked salmon.
The best success was found using an array of mayfly nymphs, green rock worms, and the aforementioned sucker egg, but for short stints in the middle of the day, we saw something we had never seen before on the Rapid, a Hendrickson hatch. While Tuesday may have been the slower day in terms of brook trout success, the noontime hatch proved enjoyable for all. Andy and Ford got a kick out of the rises and strikes that their dries endured, while Tyler continued his concentrated pursuit of the biggest brookie in the river. The best prize of the Tuesday Hendricks hatch, was Ford’s massive smallmouth bass.
As the afternoon slipped away, our mentor and old friend, Wayne, bid adieu, bestowing upon us what we now call “Wayne’s Pool”. His stretch of water hadn’t disappointed all day, as we often saw him plucking trout from the ripples. His zone would only improve as the evening set in, and as the following morning dawned.
Tuesday night’s break in the rain allowed for us to dry ourselves, and set up camp. A small Webber grill delivered burgers, bacon, and the last three salmon of the day, a feast fit for any angler.
On Wednesday the game plan was to get to the river early and commence the slay fest. The day was sunny at periods, encouraging more brookies to move up into the pocketwater, eager to gorge themselves on the usual mayfly nymphs and sucker eggs.
The day before Wayne had mentioned a secret hole for dry fly fishing that occasionally holds massive dry fly slurping brookies. With Wayne being the legend that we know him as, Ford listened to his wise advise. Like clockwork the much-anticipated Hendrickson hatch arrived around midday and Ford ventured to the area Wayne had described. Ford noticed a few large fish rolling in the hole, and caught glimpses of red fins. After a few rejections and a couple fly changes, Ford had hooked into a 20” brookie. After the Hendrickson hatch even more brookies arrived in the pocketwater and we were rewarded with ridiculous conditions of sight fishing for trout in the Rapid's riffles.
Leaving the river on Wednesday evening the boys were all in high spirits, remembering past days on the rapid, and laughing about what the future might bring. We had made the decision to depart from the rapid a day earlier than planned, so we could head down to Andy’s place on Prouts Neck, to do some striper fishing, and by late-afternoon on Thursday we were tossing flies into the shorebreak. Andy’s rod went tight first, and his eyes lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree. Ford was next, bringing in his first saltwater fish. Schleich looked on from shore, because of his newly leaky waders… It was great fun to link into Andy’s family later that night, bum a few beers and lobster tails and trade stories with Andy’s uncle Jake, who assured us his front yard was the best place to catch a striped bass.
So naturally with Jake’s endorsement, we headed to his place first thing in the morning. Low tide proved wishy washy for the bite, with the boys only seeing Ford get into a few fish. As the morning wore on, and the time drew nearer for Schleich to hop on a plane back to California, we figured we should relocate to the other side of the peninsula. The northeastern edge of Prouts Neck boasts rocky outcroppings at the southern end of Scarborough beach, perfect for the striped bass in the area. After a number of casts and fruitless stripping, Schleich came tight for his first fish in the salty water. “yeah baby” he exclaimed as he fought the schoolie, it was being trailed by all of its 30 something peers, “cast over here boys!”. On command Andy and Ford hucked their meat into the fray, and lone behold the infamous Bobcat triple bag! The Boys of College St. were all tight and had three fish landed in minutes.
Lee was a new member and treasurer of the BFC and did a poetry research short term class. Here is two of his works from the class based upon his experience fishing the Rapid River.
“When it’s on it’s the best time of my life, over and over.
When it’s not, it’s an everlasting nightmare”
- Andrew Wilkie, Pond in the River
It was a battle: human vs. nature
But in reality the lines were blurred
Both garnered strength
By a simple goal: survival
For one, an everyday search for nutrition
For the other, a lifelong pursuit of tranquility
For some it was the perpetual
Pursuit of knowledge
For others it was the addictive
Over time, however, this age old sport
Gave all the chance to survive
The chance to escape
The chaos of normality
- By Lee Sandquist
The Friends that I never knew
You can go a whole lifetime
Without truly knowing a friend
Four years of drinking and laughter
Belittled by a single moment
A moment of clarity
Eye opening and refreshing clarity
A simple isolated moment
Between two friends in nature
Quickly cast away
- By Lee Sandquist
|Wilkie sending one back
Rapid River Round 2
Rapid River Round 3
|Gabe's first fish on the fly is the "Maine Bonefish"
|New BFC Future Charlie killed it as a first timer on the Rapid
Post Graduation Trip
Even the Smallmouth were keying in on the Hendrickson hatch
|One of the larger Brookies from Wayne's dry fly hole
|The triple to end the trip
The post grad trip was something else. What started with commencement ceremonies on Sunday, and carried on up on the rapid waters in Rangely, and finished with an ending down in Prouts Neck (Scarborough). Four years has flown by, and with it both big and little fish have been caught, studied, and released. BFC members once, BFC family for a lifetime, the pleasure of sharing the river as well as this college with these boys has been unforgettable and a downright honor, into the future we wade, with rod and reel in hand, and great memories in mind.