My friend Dave Talley from Pennsylvania came up for his summer fishing trip. His first day on the water was Monday August 23. He decided on Brashua Dam in Rockwood. The dam is being worked on so they shut the water off at 7 a.m. and open the flow at 5 p.m. He arrived at 6:30 a.m. to find the river alive with fish. He had a blast with a floating smelt. He said the salmon acted like bluefish banging the fly with their tails. He had numerous fish hook ups, with it but only landed one 19-inch land locked salmon. When he arrived back at camp on Grindstone he gave me a call. I had to deliver some Red Gray Ghosts and other flies to Indian Hill Trading Post in Greenville so I thought I would fish on the way home.
I went to Brashua at 4 p.m. only to find it dead. I talked to a man and his wife that was coming off the river and told me it was slow. At 4:30 I headed to East Outlet, which was a better choice. I long time friend had told me he had great success with orange flies on top so I tied up some orange foam Stoneflies. I also had some orange and yellow woolly buggers with me. I fished my usual spot with streamers first, nothing. Then I tied on the orange stonefly. On the second cast a huge Brookie rolled under it. I was standing on the dam and looking down when it rolled. Man they have some beautiful colors this time of year. A few more casts but he didn't return, so I tied on the yellow woolly bugger. I remembered some years back of having good luck with yellow in August. Sure enough a smaller Brookie took the bugger. It was about 12 inches and didn't have any clipped fins so I assume it was a wild fish. I carefully took the hook from its jaw and let it go. A few more casts and nothing more. The north side f the dam had a flock of Canadian Geese feeding on the grass. I walked slowly their way so the mother goose could get their goslings away from me. Geese are not my favorite birds to get riled up. I have many bad memories of being attacked as a child at Homer and Grace Waters Farm when they lived next door.
Watching my step to avoid the goose droppings I made my way the rivers edge and tied on an orange woolly bugger. My first cast across the river was the one. As the fly swung down into the fast current in front of me a huge land locked salmon came up from the depths and smashed the glittering fly. It came leaping out of the water! Hook in it jaw, the sun shone brightly on its side, and my jaw dropped. It must have been 25 inches long! It ran down river stripping line from my reel. It took line into the backing then I applied pressure to stop it. Bad mistake, it jumped again but with all the line out the fish broke free. Long line release, at smallest amount I saw it for a few seconds. I continued fishing but after a half hour decided to head home.
The next time to go fishing was Friday and I met Dave at East Outlet at 5 p.m. He hadn't had much success so we headed to Brashua. The workers opened the dam early around 3 and left. A fisherman asked why so early and a worker replied, "It's a good day to leave early". We got there around 5:30 and two men from the Newport area were coming up the path. They exclaimed, "Fish are everywhere"! I replied, "Sure they are, that's why you are leaving at prime fishing time". "No" he said, "we are so hot we can't stand it any longer". They were in neoprene chest waders. I asked what they were using and they showed me the fly. It was a Maple Syrup nymph. I asked where they bought it and they said at Jimmy's in Newport. I walked back to my car to get the video camera. If the fish truly were jumping everywhere I wanted to get it on tape.
I walked back to Dave and we headed to the river. The same man that I had talked to on Monday was casting a Nine-Three streamer. It has a black and green hackle wing with white deer tail hair over a silver body. As I was unpacking my fly rod he hooked a fish so I dug out my camera to get it on tape. He landed a nice Brook Trout of about 12 inches then released it. Then he showed me a 19-inch salmon that he had in his fishing bag. He said that one was for supper. He fished until 5:50 then left. Dave came down and took his place. At 6 the river exploded with fish just as the Newport guys had said. I dug out my camera and got it on tape then went back to fishing. I had a few fish hit my gray woolly bugger but didn't hook up. Dave landed a yellow perch on an olive marabou Muddler. Every fly we tried including the Maple Syrup nymph went unnoticed by the fish. At 8 p.m. we headed home. It was a fun day but that is fishing isn't it. It's not called catching, but its called fishing.
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